It's usually a disaster when conferences expand too quickly. Atlantic 10, for instance, lost any major-conference status in anyone's eyes. But I believe WCC should wind up bigger, not smaller, after BYU leaves. We're looking for non-football programs with the quality to turn WCC into the West Coast's version of the Big East, or at least 90's-era Atlantic 10. In fact, I could even imagine a 15-team conference, with three divisions, one of which could be in the Central and Mountain time zones. Here are some expansion targets:
Grand Canyon is a Christian university with a massive student body in one of the largest metro areas in the nation. For-profit status is a bugaboo, but the school is trying to go non-profit. No question WCC should pick them up.
No kidding that WSU would be a geographic anomaly for WCC, but unless they're going to field a Big-12 football team, that's going to be true wherever they go. With Connecticut, Cincinnati, Central Florida and Houston all departing the American, Wichita State could find better rivals than merely one game a year against SMU, UAB and Memphis. It's a public university, but it's red-state enough that shouldn't cause political problems for Christian schools. And Kansas' largest media market. But yes, it'd be more of perfect match if it were Christian.
Huge market, WCC history, Catholic identity. Seattle just lacks Grand Canyon's and Wichita State's recent successes.
Why not replace one Utah school with another? Weber State has a long history tournament success. Huge student body, great TV market... too bad it's a state school, but again... safely red?
CALIFORNIA BAPTIST, ABILENE CHRISTIAN and ORAL ROBERTS could some day become worthy expansion targets
DREAM BIG 1: SOUTHERN METHODIST
Know who also must feel left behind in the American? Southern Methodist. SMU has a great history and a national fan base... just not the size of BYU. But SMU has GOT to wonder whether they could get better football opponents as an Independent... and better basketball opponents in the WCC.
DREAM BIG 2: CREIGHTON
The Big East has no great reason to ditch Creighton, nor does Creighton have any great reason to ditch the Big East. But they're a geographic outlier in the Big East, the Big East doesn't need Creighton the way the WCC would, and they just might fit more comfortably in a 5-team division with teams like Oral Roberts, Grand Canyon, Wichita State, Abilene Christian, Southern Methodist or Weber State. I can't see the Big East fighting to retain them.