Potential WCC Expansion

Saw this posted on the St. Mary’s board. Very good breakdown of Seattle, Grand Canyon, Denver, and Cal Baptist. Two things I would add… 1. Mark Few probably has to give the sign off before any school joins. 2. I have zero interest in adding schools if we have to keep the unbalanced schedule. 9 teams, play each team twice, 16 conference games will be just fine after BYU leaves. Gonzaga is not going to want to play more than 16 conference games. That is guaranteed.

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Will be interesting how it evolves…

My take:

Univ of Denver and Seattle U - the 2 schools that fit the league profile (private, religious) and are anchored in large cities (eyeballs).

GCU is a for-profit entity (like DeVry and Univ of Phoenix). Not exactly what our member schools represent.

Cal Baptist would give us more California schools…aka bringing more sand to the beach…with BYU leaving, we need to cover the Mountain Region


Agree on all of this, but Denver has never seemed to care about basketball, which doesn’t work/fly.

While they didn’t mention this, what are the chances the WCC could lure a school like St. Louis? Is the WCC a downgrade from the A10? In recent years it’s typically a 1-2 bid league too. St. Louis isn’t exactly the west, but that’s the only other school that comes to mind outside the ones highlighted here. It’s not exactly a great fit in the A10 either, with a lot of eastern border schools in that league.


My priority:

  1. Seattle (former WCC member, Jesuit)
  2. Denver (private, similar profile, replaces BYU for a Rocky Mountain presence)
  3. Maybe…just maybe Cal Baptist but not fully sold on them)

Hard no on GCU…half notch above a diploma mill.


I like sticking with the 9-team league, play everyone twice, leave two “open” dates during conference play to schedule non-conference matchups.

I would add Creighton to that list if speaking geographically, but I can’t imagine that they could be lured away from the Big East.


Would not be in favor of adding any more teams. And Certainly not those four.

I want to see a reciprocal home/away schedule like before BYU and Pacific showed up and before the Zags got their panties in a bunch over RPI. Also want max opportunities to schedule out of conference games.

Almost went to Seattle U, and the school has only gotten better, but it ain’t a fit for me.


I’m with buckets and Weave…fine with sticking w/ 9 and returning to home-home for all teams, still 16 games.

IF the league is determined to add teams, my priority is as stated…1. Seattle, 2. Denver…Cal Baptist a distant 3rd. Again, hard NO on GCU, don’t care if their hoops program is decent, they are barely a legitimate university IMO.

St. Louis is intriguing though maybe spreads the league out too much. Can’t imagine Creighton being interested.

And longer term, out of the box, St. Thomas (St. Paul MN) and University of Mary (North Dakota) both recently jumped up to D1. Both catholic universities. I assume they’re ready, willing and able to invest if they made the decision to jump to D1. If their athletic teams grow and have some consistent success they maybe they’re longer term options if the league feels it’s critical to get bigger or expand its reach…thinking like 5 to 10 years down the road.

GCU is building a power In Phoenix . They beat three WCC teams this year (USF, LMU and Pepp). They won the WAC titles in baseball, men’s and women’s soccer . Men’s volleyball is #9 and beat BYU in Provo last night .

Their student support in unreal. One of the tops in the country for basketball. They sellout every game for their 7,000 seat gym Baseball opening night had 5,200 fans.

Former Zag assistant Tommy Lloyd’s son is on men’s basketball so Few is getting updates . Zags were in their tournament at the Phoenix suns arena this year .

Also, Seattle’s home gym is a joke - 1,000 seats

I’d be for staying at 9 teams.

IF we had to add one. I think GCU would be my pick, but as a short term mercenary. They are and will be investing more and more into their brand, probably will be too big for us in the not distant future.

Phx would also be a good new market for the league. Seattle already has 50x more Gonzaga fans than Seattle U. I’m not sure Denver U would really move the needle in the Denver market.

My heart says add a small Jesuit school, my head says add GCU or none at all.


Whatever team(s) join, it would be for all D1 sports. Being a well rounded program helps…also, teams further than Colorado would spend a lot of time travelling around for games…not ideal. So probably takes the Bluejays and Billikens out of consideration, but you never know.

CU (Boulder) pulls it off in Pac-12 pretty well, but I would think any further travel be taxing. Obviously Hawaii, Chaminade travel far distances, but not other options for them really.

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How the Bluejays and Billikens got into this conversation is beyond me. Why would Creighton even consider leaving The Big East where attendance rocks at all schools. And St Louis way too far bordering the Mississippi.

I brought up Saint Louis simply for the sake of discussion, and just bringing a ‘think outside the box’ idea to the conversation. SLU is probably not viable, especially as a standalone, but I think it would behoove the WCC to think of all possible scenarios and options amidst an evolving landscape. The other options, in my view, remind me of adding Pacific, which I thought, and still think, was reactionary and unnecessary. With that in mind I don’t think there’s any point of expanding unless it’s bold and potentially game changing.

Stay at 9. Build the brand. Maybe make a soft, behind-closed-doors offer to Seattle that if they have three consecutive top-125 finishes or something, they can be fast-tracked to admission. But if SCU and USF can stay as regular top-75ish teams and get one more team to join them (maybe Portland?), then the WCC should be set for the near future even without the Cougars.

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Thanks Maestro,
I agree on your Pacific position. They never should’ve been admitted. In addition, when the WCC admits a school they should require them to participate in all the WCC sports both men and women, which is currently not their position.

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I don’t think Pacific is that bad of an add. Prior to coming to the WCC, Pacific was a very solid program in the Big West. Stockton is a decent market that has the potential to be the “biggest show in town.”

the power of a competitive conference tourney helped pacific there…

I live about five blocks from the University of Denver… so, them!

They don’t add much with respect to hoops… but that graph seems to show they have a larger athletic budget than GU. A perennial contender in Hockey, Skiing, Lacrosse, and Gymnastics to win the NCAA title. They take sports very seriously, but basketball seems unable to get off the ground. Their current conference is not a great fit either, so I think they’d be tempted to move. And it’s a big market (Denver/Front Range) and they have far more local support than say, SCU in the Bay Area.

I thought they made more sense to add as a “travel partner” with BYU before Pacific was added.

I don’t think there’s ultimately any obvious candidate. But I am rooting to see the Broncos in person once a year.

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I was hoping the WCC would get smaller… guess that’s out the window

One thing I will miss about having BYU in the conference is they have a real TV network. Watching the women’s games on NBC Bay Area but they have using the BYU TV feed. One plus for GCU- they have a internal TV network and their basketball broadcasts are great- pre-game show, sideline and air announcers