Given what the WAC is going through out west, there may be a movement for some relief in the autobid issue... and I could see that happening IF the number of proposed conferences equals the number of conferences rearranged.
Enter the WCC. This is based on another wall of the economy taking a hit... gas is expected to be $3.25 this summer, add in a well-placed Middle Eastern strike and it'll go up further and stay there a while. Airlines have to cut back further and charge more. Besides, Pepperdine has already supposedly searched for warmer waters, so to speak... so maybe the following becomes a consideration even without the economy going deeper:
I've kept Gonzaga in an 8-team conference with far better regional travel costs... they can still challenge the world. Can they beat Portland State?
San Jose State
CS Long Beach
UC Santa Barbara
When I first wrote these in, I kept Bakersfield north, thinking a rivalry with Fresno was worth better value than their possible travel savings... but I think the LA schools don't have the budgets to handle Hawaii trips. After mulling that over for a while, I made the switch. HOWEVER, it may be smarter to have Hawaii in a 12-team conference, which could reduce the number of in-conference trips. Maybe I've made the wrong decision? I'll throw that out to the crowd.
BTW- People tend to look at maps of states and say that Arizona seems to belong with Rocky Mountain states. Flagstaff and Cedar City? If you drive from Cedar City to Las Vegas to fly to Phoenix to drive to Flagstaff, you may as well drive from Cedar City to Flagstaff. My contention is that Northern Arizona is more convenient to LA, and that bringing them with Intermountain teams doesn't actually help them. Well, maybe I'll relent on that... maybe, not yet.
I could bring up another alternate solution, too. Maintain the current conferences for football AND BASKETBALL (maybe a couple trades?). The remaining sports could align in the manner I propose... or even associate with the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, which is already designed as a catch-all to group western schools in sports some conferences don't sponsor. As long as the NCAA is willing to issue autobids by grouping and not just issue one to MPSF per sport, there's something to that idea as well.