BTW... Canada? I see people are assuming they'd take to college football right away. British Columbia is full of people from everywhere else.... Toronto, the prairie of Canada, Europe, and a very sizeable number of Hong Kong ex-patriots. Assuming that college football would fill seats right away is laughable, and assuming that UBC would want to start playing that game is similarly laughable. CONSIDER THE POSSIBILITY THAT UBC IS THINKING ABOUT THEIR HOCKEY PROGRAM. Of course, as it pertains to hockey, remember that Canada's sport doesn't regard college as their primary development vehicle (and therefore worthy of attention). That's where Major Junior comes in. Their fans already take a dim view of NCAA manueverings of late... so don't be surprised if there is some spitting on whatever designs UBC has. I believe this pertains more to hockey than to anything else. Oh, BTW, expect an announcement this month of Vancouver Whitecaps sharing BC Place when a renovation is decided upon, including a downsizing of the stadium, MLS, and muddling the availability of the stadium.
First, If I'm not mistaken, Candian Collegiate hockey teams play at about the same level as the current NCAA teams do; that really raise questions that Hockey is the motive.
Weren't you the guy who was recently touting UBC as a PAC-Ten canidate in the distant future? I digress.
I believe the people of Canada would provide more than enough support for a WAC-level football program; especially
if that program could support itself financially. Heck, we've seen pro sports teams from American leagues suceed [at varying levels] in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. When given a professional team with high quality atheltes, Canadians have shown some intrest.
I don't think football is going to be the first [or even third] sport on Candians minds. I believe the articles posted here metioned baseball and basketball as the two major sports [If I'm not mistaken, the Thunderbirds baseball team made the playoffs in D-II]. I think if Canada was given a college that fielded teams at a higher level than CIS, people would take notice, much like how Toronto has shown so much love to the Raptors or the NHL.
Pounder, lost in the political and economical gears that work through your arguements is that basketball is a profession, and many players want to learn from the best professor they can find. If local talented canadian kids, ala Steve Nash, Larry Walker, Jason Bay, Rick Fox and Justin Morneau, were given a Division I school in their contry of birth, would they have opted for the Canadian School over the American or Pro options they chose? Even with players leaving early for the MLB draft, going through college can gain a player millions on their first contract or draft stock, especially if a player has little known professional experience.
Now imagine if Canada's finest had one NCAA Division I school to choose from in Canada. Don't you think they'd get some high level athletes? Last time I checked, the NFL pays alot more than the CFL, or even the NHL. I'm banking that the NFL talent British Columbia/Vancouver [or Canada in general] would rather filter through an NCAA school than a Canadian Minor league system, especially since American Football pretty much requires two years of college. ::)
So I think Canada will come out for a NCAA level team given that the team is competitive, much like they did for American pro sport leagues. Is football a requirement? No. The CFL seems to have done pretty good for itself the last time I checked, though. Plus, as Boise State has shown, there is serious green to be made even at the midmajor level, especially if you have a good place to play. Football is the money sport in NCAA, and in the end, the benifits of having it may outweigh the costs. An Example: UDelaware supports several of its sport programs through football revenue alone.
We aren't talking about miracles here. Only WAC-level support; schools like Memphis and Temple rent out pro-sized stadiums, so a school with 3 or 4 times the reputation as them should be able to field a decent school. BC place aside, I just can't see why a future WAC wouldn't try to capitalize on the opportunity. There are only two schools that have started the process: Ten or twenty years down the road, they could have a monopoly on local Canadian prospects [atleast ones not headed to the PACTen] recruiting the finest for the American money sports. The lure for the NBA, NFL or MLB is strong within the college ranks. Even if you want to just play the best and brightest, the NCAA is your fast track to success.
At worst, I think UBC's a better program than the WAC's other future options. Sure beats Portland State, Sacramento State or Northern Arizona, doesn't it?