Over the past ten years, very few college programs have been as successful as the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Located in Spokane, Wash., they’re a household name with college basketball fans. Plus, they’re a Catholic school.
Last month, it was announced that the seven Catholic members of the Big East Conference were leaving to form their own conference. With these members feeling that the football schools were dictating the terms of the conference, they decided it was time to form a conference that would focus primarily on basketball. When that announcement was made, a variety of schools were rumored to join the seven teams. With Gonzaga being a Catholic school that doesn’t focus on football, they immediately joined the ranks of potential members.
There’s a major catch–Gonzaga is located on the other side of the country. The potential travel nightmares for teams from the East Coast to Spokane immediately comes to mind. This doesn’t apply as much to men’s basketball, but some of the non-revenue sports might feel the financial impact of that type of travel. I believe the revenue of this conference will be huge, but there is a cost to everything, and the time and money one may be too much.
As a DePaul fan and one of the Catholic seven (and the fact that my school is the furthest west of all the members), I would love to see Gonzaga join the conference. If there’s a way to make this work, it would be a huge addition to what is already shaping up into the next great basketball conference.