The two Football Bowl Subdivision programs left behind in the conference realignment shuffle meet this weekend in Moscow.
New Mexico State (1-4) and Idaho (0-5) square off in the final WAC opener for both teams. The WAC has announced it will not play football in 2013, leaving both teams homeless.
You better make sure you dont offend any homeless people when you say that, Idaho coach Robb Akey said, referencing his apology earlier this season for comparing the Vandals to an unwanted red-headed stepchild.
Idaho got permission from the State Board of Education in August to set an independent schedule and negotiate with the Big Sky. Idaho had four games scheduled at the time and has not announced any other opponents.
Performances like this dont help out the situation and the difficult decision we have to make about the future, Idaho Athletic Director Rob Spear said on the radio after the 66-0 loss at North Carolina, according to the Lewiston Tribune.
Spear and Akey have met several times about the Vandals scheduling prospects.
Independent scheduling is a challenge, Akey said. Hopefully we can get some contracts secured. Some days it looks better than others.
Akey said he has had some input about which programs to play. The Vandals played at LSU and North Carolina this year and have games scheduled with SEC teams Florida and Auburn in the future.
We have conversations like that. These are the opportunities weve got. What do you think about this scenario? This would be better than that, Akey said. I also understand how difficult it is to find 12 games.
There have been a couple suggestions that have come out of my mouth that I didnt think I was capable of saying, but I have. Hes trying to make it as good as he can for us and not be in a situation that is too terribly painful.
The uncertainty is affecting players in the program and potential recruits, Akey said. He said some parents reached out to the NCAA to find out what options existed for their sons if Idaho went to the Big Sky. Recruits want to know what the schedule will look like and if the Vandals are definitely going to remain at the FBS level, he said.
Theyre waiting to see what thats going to be like. Its going to be a battle on top of the battle as we get deeper into the recruiting, Akey said. Theres a lot of rocks being thrown.
Finalizing a schedule is extremely important, Akey said.
The schedule has got to get complete so everyone can understand where were headed, Akey said. It does have a tremendous impact on recruiting, on planning.
New Mexico State announced last month that it was also going independent in 2013. Athletic Director McKinley Boston said the program has nine games scheduled, including five at home. The Vandals and Aggies could play twice with one game on each campus.
I dont think anybody here or at their place is a fan of having to do it twice in the same season, Akey said.
DE Benson Mayowa did not travel to North Carolina. Asked if the senior was suspended, Akey said he missed for personal reasons.
TE Taylor Elmo (shoulder) was unable to finish the game against the Tar Heels.
Brian Murphy: 377-6444