Report: Mountain West Conference Exploring Expansion With Gonzaga & Possibly BYU
Conference realignment never sleeps
Mountain West looking to form the western equivalent to the Big East in hoops?
Mark Zeigler of the San Diego Union-Tribune dropped a bomb on college sports fans out west by reporting that Craig Thompson confirmed he has had conversations with national powerhouse Gonzaga to join the Mountain West Conference as soon as next season.
For BYU fans, it’s a scary thought trying to picture BYU being stuck in a West Coast Conference without Gonzaga. But the Cougars could possibly be on the move as well according to Zeigler:
Gonzaga might not be alone, either. Thompson said BYU was not among the other schools that have contacted him about expansion, but several sources indicated that BYU — which went independent in football in 2011 and plays in the WCC in most other sports — would consider a return to the Mountain West at least in basketball if Gonzaga joins.
There are so many angles to go with this news, but this wave of potential realignment should hold as much significance as the Big XII expansion talks. Why? The West Coast Conference without Gonzaga might be the fourth best league out west. Maybe worse. The WCC would be nothing without the Zags. BYU and St. Mary’s would be stuck in a one-bid conference that makes the regular season pointless and places the focus on the post-season tournament only.
Buckle up Cougar fans for another wild summer of conference realignment rumors. Woof!