BYU football: Cougars deem going it alone the best option
"It depends on the sport a little bit. The WCC has a terrific depth of teams in a variety of sports. Certainly, it tends to be a little bit cyclical in terms of who's competing well at a given time. We don't have a geographic rival necessarily. I wouldn't even say we have a traditional rival. Other people would disagree with me, but in the recent context, with men's basketball, there's been a lot of spirit with Saint Mary's. Any time you have two programs competing for the same championship, there's a natural rivalry that will develop."
Standiford oversees the baseball program at Gonzaga. He said the WCC "is a very competitive conference" in that sport. "We've had terrific years with multiple entries into the NCAA (tournament). We expect that BYU is only going to make that better. It will mean more competitive baseball and more opportunities to put more teams forward for a national championship."
There's a feeling of excitement around the Gonzaga athletic department, Standiford said.
"Certainly, our coaches and our staff are very excited. It represents a greater challenge. We all realize it means we're going to have to work a little harder to put ourselves in a position to win championships. We all embrace that challenge and look forward to it. Certainly in the context of the sports I work with most closely, I've spoken to those coaches and they all see it as making our conference better. Particularly in this day and age where you're dealing with scheduling and the dynamics it goes into that, it makes things a little easier. Certainly, we're adding the RPI of the caliber of program that BYU is bringing to the conference, it makes us stronger."
Traditionally, the WCC has played some sports on Sunday. But because BYU has a policy of not competing on Sunday, the WCC will make appropriate scheduling changes to accommodate the Cougars.
"There's certainly going to be a scheduling dynamic that will be different," Standiford said. "But I don't necessarily see it as a challenge. It will shift a little bit around what we've traditionally done, but I don't think it's necessarily going to be anything dramatic. Playing a doubleheader on Saturday instead of a single game on Saturday and Sunday is not really that big a deal."
Today's news conference regarding BYU's move to independence will be broadcast live on BYUTV at noon. Viewing options for BYUTV include the basic tier on both Dish Network (channel 9304) and DirecTV (channel 374), and 500 cable systems nationwide. The news conference will also be streamed live on BYUTV at www.byu.tvGOING INDEPENDENT
Today's news conference regarding BYU's move to independence will be broadcast live on BYUTV at noon. Viewing options for BYUTV include the basic tier on both Dish Network (channel 9304) and DirecTV (channel 374), and 500 cable systems nationwide. The news conference will also be streamed live on BYUTV at www.byu.tvABOUT THE WEST COAST CONFERENCE
The West Coast Conference was formed in 1952. The WCC 13 league-sponsored sports: baseball; both men's and women's basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, and tennis; and women's volleyball and crew.
The eight WCC members span the western coast of the United States from Canada to Mexico, from the pine forests of eastern Washington to the Columbia River Basin to the dynamic San Francisco Bay Area to the sunny beaches of Southern California, the conference is characterized by the stability of its membership — only two conferences have been together longer — and its unique emphasis on combining excellence in athletics with excellence in academics.
The conference recognizes championships in each of its sports, has hosted NCAA championship events and produced 26 NCAA Division I individual or team champions. And many outstanding WCC student-athletes have gone on to excel in professional sports.
School Location Enrollment
Gonzaga University Spokane, Wash. 7,275
Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, Calif. 9,015
Pepperdine University Malibu, Calif. 7,170
University of Portland Portland, Calif. 3,670
Saint Mary's College Moraga, Calif. 3,810
University of San Diego San Diego, Calif. 7,835
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