The Idaho Vandals and coach Robb Akey have enough to worry about this week, what with being 0-5 and trying to secure that elusive first victory when New Mexico State (1-4) visits the Kibbie Dome on Saturday in the Vandals' Western Athletic Conference football opener.
But since recruiting for future years is pretty much an ongoing process, the Vandals also have to devote time to answering questions about their future.
Idaho plans to remain a Football Bowl Subdivision independent next year, and perhaps the following year, with the hopes of joining another FBS conference after that.
Also, there is that offer to drop back down to the Football Championship Subdivision and return to the Big Sky Conference.
"It does have a tremendous impact on our recruiting," Akey said. "They want to know where those games are going to be (in the FBS, or in the Big Sky). We've got a couple of guys that have committed to us, and we've got some other guys that I think we've got a shot at that are waiting to see what that's going to be like.
"That's going to be the battle on top of the battle," Akey added. "There's a lot of rocks getting thrown (by other teams recruiting against the Vandals)."
Idaho has contracts for four of a possible 12 games next year - at Ole Miss, Wyoming and Washington State, and at home vs. Northern Illinois. Idaho also said it will likely play a home-and-home with New Mexico State, which will also play as an independent next fall.
But that still leaves six more games to find, and at least three of them must be home games.
Akey said he and athletic director Rob Spear talk often about future scheduling, about which scenarios Akey would prefer, and which he wouldn’t.
“I also understand how hard it is to find 12 games,” Akey said. “And he’s trying to make it not too terribly painful.”
As for the prospects of playing New Mexico State home-and-home next season, “I don’t think anybody here or at their place is a fan of playing twice, but we’re looking at it as a necessity, having to get 12 games scheduled,” Akey said.
Akey said he has “absolutely” tried to keep the current Vandals abreast of any developments.
“There’s some parents of some players who have gone as far as contact the NCAA to find out what is our future, and what are the options for our kid in a given scenario,” he said.
Notes: Akey said the 66-0 thrashing at North Carolina last week has been “flushed away” by the Vandals, Akey said, adding, “we need to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and get ready to start a conference season.” ... Vandal defensive end Benson Mayowa did not make the trip to North Carolina for “personal” reasons, said Akey, who did not elaborate. He said Mayowa is expected to play Saturday.