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You would think Gonzaga would be on the phone with someone but they don't appear to be, which surprises me as well.
The WCC's TV deal, aka Gonzaga's TV deal gets them in more homes on average than the Mountain West's TV deal. They're on both ESPN and CBS Sports. Not to mention the money they probably get for being in marquee non-conference games (how that works, I don't know, but those events are largely set up by parties either broadcasters or event management groups that fork over the money, especially neutral-site games)

WCC has 17 regular season ESPN broadcasts, plus 9 on CBS yearly per the deal they signed in 2019: West Coast Conference Announces Landmark Media Rights Agreements

Just looking at Gonzaga's 2019-20 schedule, they had 6 non-conference games on ESPN networks (1 on U, 2 on main, 3 on ESPN2). 6 ESPN2 conference games, 2 ESPN main, and 2 CBSSN. Then the entire league has its conference tournament from the semis and finals on ESPN main. in 20-21 non-conference games were 2 on Fox main, 3 on CBS main, 1 on ESPN main. For conference play 7 on ESPN main, 3 on ESPN 2. And that's not even mentioning that any game they don't have on these networks is picked up by a local TV network/regionally broadcast on ROOT Sports in the Northwest plus I believe ESPN+.

Compare that to San Diego State in 19-20: 2 games on FS1, 3 on Fox Sports San Diego (I think it's called Bally Sports Now) and on on Pac 12 Network for non-con. 10 games on CBSSN in conference play, 3 on ESPN2. Conference tourney on CBSSN, and final on CBS. 20-21 3 on CBSSN, 1 on FS1 for non-conf...10 on CBSSN, 6 on FS1, 2 on CBS main, plus tourney which they won.

CBSSN in in 61 million homes, ESPN networks in 86 million homes. So to me, if the Mountain West wants to start any conversation about joining up, they need to assure me that their deals with CBS and Fox, which run to 2026 and totaled $270 million is going to go up and that the Zags will get more than what they currently get, AND I'd be asking to make sure there were more games on the main networks throughout the season. That, or the league has to also secure some kind of ESPN deal by then.

ESPN has been a very powerful ally in Gonzaga's rise to prominence. College Gameday talks them up, they get highlight play on SportsCenter, etc etc. Mountain West schools? Not so much. Now if the Big 12 were interested in adding non-football members (which I 100% doubt), that's a totally different story. For basketball, they're on ESPN quite a bit, and that would stand to increase especially if ESPN could ditch the WCC/Gonzaga special 10-11pm tip times for a Big 12 matchup in that same time slot.
 

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The WCC's TV deal, aka Gonzaga's TV deal gets them in more homes on average than the Mountain West's TV deal. They're on both ESPN and CBS Sports. Not to mention the money they probably get for being in marquee non-conference games (how that works, I don't know, but those events are largely set up by parties either broadcasters or event management groups that fork over the money, especially neutral-site games)

WCC has 17 regular season ESPN broadcasts, plus 9 on CBS yearly per the deal they signed in 2019: West Coast Conference Announces Landmark Media Rights Agreements

Just looking at Gonzaga's 2019-20 schedule, they had 6 non-conference games on ESPN networks (1 on U, 2 on main, 3 on ESPN2). 6 ESPN2 conference games, 2 ESPN main, and 2 CBSSN. Then the entire league has its conference tournament from the semis and finals on ESPN main. in 20-21 non-conference games were 2 on Fox main, 3 on CBS main, 1 on ESPN main. For conference play 7 on ESPN main, 3 on ESPN 2. And that's not even mentioning that any game they don't have on these networks is picked up by a local TV network/regionally broadcast on ROOT Sports in the Northwest plus I believe ESPN+.

Compare that to San Diego State in 19-20: 2 games on FS1, 3 on Fox Sports San Diego (I think it's called Bally Sports Now) and on on Pac 12 Network for non-con. 10 games on CBSSN in conference play, 3 on ESPN2. Conference tourney on CBSSN, and final on CBS. 20-21 3 on CBSSN, 1 on FS1 for non-conf...10 on CBSSN, 6 on FS1, 2 on CBS main, plus tourney which they won.

CBSSN in in 61 million homes, ESPN networks in 86 million homes. So to me, if the Mountain West wants to start any conversation about joining up, they need to assure me that their deals with CBS and Fox, which run to 2026 and totaled $270 million is going to go up and that the Zags will get more than what they currently get, AND I'd be asking to make sure there were more games on the main networks throughout the season. That, or the league has to also secure some kind of ESPN deal by then.

ESPN has been a very powerful ally in Gonzaga's rise to prominence. College Gameday talks them up, they get highlight play on SportsCenter, etc etc. Mountain West schools? Not so much. Now if the Big 12 were interested in adding non-football members (which I 100% doubt), that's a totally different story. For basketball, they're on ESPN quite a bit, and that would stand to increase especially if ESPN could ditch the WCC/Gonzaga special 10-11pm tip times for a Big 12 matchup in that same time slot.
Wow. Was responding to his comment, which was strictly re: competitiveness. I know they have money coming in from TV deals. Any league they go to would be able to renegotiate basketball deals. And while I doubt they will lose money now as ESPN/CBS probably won't renegotiate the current deal with the WCC, I would bet the WCC won't have as lucrative a deal when the time comes as they have lost BYU.
 

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Wow. Was responding to his comment, which was strictly re: competitiveness. I know they have money coming in from TV deals. Any league they go to would be able to renegotiate basketball deals. And while I doubt they will lose money now as ESPN/CBS probably won't renegotiate the current deal with the WCC, I would bet the WCC won't have as lucrative a deal when the time comes as they have lost BYU.
Okay, I wasn't trying to come at you or anything. I was just trying to highlight that while the competition goes up in the MWC (and yes, a TV deal would too w/Gonzaga in the fold), I think Gonzaga is in a good position as is, especially in terms of national TV exposure. And, I think they'd have even more reason as a non-football school to want to make sure they know where the dust settles before making such a move. They'll want to know what type of money can be had in the next round, but also who will be in the league, and will their interests be served or is football eternally driving the conversation.

They should certainly do their homework on the landscape. They owe it to themselves. But, if they do nothing they're still a national powerhouse that has convinced a 10 team league (since 2011) to NOT play an 18-game conference schedule so you can get more marquee non-conference games. They still can recruit and get the top players in the country, steamroll their conference with games on major TV networks, be in the hunt for a 1 seed and deep tourney runs...all from the WCC. Losing BYU sucks, but I think they can keep on trucking without them. They're Gonzaga; they've transcended their own conference to be basically a new-age blueblood of the game where they're at, and I don't see that taking a nosedive any time soon.
 

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Okay, I wasn't trying to come at you or anything. I was just trying to highlight that while the competition goes up in the MWC (and yes, a TV deal would too w/Gonzaga in the fold), I think Gonzaga is in a good position as is, especially in terms of national TV exposure. And, I think they'd have even more reason as a non-football school to want to make sure they know where the dust settles before making such a move. They'll want to know what type of money can be had in the next round, but also who will be in the league, and will their interests be served or is football eternally driving the conversation.

They should certainly do their homework on the landscape. They owe it to themselves. But, if they do nothing they're still a national powerhouse that has convinced a 10 team league (since 2011) to NOT play an 18-game conference schedule so you can get more marquee non-conference games. They still can recruit and get the top players in the country, steamroll their conference with games on major TV networks, be in the hunt for a 1 seed and deep tourney runs...all from the WCC. Losing BYU sucks, but I think they can keep on trucking without them. They're Gonzaga; they've transcended their own conference to be basically a new-age blueblood of the game where they're at, and I don't see that taking a nosedive any time soon.
I agree with all of that. But I'm also of the belief that you can't stay on top forever and when Mark Few retires (I think he's only 60 so he won't anytime too soon unless he's forced with repeated DUI's), there is a good chance they will drop in stature. You can't hold out too long because you might suddenly find yourself irrelevant and then you aren't going anywhere. They need to be proactive while everyone is discussing conference realignment, which is what I was referring to with being on the phone. Their program has clearly outgrown the WCC and they will want/need to strike while the iron's hot.
 

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I mean, I get what they're saying and why they're saying it right now, but come on. Comparing themselves to BYU was quote comical and I did almost spit out my coffee. UConn as an independent will not be relevant in college football.

What's that saying...something about throwing good money after bad? Yeah, this is that.
 
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I'm not even sure what youth/HS football is going to look like in next call it 5-10 years in New England. I know firsthand what the participation looks like where I live, and If the numbers don't improve in as little as the next 2-3 yrs in the town I live in there's definitely not going to be a Varsity HS football team. All these kids around the state and region are the future customers and not going to pay attention if have no connection to the game.

Going all in on "big time football" in state of CT seems like an obvious poor long-term decision.
 

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Is it possible for Gonzaga to join the Big East? That seems like a win/win for both. There are currently 11 members so +1 = 12. The travel might be a bit of a pain but I think that might be offset by big time hoops programs visiting your facility during conference play + more $$$ from networks and other additional revenue.

2 divisions might look like this:

Providence
UConn
St. Johns
Seton Hall
Villanova
Georgetown

Xavier
Butler
DePaul
Marquette
Creighton
Gonzaga

All I can say is.....WOWZERS!
 

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I'm not even sure what youth/HS football is going to look like in next call it 5-10 years in New England. I know firsthand what the participation looks like where I live, and If the numbers don't improve in as little as the next 2-3 yrs in the town I live in there's definitely not going to be a Varsity HS football team. All these kids around the state and region are the future customers and not going to pay attention if have no connection to the game.

Going all in on "big time football" in state of CT seems like an obvious poor long-term decision.
It’ll probably look like hockey, where only private schools will have a team with kids who really, really want to play. It’ll probably cost a fortune, too. In about 30 years, only SEC states will have public schools with football.
 

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Here’s a crazy idea (sure, why not?) if C-USA gets its realignment wish with the Sun Belt, if not the AAC: ship Marshall back to the MAC, have Buffalo move to the AE, and create a football-only league with them, UMass, UConn, Army, Navy, and Temple, while their other sports stay where they are, except in Temple’s case they move back to the A10.
 

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As I said, they don't have any options but to stick this out for another decade or so. UConn was never going to drop to FCS - it makes zero sense to do so. And they are some years away before they completely drop the program, as they have the infrastructure built and future schedule to compete at the FBS level despite their lack of success on the field.

Sure, dreaming they can be like BYU is political speak, but what do we really expect him to say?
 

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I'm not even sure what youth/HS football is going to look like in next call it 5-10 years in New England. I know firsthand what the participation looks like where I live, and If the numbers don't improve in as little as the next 2-3 yrs in the town I live in there's definitely not going to be a Varsity HS football team. All these kids around the state and region are the future customers and not going to pay attention if have no connection to the game.

Going all in on "big time football" in state of CT seems like an obvious poor long-term decision.
Agreed. But in CT, high school football is still very strong. The demographics in the state are not the greatest (shrinking enrollment) as many people are moving to the 'sun belt' States in the South. UConn was never a "major" player before their upgrade to the Big East football, and so they really have low expectations anyway.

I think the Governor's message was, UConn can't be considered a "national" university without sponsoring football at he highest level - success be dammed. When the national landscape changes, I assume UConn will reevaluate their investment in football.
 

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Is it possible for Gonzaga to join the Big East? That seems like a win/win for both. There are currently 11 members so +1 = 12. The travel might be a bit of a pain but I think that might be offset by big time hoops programs visiting your facility during conference play + more $$$ from networks and other additional revenue.

2 divisions might look like this:

Providence
UConn
St. Johns
Seton Hall
Villanova
Georgetown

Xavier
Butler
DePaul
Marquette
Creighton
Gonzaga

All I can say is.....WOWZERS!
Gonzaga already has to fly everywhere but Portland in the WCC. What's a little bit further for the basketball team if it could have that level of competition? Though, I guess they'd want to make sure the soccer, track, golf and baseball teams etc. budgets aren't exploding, but the trade off in terms of incoming money might mitigate it. The Big East is pretty well positioned that they could, I think, add 3 teams and go to 14 and that would make them stronger and not weigh them down, simply because they'd be able to have their pick of any high-level, successful basketball program. Gonzaga + Wichita State or Saint Louis to complete a 7-team "West" and probably VCU could slot into the east. I don't know that they necessarily would, they're strong as is...but yes adding Gonzaga would feel like a no brainer and for the logo, just tilt the E so it's a little more ambiguous and could look like a W to reflect the changes.
 

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Gonzaga already has to fly everywhere but Portland in the WCC. What's a little bit further for the basketball team if it could have that level of competition? Though, I guess they'd want to make sure the soccer, track, golf and baseball teams etc. budgets aren't exploding, but the trade off in terms of incoming money might mitigate it. The Big East is pretty well positioned that they could, I think, add 3 teams and go to 14 and that would make them stronger and not weigh them down, simply because they'd be able to have their pick of any high-level, successful basketball program. Gonzaga + Wichita State or Saint Louis to complete a 7-team "West" and probably VCU could slot into the east. I don't know that they necessarily would, they're strong as is...but yes adding Gonzaga would feel like a no brainer and for the logo, just tilt the E so it's a little more ambiguous and could look like a W to reflect the changes.
I was going to say the same thing basically regarding Wichita State and VCU. St Louis is also definitely a viable option. I doubt Providence would want Rhode Island so they would most likely be left out. What about UMass? Football is already without a conference, might as well jump the rest of your sports to as high as you can get them. Or how about St Bonaventure? Been pretty good lately and kinda bridges the northeast with the north-midwest.

In regards to team travel, Spokane to Portland is a good 5 1/2 to 6 hours but you also have to go through some mountains which could easily add time to a bus ride. I have a feeling they may fly there as well. I mean, they are pretty isolated there in the eastern part of Washington.

Lastly, I noticed a couple of things in regards to the WCC membership: I didn't realize that every school in the WCC was private. In addition, BYU stuck out like a sore thumb in that conference. Their student population is over 34,000 while the next closest is San Francisco at just over 10,000. And their endowment of nearly $1.5 billion is way more than everyone else, with Santa Clara being the closest at $989M.
 

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I will say that it's more likely current Big East balk at adding Gonzaga than Gonzaga saying no. Schools like Providence, Seton Hall, Butler etc. might feel like a flight of that nature isn't in the budge for the tennis team. It'll be interesting, but Ackerman is clearly signaling they'd be open to Gonzaga, and probably VCU, Wichita, Saint Louis....maybe Dayton, or heck, even Kansas?
 

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I will say that it's more likely current Big East balk at adding Gonzaga than Gonzaga saying no. Schools like Providence, Seton Hall, Butler etc. might feel like a flight of that nature isn't in the budge for the tennis team. It'll be interesting, but Ackerman is clearly signaling they'd be open to Gonzaga, and probably VCU, Wichita, Saint Louis....maybe Dayton, or heck, even Kansas?
Honestly, it really isn't a whole lot more money flying from those schools to Spokane vs Indy, Chicago, etc. I did a quick look at trips from Providence, Newark, Milwaukee, Boston and it really wasn't much more than just a normal conference trip. Now, it obviously takes more time for sure as there isn't a single member of the current Big East that would have a direct flight to Spokane, they all would have at least one connection. Actually, most would just have one. Providence may find it a little tougher but if they took the hourish bus ride up to Boston they would have loads of single connection options. Plus, you can definitely arrange the conference in divisions that would ease the travel requirements for all/most members.

I chuckled at Kansas. Like UConn, they still feel like their football program can be something. And maybe they can in the "new" Big XII but doubtful. That said, I can't see them pulling out of a P5 conference and giving up that money. Though, it will be interesting to see what kind of money they get now with Oklahoma and Texas gone. And honestly, if the Big East could attract a Gonzaga, the TV deal for them may be fairly close to what a Big XII TV deal is even with football. That Big East would be simply incredible.
 

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If BE ends up deciding on adding Zags, they might as well add St. Mary’s too. Bay area, good bball, Zags travel partner. Each BE team needs to fly once to the west coast and get both games done. One thing to consider... will Gonzaga continue to be this Gonzaga when Mark Few leaves/retires?

Taking SLU, Dayton and VCU may be a better and logical expansion for BE. But Fox may not agree, as these programs won’t bring the number of eyeballs Fox wants.
 

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If this happens, BE fans are going to love those 11:30pm conference tip-off times, and Gonzaga fans are going to love those at 3:30pm. I don’t see this happening. If Gonzaga (or St. Mary’s, for that matter) leaves the WCC, they’ll go to the MW.
 
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