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Thread: Zags & the WCC

  1. #1
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    Default Zags & the WCC

    Hey guys,

    I was perusing the Gaels' message board today in anticipation of the game tomorrow night and happen to catch some of their comments regarding the Zags in general. It was particularly interesting that they mentioned that the Zags have achieved program "escape velocity" and have basically transcended the rest of the conference. Now it might just be because the season is in such disarray due to covid, but it certainly seems like we've reached a point where there aren't even any conference games that are too exciting as we are expecting to blow everyone out of the water. The upcoming Gaels game is so ho-hum as to not really register. Does anyone else think this is true? Here are the comments I saw in particular:

    I do find it interesting how the GU board has changed so dramatically in the last couple of years. Almost no mention of the Gaels or WCC in the lead up to the game this week. They have a thread about the game, but literally no mention of the BYU/SMC game tonight, which used to matter to them. I get it. They’ve moved past it. But it’s interesting and a little sad. Obviously there will be no camping out by their fans ahead of the Spokane SMC/GU game this year due to COVID, but part of me feels like there would be no camp out even without COVID. Like I said, they’ve moved past it.
    Yeah, I've been saying to people that Gonzaga has achieved escape velocity. They're not coming back down for a long time. Their recruiting is on another level, their ability to play is on another level, everything.

    This year notwithstanding, I think we've made a lot of great progress as a program over the last few years. We've recovered from the sanctions, and our recruiting seems to be improving year by year. Same with BYU - made a good coaching change, and are getting good players (the Haarms transfer was a pretty big get). But 'progress' doesn't put either of us in the Zags' conversation.

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    That’s been the case for a while. Our biggest games are ooc. That’s not true for either BYU or SMC. This year it’s more pronounced, but when was the last time our strongest opponents (from a ranking perspective) were either byu or smc?

    No offense meant, but that’s the reality of it.

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    I am a huge fan of the WCC and IMHO it is the only option for all of the Gonzaga Teams...... the advantages and disadvantages have been discussed ad nauseam in here.....I think Gonzaga needs the WCC more than the Conference needs Gonzaga......they would be a very viable conference with just the California Schools and have been in the past....

    Having said that.....this is one of a handful of Gonzaga Teams that would benefit with the level of competition in the Big 5 Power Conferences ....... steel sharpens steel and at this point there doesn't appear to be any other steel in the WCC.

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    I see massive changes coming to collegiate sports, due to financial losses from Covid, declining enrollments, and NIL (Name, Image, Likeness) legislation.

    Zags will be in the catbird's seat, at least when it comes to basketball. It wouldn't surprise me to see WCC schools like Portland, LMU, Pepperdine, and USD throw in the towel. You can't compete when you're drawing less than 2000 to home games not against Gonzaga.

    Will there be enough TV money to go around after the networks go all in on the next NFL contract? The NFL is the 800 pound gorilla in the room, and it still generates far more ratings than other sports.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bartruff1 View Post
    I am a huge fan of the WCC and IMHO it is the only option for all of the Gonzaga Teams...... the advantages and disadvantages have been discussed ad nauseam in here.....I think Gonzaga needs the WCC more than the Conference needs Gonzaga......they would be a very viable conference with just the California Schools and have been in the past....

    Having said that.....this is one of a handful of Gonzaga Teams that would benefit with the level of competition in the Big 5 Power Conferences ....... steel sharpens steel and at this point there doesn't appear to be any other steel in the WCC.
    Bart, you have stated this many times over the years. You are probably the only one who thinks Gonzaga needs the WCC more than the WCC needs Gonzaga. The WCC would survive without GU, but It wouldn’t be the same. Gonzaga has options.

    At any rate, that wasn’t the gist of this thread. The gist was that the in-conference games against SMC aren’t as exciting or noteworthy. This is certainly true for me. Ooc games prove the most challenging.
    Last edited by ZagsObserver; 01-15-2021 at 11:06 AM. Reason: Typo

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    - yes, outside influences are going to change the landscape of college basketball in the foreseeable future.
    - agree the nfl contract with t.v. is the gorilla in the room
    - but add to that, the elephant in the room........the college basketball tournament is the number one most watched seasonal championship event......and the power 5 conferences want it all for their own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GonzaGAW View Post
    - yes, outside influences are going to change the landscape of college basketball in the foreseeable future.
    - agree the nfl contract with t.v. is the gorilla in the room
    - but add to that, the elephant in the room........the college basketball tournament is the number one most watched seasonal championship event......and the power 5 conferences want it all for their own.
    Hell, the power 5 already grab 80+% of tournament revenues, I hate those greedy #######s and their acolytes.

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    Couple of responses to the Gael board posts...


    • There is a thread with predictions for GU vs SMC right now. Posted right on schedule and heating up
    • BYU vs SMC game was discussed last night in the other games thread (and it was not a very good game)
    • In addition to the fact that this GU schedule opened with some games that got Zags fans really excited (KANSAS!), it is also true that the current editions of the Cougars and Gaels lack a nemesis or identity our fans recognize. Jordan Ford, TJ Haws, Nick Emery, Jock Londale, Yoeli Childs. These were recent players that were a problem and added spice to the rivalry. I think Taas, Fotu and Kuhse are a level below those guys. BYU's freshman big, Loehner looks like he has nemesis potential down the road.


    Rivalries ebb and flow and at the moment it does feel a little down but since 2014, we are 75-0 against WCC opponents not named BYU and SMC and every year we have dropped a game to one or the other. Never take SMC or BYU for granted. They have bitten our a$$es in big moments like BYU spoiling our undefeated regular season or SMC blowing us out for WCC tourney title year before last.

    Go Zags,

    ZZ

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    Quote Originally Posted by zagzilla View Post
    Couple of responses to the Gael board posts...


    • There is a thread with predictions for GU vs SMC right now. Posted right on schedule and heating up
    • BYU vs SMC game was discussed last night in the other games thread (and it was not a very good game)
    • In addition to the fact that this GU schedule opened with some games that got Zags fans really excited (KANSAS!), it is also true that the current editions of the Cougars and Gaels lack a nemesis or identity our fans recognize. Jordan Ford, TJ Haws, Nick Emery, Jock Londale, Yoeli Childs. These were recent players that were a problem and added spice to the rivalry. I think Taas, Fotu and Kuhse are a level below those guys. BYU's freshman big, Loehner looks like he has nemesis potential down the road.


    Rivalries ebb and flow and at the moment it does feel a little down but since 2014, we are 75-0 against WCC opponents not named BYU and SMC and every year we have dropped a game to one or the other. Never take SMC or BYU for granted. They have bitten our a$$es in big moments like BYU spoiling our undefeated regular season or SMC blowing us out for WCC tourney title year before last.

    Go Zags,

    ZZ
    I agree that you need to have that nemesis to increase the rivalry. I don’t even consider St Marys to be a threat this year, just no player is a major worry. They are a solid team but not anywhere best past teams.

    As for BYU, while they aren’t at our level this year, I was really impressed with Lohner and George. Those guys look like they are going to be real challenge as they develop.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    I don’t know, they certainly aren’t in the top 4 best teams played pre/tournament. After Few schedules Baylor (which is still in the works, for those wondering), they won’t be in the top 5 by a LONG shot. Heck, even Auburn might be better. It’s a game I’ll enjoy watching, but it’s not much different than playing USF.

    Put it this way, the difference between USF and SMC hardly registers as compared to the quality of your Kansas/Iowa/west virginia/virginia/Baylor games.

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    the hopes of the fans are low
    but we all know both wcc games against us is peak motivation by players
    and staff, and sometimes they play out of their minds against us - always a threat for crazy upset.
    pepperdine was close at the half, and last year many teams played us close.
    i drove to portland to see the zags play in the chiles center about 7 yrs ago, and while in line the speakers kept blaring
    pilots had lost last 16 in a row, or something like that.
    guess what? they beat us that night (Mike Hart was in the stands just one row below mine).
    these teams (e.g. LMU) often play kamakazi style getting them and us hurt in the process risking injuries.
    over many cases the longshot odds add up.
    I do agree our overall average play will be a whole tier above, what I like is each game must be taken seriously (at leas until we get a huge lead) and that part is exciting.

    plus for basketball fans in general, people who like to play and watch it,
    having #1 come to town, is often worth the ticket regardless of whether your own team is in the fight. So for fans who need a win to be happy, they are deflated. There are huge turnouts at those schools (including on TV) who just want to see a #1 team for other reasons than staking their emotions on a win.
    I also admit that once a wcc team is way behind us the probabilities of them coming from way back to win get tiny.

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    The Gaels have a great coaching staff with a proven history of player development. If they are having a down year, I expect that their program will climb back. Even if this is their worst season in a decade, they are still a top 100 team.

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    Interesting posts on the God is a Gael board discussing Gonzaga's rise:

    "I do find it interesting how the GU board has changed so dramatically in the last couple of years. Almost no mention of the Gaels or WCC in the lead up to the game this week. They have a thread about the game, but literally no mention of the BYU/SMC game tonight, which used to matter to them. I get it. They’ve moved past it. But it’s interesting and a little sad. Obviously there will be no camping out by their fans ahead of the Spokane SMC/GU game this year due to COVID, but part of me feels like there would be no camp out even without COVID. Like I said, they’ve moved past it."

    And a great reply:

    "Yeah, I've been saying to people that Gonzaga has achieved escape velocity. They're not coming back down for a long time. Their recruiting is on another level, their ability to play is on another level, everything.

    This year notwithstanding, I think we've made a lot of great progress as a program over the last few years. We've recovered from the sanctions, and our recruiting seems to be improving year by year. Same with BYU - made a good coaching change, and are getting good players (the Haarms transfer was a pretty big get). But 'progress' doesn't put either of us in the Zags' conversation."

    I love the observation that we have a achieved escape velocity!

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    If Zags win a national title and the women stay ranked, the pressure to move basketball to another league will be intense. Yes, Zags might win a few less league championships, but no fewer NCAA tourney invites. Expansion of the Big East would provide best institutional fit (small private schools), but multiple majors could seek GU as a basketball only member. Zags may have choose what action serves their interests best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TravelinZag View Post
    If Zags win a national title and the women stay ranked, the pressure to move basketball to another league will be intense. Yes, Zags might win a few less league championships, but no fewer NCAA tourney invites. Expansion of the Big East would provide best institutional fit (small private schools), but multiple majors could seek GU as a basketball only member. Zags may have choose what action serves their interests best.
    I don't think it's going to happen.
    At least someone, somewhere, is laughing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tummydoc View Post
    Interesting posts on the God is a Gael board discussing Gonzaga's rise:

    "I do find it interesting how the GU board has changed so dramatically in the last couple of years. Almost no mention of the Gaels or WCC in the lead up to the game this week. They have a thread about the game, but literally no mention of the BYU/SMC game tonight, which used to matter to them. I get it. They’ve moved past it. But it’s interesting and a little sad. Obviously there will be no camping out by their fans ahead of the Spokane SMC/GU game this year due to COVID, but part of me feels like there would be no camp out even without COVID. Like I said, they’ve moved past it."

    And a great reply:

    "Yeah, I've been saying to people that Gonzaga has achieved escape velocity. They're not coming back down for a long time. Their recruiting is on another level, their ability to play is on another level, everything.

    This year notwithstanding, I think we've made a lot of great progress as a program over the last few years. We've recovered from the sanctions, and our recruiting seems to be improving year by year. Same with BYU - made a good coaching change, and are getting good players (the Haarms transfer was a pretty big get). But 'progress' doesn't put either of us in the Zags' conversation."

    I love the observation that we have a achieved escape velocity!
    Earlier this week, another poster and I suggested having the cardboard students camp out before the SMC home game. Those earliest in position could have their cardboard cutouts in the front rows of the kennel club for the game.
    At least someone, somewhere, is laughing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by willandi View Post
    I don't think it's going to happen.
    Gee Will...maybe they will relocate the University to the East Coast.....think big....no bigger than that......

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    I'll add to this by saying this season for the WCC has ended up as a setback, lets hope its just a minor blip, but I'll argue its mainly Coronavirus caused so we have to let a couple more year's pass.

    1- 2020 NCAA Tournament was going to have 3 WCC teams, and at least 1 NIT team in San Francisco. BYU wouldve been a 6 seed, St Mary's an 8. BOTH couldve won 1st rd games, and BYU no problem capable of going to Sweet 16.
    Think of the national chatter of GU goes Elite 8-Final 4, and 3 WCC teams end up having won games in NCAA Tournament. Peak level of the conference.

    Even the middle of the pack teams in 2020 were GOOD. USF as 4th, Pepperdine with Ross, both Edwards brothers, Pacific much improved, really everyone besides Portland was you could say SOLID

    Fast forward to this year..
    2021 BYU and St. Mary's are both substantially down in talent compared to 2020 and what they've had over the last decade. Probably an anamoly. USF's talent level is a notch down, Pepperdine with lack of non-conference maybe we dont know..

    GU has its deepest roster ever, we know the narrative, so this changes the view of everyone because its the largest gap between GU and the 2nd/3rd place teams ever.

    And the lack of Non-Conference games prevented the entire WCC from gaining more wins. The WCC BESIDES GU has a 5-8 record vs the Pac12! Think about that, and we can say the league is WAY down, and they still did solidly vs the Pac12. If this was a regular year with 12 non-conference games, chances are the WCC does just fine despite the teams besides GU not being as good as they were in 2020.

    Nevertheless, I've seen the programs definitely improve incrementally with recruiting at the bottom, and 2020 showed me that its capable. I dont think GU Fans have "graduated from caring about the WCC" this team and season just has been a perfect storm. If 2021 GU had 2020 BYU and St Mary's in it, we are definitely dissecting the matchups a LOT, those teams were legit good, and USF/Pepperdine not pushovers at all either.

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    Changing a formula that works unbelievably well just to get apoval of Power 5 confrence fans and the national media is insane. WCC isn't as good this year so what? Zags best team in the country, #1 seeds galore in rankings as well as Tounament seeds last few years. Recruiting is unbelievable on track to land the #1 recrut in country as well as another top 10 guard. These are things we couldn't even dream about as little as 5 years ago. Lets give the WCC thing a rest! Clearly this formula works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FloridaZagFan View Post
    Changing a formula that works unbelievably well just to get apoval of Power 5 confrence fans and the national media is insane. WCC isn't as good this year so what? Zags best team in the country, #1 seeds galore in rankings as well as Tounament seeds last few years. Recruiting is unbelievable on track to land the #1 recrut in country as well as another top 10 guard. These are things we couldn't even dream about as little as 5 years ago. Lets give the WCC thing a rest! Clearly this formula works.
    Yes!

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    The WCC isnt that bad this year. Gonzaga is definitely a big step above the rest, but BYU is looking like a tourney team, they are almost top 50 in KenPom now with road wins over SMC and USF this week, who are both top 100 teams. Plus Pacific, LMU, SCU, and Pepperdine are all top 150. That's pretty good depth for the WCC.

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    St. Mary’s might be down, but the middle of the league is having a solid year. The WCC has five teams in the Top 100 of the NCAA NET ratings. Gonzaga is No. 2. BYU is 32. St. Mary’s, Pacific, and San Francisco are all between 75-90. All five teams are ranked ahead of Duke and Kentucky on that list. LMU and Santa Clara are just outside of the Top 100. That is about as strong as the middle tier of this league has ever been.

    https://www.ncaa.com/rankings/basket...l-net-rankings
    Last edited by Martin Centre Mad Man; 01-17-2021 at 11:57 AM.

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    And FWIW, the WCC has three teams in the top twenty of the RPI: No. 18 BYU, No. 9 Gonzaga, and No. 5...Pacific?

    https://www.cbssports.com/college-ba.../rankings/rpi/

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    Let's not forget that the Zags received major financial concessions a couple of years ago, to keep them securely in the WCC. The only way I see us joining a new conference is if the WCC breaks up. There hasn't been much talk yet, but declining attendance at colleges and universities are sure to strain budgets at many institutions.

    Upcoming NIL legislation will play a role IMO. For example, if you're a hotshot recruit, you'll likely commit to a school with a national fan base. IOW, the rich will get richer. Zags are set up well for what's to come.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Centre Mad Man View Post
    And FWIW, the WCC has three teams in the top twenty of the RPI: No. 18 BYU, No. 9 Gonzaga, and No. 5...Pacific?

    https://www.cbssports.com/college-ba.../rankings/rpi/
    I still dont know why they quit using the RPI, seems to be the most accurate.

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