New Mexico State athletic director Dr. McKinley Boston confirmed to fans and supporters in a letter Wednesday that the Aggies will play as an FBS Independent beginning in 2013.
In his letter, Boston wrote the following regarding NMSU’s FBS status:
NMSU is committed to continuing at the Division 1 level and we are committed to our football program. Our focus is to win WAC championships and to be the best mid-major program we can be. Looking ahead, we are planning to play as an independent football program in 2013. Nine of 12 football games have already been scheduled with at least five of those games to be played at home. The entire 2013 football schedule should be available in mid-October. Even though our football program will be independent in 2013, NMSU will remain a WAC member in all other sports.
Last month, Boston stated that “unless something happens,” New Mexico State would schedule for “independent football in 2013 and possibly 2014.” “Unless something happens” likely meant if the Aggies were invited to a conference, but that never materialized.
New Mexico State and Idaho were the only two current football-playing members of the WAC that did not have a conference home in 2013. The Vandals will also likely play as an Independent in 2013 after the State Board approved the move last month. Idaho also has the option of joining the Big Sky without going to the board.
The WAC will drop football in 2013 because there won’t be any football-playing members remaining. Boise State departed the conference in 2011, followed by Fresno State, Hawaii, and Nevada in 2012. In July of 2013, Texas State heads to the Sun Belt, Louisiana Tech and UTSA to C-USA, and San Jose State and Utah State join the MWC.
As Boston mentioned in his statement, New Mexico State has secured 9-of-12 games for their 2013 football schedule, and at least five of those games will be played at Aggie Memorial Stadium in Las Cruces.
Although no specific teams were mentioned, NMSU does have tentative games scheduled at Texas, UCLA, and New Mexico and a home contest vs. UTEP. The Las Cruces Sun-News also reported last month that the Aggies could face Idaho in a home-and-home series with both games played in 2013.