Karl Benson has seen them come and go. In his 16th season as Western Athletic Conference commissioner, Benson has steered the league through unsettled times. In 1996, the WAC added six teams to up its membership to 16. The league was split into two divisions and a league championship game was added in football. (Sound familiar?)
But travel costs — teams stretched from Tulsa to Honolulu — led to eight teams leaving to form the Mountain West Conference. Benson didn't flinch. He kept the league rolling, with Boise State becoming the key member of a new alignment.
Benson's steady hand has kept the WAC viable through other departures and additions, and there could be a new round of challenges ahead. Boise State is being eyed by the Mountain West, and Benson talked about the conference's future Thursday as a guest of Jack Cronin and Ted Mendenhall on XX 1090 Sports Radio in San Diego.