Conference Realignment

I just don’t think you can expect to bring in high quality opponents at home as a mid major. It just doesn’t happen anymore. It sucks, but it is what it is!


Cal has some heavy stadium debt to service.

How the UC Board of Regents can green-light UCLA’s departure, which was was the first nail in the coffin with huge downstream effects to Cal, is beyond me.

I could see Oregon st and Wazzu going to the MWC (maybe).

But the question lies with who wants cal and Stanford…. Maybe the wcc grabs Stanford? Only half kidding.

Stanford to the WCC (Indy for football) is an unlikely scenario but not a crazy scenario which says so much about the current situation.


Stanford goes to the Big Ten

Maybe I misread the article but it sounds like they (big 10) wasn’t enthused about adding them.

This topic might deserve its own thread, but lost in this is that no one is talking about the Zags changing conferences. Am I wrong to think that boat has sailed now?

I don’t know about no one

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Yale was one of the first offers Cam received. Coach Jones is no slouch and he runs a tight program. (FUN FACT, his brother Mike is the head coach of Boston University). Coach Jones turned down an opportunity to coach San Diego last year and is a stand up guy and his players play hard for him. Casey Simmons is an long term friend and former teammate of Cam’s and left Northwestern to go to Yale. This is DEFINITELTY going to be a game worth watching!!!


The Zags can’t go basketball only. The WCC won’t let them, and the Big Sky is too much of a downgrade. The Zags took a big hit today because their negotiating power against the WCC evaporated pretty significantly with the Pac-12 and Big-12 not being options anymore. The MWC is likely going to get changed immensely with what the remaining Pac orphans decide to do, so that’s not an option either.

I think the Zags are stuck, and it’s probably for their own good.


You may be right re: Gonzaga.
But for the right price and deal, the WCC may be willing to let their non-hoops teams stay in the WCC. ie- GU hoops agrees to schedule 2 to 3 non-con games annually vs. WCC schools (even better if a home-home series is required) and also pays the WCC some amount of $ annually.

I agree the Big Sky isn’t really an option for GU’s other teams unless they are willing to more or less sacrifice those programs which would seem odd as they have invested fairly heavily in other sports recently (built an indoor tennis complex ~5 years ago, a new baseball stadium ~15 years ago which they are now remodeling/upgrading, etc.). Not to mention the Big Sky doesn’t sponsor some of the sports the WCC sponsors and GU plays (baseball and men’s soccer).

We’ll see. Seems like GU leverage with the Big-12 has dropped with the four Pac-12 schools jumping ship to the Big12, especially with the addition of basketball strong Arizona. Big12 has been the best basketball conference the past few years, Arizona bolsters them, Utah has been decent off/on and ASU and Colorado aren’t horrible. Does adding GU really net them that much??? Biggest value to Big12 in adding GU is in boxing out the also basketball strong BigEast…about the only other reasonably viable option for GU.


Gonzaga about to lose a ton of bargaining power this year as they will surely take losses in the WCC this season. Their weaknesses got exposed last year and the days of lallygagging through a conf are gone.


Gonzaga is Gonzaga until someone proves otherwise, including St. Mary’s. SCU is 4-49 since 2000, and we have lost 26 IN A ROW!! We haven’t done diddly squat against the Zags. We haven’t beaten them since 2011. KK beat them once, and Herb has yet to record a win.

I truly hope we’re able to turn things around and get them at least once this season, but nobody has been able to knock them from their perch. Say what you want about the Zags, but what they’ve done for the last 25 years is beyond impressive. Do I see them tumbling this season? I don’t. It’s lock and load in Spokane and been that way for OVER TWO DECADES.

I’m not trying to come across as a pessimist as I think we have the potential for another strong season, but I don’t think Mark Few stays awake at night worrying about the Broncos…let’s hope the time is near when he does.


One thing that has been clear through the past few days of madness is schools/conferences communicating and bluffing to each other through the press. Oregon and Washington were leaking out just yesterday morning that they were probably staying in the Pac-12. They must have decided to jump by that point but were likely trying to squeeze a better deal out of the Big 10 at the last minute via the bluff. (B/c Oregon and Washington aren’t getting full revenue shares)

But all this made me wonder how much of the perennial Zags rumors were smoke to begin with. The Zags seemed to have finessed the MWC for a better deal with the WCC. Maybe they really would have jumped if there was no capitulation, but it clearly wasn’t their first choice. I am curious if the Big-12 has been doing the same thing with the Zags–leaking a bunch of stuff in the press about “conversations” to really tell Arizona that the door would be open to them or other basketball powers (with football). I don’t want to put too much of a tin foil hat on, but it’s clear to me that at least some of the actors here are playing chess, and I do wonder to what extent Gonzaga is a prop more than an actual player.

What I would do is see if the Zags can help court Stanford. That will give the WCC a big upgrade across all sports except men’s basketball (which would still be much better than the next alternative in Seattle or Denver) and a huge reputational upgrade. It would, frankly, be an upgrade even over BYU. Tell the Zags that they’re trapped but the way to make this into lemonade is to try to haul in a big fish, even if just for a few seasons before Stanford jumps to the Big-10 after football rights the ship. Stanford to the WCC is a bit of a longshot but so was BYU 13 years ago.


If not Big 10, perhaps Stanford goes independent…

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Pistol makes a valid pointed observation, 25 years of success!!! Realistically, the WCC is not the Big 10, Big East nor the Big 12 except for Gonzaga and St Marys and that’s the reality of it. Hope seems to ring eternal for Broncos fans thinking Zags have a chink in their game to capitalize on. However until it actually happens, it’s all speculation.

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Pistol is spot on; until someone proves otherwise, the Zags are the king of the hill.
And a loss or two in league is common; they’ve rarely gone undefeated in league play during this 25 year run. Most seasons someone like SMC, BYU knocks them off once or twice…hasn’t stopped Top 20 rankings and deep runs in the tourney.

I can only surmise that 'feeme sees the departure of Timme and Strawther as the start of their demise. They’ve lost great players to graduation or the draft before and always reload. This offseason, they landed two of the top 20 transfers in the nation.
Ryan Nembhard from Creigton was arguably the top PG transfer and will fill and improve what was GU’s biggest positional weakness last season. Zags beat out Arizona for him.
And post Ike Graham is a stat sheet stuffer. He’ll replace Timme’s low post scoring and is a better rebounder…registered 19.5pts and 9.5 rebs in 2021/22 for Wyoming and was MWC MVP. Sat out 2022/23 with a leg injury.
They also landed Steele Venters from E. Washington…not a world beater but an elite 3pt shooting wing who should help replace some of Strawther’s perimeter scoring.
They also have some talented freshmen and guys coming of redshirts.
The biggest weakness I see for the zags is a lack of experienced depth in the backcourt. An injury or foul trouble for Nembhard or Hickman could be problematic.


Im going by only two years of observation. The first year they dominated everyone. Last year they struggled through a lot of their wins - even against the Broncos. Broncos were up a majority of the home game until the final few minutes.

Timme is a traveler. Period. The WCC refs allowed that guy to travel 90% of the time and he was EXPOSED in the NCAA tourney. He literally seemed perplexed by the calls - (as he should have been since the WCC refs did him no justice). Its also why Timme was never really a great prospect for the league. (Yes, I know the Bucks are gonna give him an opportunity but I do not see much happening there). He is small for his position and on the slower side. Timme is the quintiscential NCAA player but with skills that do not transfer to the next level - which is why he went undrafted. He isn’t an exceptional passer, and his range doesn’t extend beyond the 3-point line. He lacks the agility and explosiveness of even an average rim protector. You have NO IDEA how frustrating it was to watch him get away with crap play in the WCC - when you are accustomed to watching other conferences that did not get faked out by it. The fake fouls he drew was ridiculous.

Aside from his and others departure, I feel that the OTHER WCC teams have been building these past couple years and I am convinced MORE than St Marys and BYU are going to be handing them some losses this year.

I am HOPING the WCC officials understand the difference between a Rugby and Baksetball match this year when it comes to St Marys. I ALWAYS KNOW that St Marys will not go far in the NCAA tourney and they never do. At least not for the past two years I have observed.


The ACC is reportedly in talks to add Cal, Stanford, and even SMU. I’m not sure if this is signalling to the Big 10 (“hey someone wants us, why don’t you ‘steal’ us away instead”) or if there’s meaningful intent there. The ACC doesn’t even have a school in the Central time zone, let alone Mountain. Football could possibly hack it. Assuming Cal and Stanford play each other, they might need to make 4-5 trips across the country each season. Ugly but possible. Especially for a payout that would dwarf the Mountain West or fully-independent alternatives.

But basketball? Volleyball? Yikes. I think that this maybe gives the WCC a 30-40% chance of having at least Stanford in the conference for '24-25. ACC for football and WCC for the Olympic sports (that the WCC sponsors at least) might be the last best option for Stanford if the Big 10 really doesn’t want them.


Despite the obvious logistical and travel challenges I could see Stanford and Cal to the ACC for a couple of reasons:

  1. $$$ - While the Mountain West would be logical geographical choice for Stanford and Cal, the loss of revenue would be huge. ACC can provide $ the MWC can’t touch. Stanford could chose to bankroll their programs if they chose but Cal couldn’t and needs the revenue to survive…IMO at least. For the left over (Pac-4 if you will) I heard the drop in media revenue from Pac-12 to Mountain West would be something like ~$30M to $2M.
  2. ACC is in a somewhat precarious position and needs to be proactive to add teams and avoid being pillaged by other conferences. Right now, it’s 3 strong mega-leagues of SEC, Big Ten and Big 12 (in that order IMO) and ACC is a distant 4th due to their relative weakness in football. Sure there are some strong football programs (Clemson, FSU, Miami in the past) but also some dogs in Duke, Wake Forest, Virginia, etc. Florida St and others have their eyes on jumping ship elsewhere.

That said, I’d be surprised if the Big10 doesn’t try to add Stanford. Forgot where I read it but the idea by some is that if the Big10 adds Stanford, that could draw Notre Dame to the Big10. With Michigan, Northwestern, Purdue and now UCLA and Washington the Big10 has some impressive academic institutions…more so than the SEC or Big12. Maybe that matters to Notre Dame and therefore strategically makes sense to add Stanford.

Cal on the other hand is such a mess both financially and in poor quality football and hoops teams and lacks the nationwide brand prestige that Stanford has so I suspect the Big10 is less interested in adding them.

Both WSU and OSU seem destined for the MountainWest…both have mediocre football programs (occasionally better than mediocre) and sub-mediocre basketball programs and are in small (Pullman / Spokane) to smallish (Beaverton / Portland) metro areas. They are also both on the smaller end for undergraduate enrollment (and thus alumni base as well) compared to typical power conference public institutions. Many of the MountainWest schools are larger than WSU by comparison. All these traits create an uphill battle for WSU and OSU to remain relevant in D1 sports.