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Thread: One Thing I Don't Get RE: Re-alignment & the Big East

  1. #1
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    Default One Thing I Don't Get RE: Re-alignment & the Big East

    So all the talk about Gonzaga and re-alignment, particularly pertaining to the Big East, has centered around the travel issue. Gonzaga is all the way out on the West Coast, with Creighton being the closest school at about 1400 miles. Is this really all that big of a problem, though? Let's say that the Big East expands, taking Gonzaga. That puts membership as the following (in order of closest to farthest schools):

    Creighton - 1,376
    Marquette - 1,712
    DePaul - 1,781
    Butler - 1,931
    Xavier - 2,046
    Georgetown - 2,478
    Villanova - 2,532
    Seton Hall - 2,564
    St. Johns - 2,587
    UConn - 2,700
    Providence - 2,747

    If a true round robin was played that means that each of these teams would take exactly one cross-country trip to Gonzaga during the conference season to play the Zags. One trip. Is that really too much to ask of the rest of the conference members? Additionally they might not even play a true round robin, eliminating a couple of trips each season. From what I gathered from an interview that Roth did during the summer (he may have been on Morrison's podcast) Gonzaga is basically ready and willing if the Big East tendered an offer. That means that Gonzaga is fully aware that the travel burden mainly falls on the Zags and barely affects the rest of the Big East membership. Additionally, to alleviate the traveling issues, couldn't the Zags be allowed to schedule trips that try to pair schools that are close together for away games? For instance, one trip could be UConn & Providence, another trip could be St. Johns & Georgetown, Butler & Xavier, or Marquette & DePaul. It certainly seems like the onus would be on the Zags to do all of the traveling and if I am remembering correctly then Gonzaga is more than willing. This may cut down on big games during the non-con, but we already are seeing the Zags play very few true road games anymore and only travel for big neutral site games.

    Now, it still is a bit trickier accounting for the other sports programs but there has to be some ways to mitigate that as well - why not have the men's & women's schedules be identical? The two teams could travel together (although I'm not sure how big the charters are). I'm actually not even sure why schools don't do this to begin with to cut down on costs. As for the rest of the sports the onus is still on Gonzaga to do all the traveling and having to deal with the logistics & costs.

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    The money would have to be HUGE, by at least $15 million per year. A big chunk of that would be needed to pay the support staff for the team: more tutors, trainers, etc.

    I remember that year we made 2 or 3 cross country trips, with a game against Wake Forest IIRC. We were clobbered, there was no gas left in the tank.

    Personally, the Big East is a Bridge Too Far for me. We enjoyed our journey to Omaha, but that was a long drive, about 100 miles beyond my road trip limit. Zags would be at a complete disadvantage with all of those road trips. It's been my experience that flights back East are much tougher to adjust to than flights to the West Coast.

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    If Travel were the only things standing in our way, I think we'd be there already. Other sports following would be the big problem no?
    Krozman
    GU student 1996-2000
    Law Student 2000-2003

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    Ya I don’t think it’s so much the other schools making a trip to Spokane, it all of GU’s other sports crossing 2-3 time zones constantly. GU would have men’s sports baseball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis and women’s sports basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, and volleyball in the Big East. I doubt most of those teams fly charter. Also while it would be a huge upgrade in conference for men’s basketball, it would actually be a downgrade for baseball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, and volleyball. Even for women’s basketball the Big East outside of UConn is no better than the WCC. So while it might be good for men’s basketball, it would be a worse situation travel wise and competition wise for just about every other sport. Plus I know we focus on men’s basketball on the court, but we also take great pride in GU athletes academic standing. Missing more class time would make the student part even more difficult.

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    What's an extra 90 minutes on a plane?? As it sits now, we're in a puny league but end up No 1 frequently. The biggest thing is the common philosophy we share with out WCC members. Bigger crowds and bigger TV surely results in a bigger stage and bigger money. I don't know what that's really worth. It's not my field. A "quaint" situation indeed.

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    Gonzaga competes in about a dozen D1 sports.....on the sunny fields and beaches of California ......what could be better than a trip to Malibu or San Diego in the winter....Gonzaga will be in the WCC as long as the WCC will let them....the end..

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    if BE invited GU would accept

    Gonzaga Basketball is responsible for the increase in enrollment and the expansion of GU campus

    the best interest of Gonzaga basketball will be best interest of Gonzaga University.

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    - i don't see the big east expanding just to invite gonzaga.
    - i can envision a big east 'east conference and a big east 'west conference' (yes the league name may need to be massaged)

    EAST CONFERENCE: uconn, providence, georgetown, seton hall, villanove, st. john, xavier and butler
    WEST CONFERENCE: creighton, marquette, depaul (3 most werstern schools) and gonzaga, and 4 others, my suggestion st marys, oral roberts, wichita state and st. louis.

    - the schedule would be simple, you play teams in your conference twice (14 games) you play each team out of conference once (8 games). if 22 is too many pick two teams in conference to play just once, 20 game schedule.

    - another option is to move bulter to the WEST CONFERENCE and make each conference made up of 7 teams. (in which case i'd drop off st. louis and oral roberts). and then you'd have a 19 game league schedule, with 2 games against in conference teams and 1 game against out of conference teams.

    - many ways to go with an east and west conference look. i'd not rule out san francisco or grand canyon. just some food for thought, enjoy i hope

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    Quote Originally Posted by GonzaGAW View Post
    - i don't see the big east expanding just to invite gonzaga.
    - i can envision a big east 'east conference and a big east 'west conference' (yes the league name may need to be massaged)

    EAST CONFERENCE: uconn, providence, georgetown, seton hall, villanove, st. john, xavier and butler
    WEST CONFERENCE: creighton, marquette, depaul (3 most werstern schools) and gonzaga, and 4 others, my suggestion st marys, oral roberts, wichita state and st. louis.

    - the schedule would be simple, you play teams in your conference twice (14 games) you play each team out of conference once (8 games). if 22 is too many pick two teams in conference to play just once, 20 game schedule.

    - another option is to move bulter to the WEST CONFERENCE and make each conference made up of 7 teams. (in which case i'd drop off st. louis and oral roberts). and then you'd have a 19 game league schedule, with 2 games against in conference teams and 1 game against out of conference teams.

    - many ways to go with an east and west conference look. i'd not rule out san francisco or grand canyon. just some food for thought, enjoy i hope
    I can’t see SMC ever being invited, too small, poor facilities, no fans, no money. Oral Roberts just isn’t good enough. They had a nice run last year in the tourney, but they still weren’t a top 100 team and most years they’re floating around 200.

    The two most likely candidates I see to join the Big East would be Saint Louis and Dayton. Both Catholic, 10000+ students, large fanbases, arenas that seat 10000+, 2 good size markets, perennially top 100 teams, already within the footprint of the Big East. If GU could get in with them you would have 14 teams.

    West: Gonzaga, Creighton, Saint Louis, Marquette, DePaul, Butler, Dayton
    East: Xavier, Villanova, Georgetown, Seton Hall, St John’s, Providence, UConn

    Even at that GU’s entire division is 2 time zones and 1/2 the country away. There just isn’t any teams in the west that really fit the Big East other than GU.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zagceo View Post
    if BE invited GU would accept

    Gonzaga Basketball is responsible for the increase in enrollment and the expansion of GU campus

    the best interest of Gonzaga basketball will be best interest of Gonzaga University.
    100% this - Gonzaga is where it is mainly because of the success of the program; seems like it would be malpractice to let it wither on the WCC vine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bdmiller7 View Post
    I can’t see SMC ever being invited, too small, poor facilities, no fans, no money. Oral Roberts just isn’t good enough. They had a nice run last year in the tourney, but they still weren’t a top 100 team and most years they’re floating around 200.

    The two most likely candidates I see to join the Big East would be Saint Louis and Dayton. Both Catholic, 10000+ students, large fanbases, arenas that seat 10000+, 2 good size markets, perennially top 100 teams, already within the footprint of the Big East. If GU could get in with them you would have 14 teams.

    West: Gonzaga, Creighton, Saint Louis, Marquette, DePaul, Butler, Dayton
    East: Xavier, Villanova, Georgetown, Seton Hall, St John’s, Providence, UConn

    Even at that GU’s entire division is 2 time zones and 1/2 the country away. There just isn’t any teams in the west that really fit the Big East other than GU.
    It would be SCU or USF, and it would be LMU (Richest school in the conference after BYU, big market) from So Cal, along with creighton, Marquette, all those listed
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    No one has ever done what Gonzaga did in terms of building a program but the fact that there’s not even a remotely comparable program west of Nebraska to join the BE with us is another feather in the cap for Few, Lloyd, Roth, and everyone else responsible for the state of the program. Impossibly hard to make it as a smaller D1 out West.

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    On the money aspect, the MAC only holds what.....6 or 7 thousand people? Is it really worth a share of the gate for Uconn to travel across the country for a women's game? Let alone a baseball game which would offer even less compensation?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DZ View Post
    It would be SCU or USF, and it would be LMU (Richest school in the conference after BYU, big market) from So Cal, along with creighton, Marquette, all those listed
    I agree SCU.

    Pepperdine has twice the endowment of LMU by the way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zagceo View Post
    I agree SCU.

    Pepperdine has twice the endowment of LMU by the way.
    Nobody other than GU in the WCC would be remotely appealing to the Big East.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zagceo View Post
    I agree SCU.

    Pepperdine has twice the endowment of LMU by the way.
    My high school's basketball arena is more modern, and holds twice as many fans as Pepperdine's.



    ETA: the first game I saw in the new arena was when Coppell played JR Pearce of Richardson...starring Mr. Drew Timme.
    Last edited by TexasZagFan; 09-12-2021 at 04:23 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bdmiller7 View Post
    Ya I don’t think it’s so much the other schools making a trip to Spokane, it all of GU’s other sports crossing 2-3 time zones constantly. GU would have men’s sports baseball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis and women’s sports basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, and volleyball in the Big East. I doubt most of those teams fly charter. Also while it would be a huge upgrade in conference for men’s basketball, it would actually be a downgrade for baseball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, and volleyball. Even for women’s basketball the Big East outside of UConn is no better than the WCC. So while it might be good for men’s basketball, it would be a worse situation travel wise and competition wise for just about every other sport. Plus I know we focus on men’s basketball on the court, but we also take great pride in GU athletes academic standing. Missing more class time would make the student part even more difficult.
    Correct… Gonzaga currently has SIXTEEN SPORTS

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    Default One Thing I Don't Get RE: Re-alignment & the Big East

    Or you could create a Big East/WCC partnership without officially merging them into one league. Each sport could align to their own benefit. In some sports, things don’t fundamentally change (Big East plays only Big East, WCC plays only WCC in “league”) but in some sports, like basketball, scheduling can be mixed (top half of WCC plays top half of Big East as “league” games and bottom half same idea… or do a relegation arrangement like English soccer where one league is the “premier” league but membership changes year to year based on performance). You could balance some of the travel downsides with adjustments to revenue-sharing and negotiate TV contracts together.

    It’s not perfect, and of course there would be cons to balance the pros, but I think at this point some outside-the-box creative options should be on the table for faith-based non-football programs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sideshow06 View Post
    Or you could create a Big East/WCC partnership without officially merging them into one league. Each sport could align to their own benefit. In some sports, things don’t fundamentally change (Big East plays only Big East, WCC plays only WCC in “league”) but in some sports, like basketball, scheduling can be mixed (top half of WCC plays top half of Big East as “league” games and bottom half same idea… or do a relegation arrangement like English soccer where one league is the “premier” league but membership changes year to year based on performance). You could balance some of the travel downsides with adjustments to revenue-sharing and negotiate TV contracts together.

    It’s not perfect, and of course there would be cons to balance the pros, but I think at this point some outside-the-box creative options should be on the table for faith-based non-football programs.
    This would make more sense if the WCC wasn't going to turn into Gonzaga and the 7 1/2 dwarves. So the Zags get to play one of the top Big East schools like Villanova, Creighton, Butler, UConn but are you telling me that the other teams are going to want to travel across country to play St. Marys or San Fransisco or whatever other team has a decent year? If a couple more teams had consistency in terms of their quality that would work, but as it stands right now it doesn't make sense for Big East teams, imo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zagceo View Post
    I agree SCU.

    Pepperdine has twice the endowment of LMU by the way.
    Sorry, I was thinking Jesuit schools
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
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    As primarily a poster on the Women's side of this board, I agree that the men moving to the Big East is a significant improvement over the BYU-less WCC. I also agree that in most of the other sports, including Wbb, the move to the Big East would not necessarily be an improvement from the WCC. The WCC is a frequent, and very successful, conference in sports not named football and basketball (cross-country, gymnastics, tennis, golf, volleyball (indoor & beach) and so on.

    On the Wbb side, the Big East usually gets at least 2 bids to the NCAA tournament, sometimes 3 teams and on rare occasions 4 teams may make the tournament. The Wbb in the WCC usually get two bids, and on a rare occasion 3 teams may get in (usually only when both the Lady Zags and BYU lose in the WCC tournament and somebody else gets the automatic bid). Unfortunately, with UConn coming back to the Big East, if the Lady Zags joined the Big East, conference championships would likely be very difficult to come by.

    That all being said, the money for the WCC teams is primarily from basketball and specifically men's basketball and if money drives the issue, then joining the Big East could make some sense.

    I like the idea of moving Creighton, Marquette and DePaul to a West division. These schools are only maybe a 1/2 hour longer flight than to Southern California and 2 time zones away. While Butler is not much further (by plane) it is another time zone away. Dayton and Xavier are considerably further away and again located in the Eastern time zone and probably would not work in a "Western". division.

    I would see St. Louis and Denver as valid alternatives to potential Western division (Big East) members as well as maybe St. Mary's and other members of the WCC. Grand Canyon, of course, is always a possibility. If your concerned about GCU's money or student population, how is this really any different than when the WCC added BYU?

    Personally, I think it would be very difficult to get any of the non-GU members of the WCC to move to the Big East. St. Mary's Mbb team would go from unusually finishing 2 or 3rd in the WCC to likely finishing 5th or worse in the Big East. Most of the members of the WCC don't care significantly about Mbb or Wbb (look at their average expenditures and facilities), they are concerned with the non-basketball sports they are competitive with and moving to the Big East simply does not improve their position in these sports but significantly increases their cost of participation. IMO opinion, there is little to no chance of the other members of the WCC moving to any other conference.

    The Big East is going to have to make the first move in desiring expansion and be willing to expand to include a Western Division and until this happens, Gonzaga is not going anywhere.

    IMO, the WCC is going to add a single member, most likely GCU, to replace BYU. Remember that BYU did not fit into any of the metrics of the WCC, except academics, so I don't think the WCC AD's would have any aversion to adding GCU to the conference (Brings new area into conference, good amenities, large potential viewing audience, etc.). New Mexico State (Independent in Football) could also be a viable choice but they are even further off the WCC metrics than GCU and the potential tv audience and recruiting opportunities are much less than GCU.

    Just my thoughts from the Wbb side.

    ZagDad

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    I vaguely remember Roth discussing Gonzaga and the Big East at some length....might have been in the Spokesman or a pod cast ????? Of course he is retiring but regardless...... this thinking on the subject would be valuable......

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZagDad84 View Post
    As primarily a poster on the Women's side of this board, I agree that the men moving to the Big East is a significant improvement over the BYU-less WCC. I also agree that in most of the other sports, including Wbb, the move to the Big East would not necessarily be an improvement from the WCC. The WCC is a frequent, and very successful, conference in sports not named football and basketball (cross-country, gymnastics, tennis, golf, volleyball (indoor & beach) and so on.

    On the Wbb side, the Big East usually gets at least 2 bids to the NCAA tournament, sometimes 3 teams and on rare occasions 4 teams may make the tournament. The Wbb in the WCC usually get two bids, and on a rare occasion 3 teams may get in (usually only when both the Lady Zags and BYU lose in the WCC tournament and somebody else gets the automatic bid). Unfortunately, with UConn coming back to the Big East, if the Lady Zags joined the Big East, conference championships would likely be very difficult to come by.

    That all being said, the money for the WCC teams is primarily from basketball and specifically men's basketball and if money drives the issue, then joining the Big East could make some sense.

    I like the idea of moving Creighton, Marquette and DePaul to a West division. These schools are only maybe a 1/2 hour longer flight than to Southern California and 2 time zones away. While Butler is not much further (by plane) it is another time zone away. Dayton and Xavier are considerably further away and again located in the Eastern time zone and probably would not work in a "Western". division.

    I would see St. Louis and Denver as valid alternatives to potential Western division (Big East) members as well as maybe St. Mary's and other members of the WCC. Grand Canyon, of course, is always a possibility. If your concerned about GCU's money or student population, how is this really any different than when the WCC added BYU?

    Personally, I think it would be very difficult to get any of the non-GU members of the WCC to move to the Big East. St. Mary's Mbb team would go from unusually finishing 2 or 3rd in the WCC to likely finishing 5th or worse in the Big East. Most of the members of the WCC don't care significantly about Mbb or Wbb (look at their average expenditures and facilities), they are concerned with the non-basketball sports they are competitive with and moving to the Big East simply does not improve their position in these sports but significantly increases their cost of participation. IMO opinion, there is little to no chance of the other members of the WCC moving to any other conference.

    The Big East is going to have to make the first move in desiring expansion and be willing to expand to include a Western Division and until this happens, Gonzaga is not going anywhere.

    IMO, the WCC is going to add a single member, most likely GCU, to replace BYU. Remember that BYU did not fit into any of the metrics of the WCC, except academics, so I don't think the WCC AD's would have any aversion to adding GCU to the conference (Brings new area into conference, good amenities, large potential viewing audience, etc.). New Mexico State (Independent in Football) could also be a viable choice but they are even further off the WCC metrics than GCU and the potential tv audience and recruiting opportunities are much less than GCU.

    Just my thoughts from the Wbb side.

    ZagDad
    Well said.

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    In the grand scheme of things, SMC would probably benefit from GCU and Seattle U joining and GU leaving. That improves their ability to lock up the auto-bid.


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    Quote Originally Posted by strikenowhere View Post
    100% this - Gonzaga is where it is mainly because of the success of the program; seems like it would be malpractice to let it wither on the WCC vine.
    Even w BYU exiting I don’t agree w this premise that Gonzaga would “wither on the WCC vine” if they stay in the WCC.
    My hope is MBB teams like LMU, St Marys, Santa Clara etc keep improving and Zags stay put. Grass ain’t always greener and its plenty green for the Zags in the WCC.
    He can move 15 ft to the left or right about as fast as my eyes can see it, his name could just as well be Hunter Hustle -ZagsGoZags 11/17/21

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