WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Major sports outlets like ESPN and Sports illustrated are saying there are talks underway about the possibility of WSU joining the American Athletic Conference as soon as next season.
Ask any Shocker, there’s history in the Valley.
“I grew up going to the Valley Tournament and enjoying it,” says Caleb Wells.
“It was strong, it really was. We had Tulsa, Cincinnati and Loyola,” says Bob Jackson.
“And there has been so much history and rivalry with Illinois State, Indiana State and even Northern Iowa to some extent,” Wells adds.
These fans love the Missouri Valley. But fresh off a tough loss to Kentucky in the second round of the NCAA tournament, Shocker faithful still have questions about the seeding.
“It sucked,” says Jackson.
Terrence Gilliam adds, “We probably would have been further into March madness at that point if we had a higher seed.”
Seeding that likely would be better if the Shockers were in a better conference, like the American Athletic Conference.
“I think it is a good step for the university in terms of moving into the future,” says Wells
For many Shocker fans the number one thing that excites them the most about possibly changing conferences is the level of play.
“Competition wise it just makes you better,” says Gilliam.
These fans think their Shockers can keep up.
“Yeah, I think they can compete anywhere. I think they can compete in the Big 12,” says Jackson.
But one of the big negatives is travel. Right now, the farthest the Shockers travel to, in conference, is to Loyola University, a little over 700 miles away In the AAC, they would play my Alma Mater, East Carolina University, more than 1,300 miles away. To play two Florida schools, UCF and USF, the Shockers would travel more than 1,400 miles to each of them. And they would travel even farther to play the University of Connecticut, more than 1,500 miles away.
“That would be the one negative thing for a lot of Shocker fans,” says Jackson.
But Bob Jackson, fan for more than 50 years, is confident Shocker faithful will still show out.
“Those that are retired will go. They will have a good following I think.”