BYU is reportedly going to receive an invite to the Big 12 this week to get the number correct in their name. For the Cougars football program (and obviously the main reason this is happening in any regard) I think this is a great move.
But I really don’t care much for carryball (only one player can use his feet?!?) so ask what the impact will be to the better sport.
I suspect that BYU men’s basketball will struggle mightily in that league. They haven’t been able to be first place in the WCC with GU and occasionally The Mary’s in their way. How’s that going to go against Kansas, Baylor, West Virginia, Texas Tech, et al? There could be a longer term benefit to recruiting, and certainly an immediate improvement in SOS.
Women’s b-ball will have an even rougher time I think. As good as the GU women have improved and continue to become nationally relevant, they generally aren’t at the same level (yet) as Baylor or even Iowa State. BYU can challenge GU in the WCC but don’t seem to have much chance in the near term in the Big 12. Hopefully some of the football windfall money will help both BYU basketball programs improve.
Most importantly, how does the exit of BYU affect the WCC? Losing the arguably second best school doesn’t help the perception of the WCC as an, at best, second tier conference. Does this provide more impetus to poach the Mountain West for a couple schools? Is this more of an opportunity to solidify the membership of smaller, religious campuses? I honestly am not sure myself.
As much as I have enjoyed the Gael’s slipping into mediocrity, there really needs to be other really good programs in the WCC. Can Pepperdine of San Francisco (or others) continue to grow and return to their past prominence, taking advantage of the space in the top third? If an addition to the conference is in order, who fits the bill and add value? Seattle U fits the school profile but doesn’t add much horsepower to the schedule.