Realignment---BYU comes to Portland on Saturday night, reeling from their horrible loss in Spokane on Thursday night, a game in which BYU's Tyler Haws, the WCC's leading scorer was held to one point. That is right, one point, after scoring 42 points in a December game. Ouch.
For sure it will be fun, always great to see BYU and Portland is a good team to watch, despite their poor record, as they play hard on every possession. And you know me by now, this game should be sold out at this point, it will not sellout, which is shameful Portland, Oregon. Prove me wrong, get out to the Chiles Center on Saturday night, 7:30 tip.
Anytime BYU goes anywhere in the WCC, the topic always comes up. How long will the Cougars stay in the West Coast Conference for every sport, except football? My love in sports are as follows, sports business, basketball and golf. So in this day and age when someone tells me in sports they are very happy both from a financial and on the field standpoint, I take it with a grain of salt. But, that is exactly what many people close to the BYU program and beyond have told me consistently, they love being in the West Coast Conference. Are those the famous last words?
In this era, where if you blink you will miss a college conference alignment, nothing is etched in stone. But I actually believe the BYU people. I think they love the WCC and are not hanging on for the next best offer.
Now, what about their opponent last Thursday. When a college basketball writer wrote in December that the Zags were thinking of possibly moving out of the WCC it made headlines. But once again, people in this case close to the Gonzaga program have told me over and over, there is no truth to the rumor. Their plan is to be in the WCC for many years to come. Of of my favorites, stand by.
This I can tell you, if the WCC were to implode, it is strictly their own fault. It can be blamed on one stupid decision. Not allowing the Seattle University Redhawks into the league, when they applied. The whole league needs to look in the mirror, led by Gonzaga, who fought hard to keep them out. And what a bonehead decision. But hold it, why would you want the 14th largest TV market in your league, with an iconic basketball past and one of the most beautiful cities in the world in your league?
Everywhere I go, there is big time praise for WCC Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich. Several high level sports executives have told me, while Larry Scott gets all the praise as the leader of the Pac-12, the real star of leadership is Zaninovich, he just sits in the drivers seat of a much lower profile league. I was not in on the discussions, or in the room, but I wish that when the discussion of bringing in Seattle University to the WCC, Zaninovich would have put on his best David Stern, Tim Finchem face and pushed to the limit to bring in the Redhawks. The league will regret this decision for many years to come.
After all I sure want to travel to Stockton, California, than Seattle. And who would have ever want to play on a court named after one of the 50 all time great players in the NBA, Elgin Baylor, as the Redhawks have done with sparking Key Arena.
You goofed WCC, but I am a guy who moves forward. Pacific (Stockton) is coming into the WCC next year, I will honor their presence, hoping they bring it when it comes to men's and women's basketball. I will also continue be one of the biggest fans of the WCC around. I will also not be holding my breath about Gonzaga and BYU, or even St. Mary's leaving the league soon.
In conclusion, anytime you let one team in your league, no matter how powerful that team is, dictate the future, you ask for trouble. And remember WCC, I told you so.
See you tomorrow night at Chiles Center. Good food, family friendly, potential great game and you have to love, FREE parking.