Dominoes begin to fall for Griz



Local football fans taking part in the will-they-or-won't-they debate of the Griz moving up to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) finally have some real pieces to the puzzle. Colorado is moving to what's currently known as the Pac-10, Boise State formally announced its jump to the Mountain West and Nebraska is close to announcing its move to what we still call the Big 10. (Exhibit A of college football's current madness: The Pac-10 is believed to be expanding to 16 teams, thus becoming the Pac-16, and the Big 10, a misnomer considering it already has 11 teams, may also be going to 16. Or just 12. Or...never mind.)

Those moves are just the beginning of what experts are calling the end of the FBS, the end of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and, perhaps, the end of the word as we know it. So, should Griz fans feel fine?

Depends. UM AD Jim O'Day told us last month that, aside from hiring a consulting firm to study the university's options, he's content to wait for everything to unfold. "Every day you're reading new pieces about conference expansion. Every day there's something new," he said. "If we don't think people are looking at us, we're crazy. That's not to say they're serious, but they're looking. And we need to be ready if they come to us with an offer."

At first glance, the Boise State move has the most immediate impact for the Griz. WAC Commissioner Karl Benson held a press conference last week about Boise's imminent departure from the conference, and said the WAC has looked at five or six western FCS schools and is seeking "the next Boise State," or another small school with potential. Both of those comments would seem to point to UM. (How weird is the prospect of Hawaii and Fresno State someday visiting Wash-Griz Stadium?)

Then again, others expect many more dominoes to fall. Let college football's silly season—and the Griz debate—continue.

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