Idaho coach Robb Akey said the Vandals search for a football home could lead to independent status. Idaho is one of two football-playing schools left in the decimated Western Athletic Conference.
And without any obvious prospects for another Football Bowl Subdivision conference affiliation, Idaho could go without a league.
I wouldnt be surprised if we end up having to operate as an independent for a few years, Akey said. Is it the ideal answer? Absolutely not. I think its a necessity if we cant get ourselves in a conference affiliation. Its a necessity to remain at that level.
The Vandals could return to the Big Sky Conference, a member of the Football Championship Subdivision. Akey said Idaho would be better positioned by remaining in the FBS.
If some of the gurus are right and people are jumping around again in a couple years, you need to keep yourself in a position to be an option.
Idaho President Duane Nellis said the school still is exploring three options, including independence and the Big Sky. Nellis said he has not given up hope of joining the Mountain West, either.
Weve worked hard to figure out a way to stay at the FBS level in football, he said.
Nellis said he hopes the school can announce a decision about its athletic future before football season.
Notre Dame, BYU, Army and Navy are currently FBS independents. Navy is scheduled to join the Big East in 2015.
Brian Murphy: 377-6444