Until Gonzaga moves out of the West Coast Conference, we will hear conference realignment chatter regarding the Zags for an eternity. However, as Pete Thamel reported today, this one is looking a bit bigger.
Supposedly, while down in Frisco, Texas for the exhibition against Tennessee, Gonzaga Athletic Director Chris Standiford met with Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark.
Conference realignment has been churning amongst the Power 5 in recent years, but it has been relegated to football-based decisions. This would be the first time a move is made to help supplement a league’s dominance over basketball.
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, however, let’s remember a few things. First: Gonzaga also met with the Mountain West Conference in recent years to explore their options. Second: Gonzaga also met with the Big East Conference recently to explore their options. Third: Gonzaga met with the Big 12 commissioner to explore their options.
And that is really all the news is despite the very clickbait title. In the grand scheme of things, it would be more criminal for the Zags to not be exploring their options. Standiford meeting with Yormark is good, in the sense that saying hello is also good. But the Big 12 also just recently agreed to terms finalizing a six-year extension of its media rights agreement.
If Gonzaga gets added, it is great of the Big 12, but they aren’t necessarily probably looking as desperately as other conferences, such as the Pac 12.
Either way, realignment news is realignment news. We are just as close and just as far away as yesterday when it comes to the Zags leaving the West Coast Conference. The smart money is on it happening, eventually. With how the Zags have positioned themselves in recent years, they’ll have their fair share of suitors throughout the process.
And Dana O’Neill with a bit more info:
Industry source confirms this report and says that the conversations are "real, but exploratory.'' That there is no timeline and that other leagues also have reached out to Gonzaga. Indications are that Zags would go for all sports, not just hoops. https://t.co/sFpv9HggKT— Dana O'Neil (@DanaONeilWriter) November 2, 2022