There are times when I wonder if the Sky would kill to add UC Davis, maybe even Poly. I suspect Davis will enjoy joining the Big West next year, and Poly likes their position.
Sac State football is taking a turn further south. I can't help but think the program will suffer the fate of Beach, Pacific, Santa Clara, St. Mary's, and so on. Thing is, Sac can schedule Davis and Poly anyway and stay in a conference with an automatic football playoff berth and a long time reputation and not have to wince at scheduling Dakota schools. I think the Big West becomes their option only if football goes. They're not helping themselves by descending below Eastern Washington levels at the gate. The good news for Sac is that the Big West probably can- and will- wait for them.
One thing I do not understand is how come schools like Sacramento State and San Jose State can't draw very well? It's a long commute (or it looks like a long commute on the map!!) to either Stanford or Berkeley (not saying that folks from Sacramento or San Jose don't make that trip weekly) so I would think that would be a deterrent to watching Pac 10 football.
Portland State's facilities are surprisingly sub-par for even the Big West, to boot, unless you think playing soccer at PGE Park (which should be an MLS facility with real grass rather than a multipurpose facility) is a benefit. Portland State has practically set themselves up to fall into the cracks if football doesn't improve fast. We may find out this weekend when PSU hosts Idaho State a week after upsetting Montana... while drawing sub-10K in PGE for the first time since PSU joined the Sky. If PSU doesn't draw for that, someone has got to connect the dots and start rumors about closing football down there. When that happens, with the facilities at PSU, Division 2 may be their only option.
I will bet that Cal-State Bakersfield is the next Cal school to pop out of D2, and the Big West will greet them with open arms.
I'm starting to really hate the Big West. While I have nothing against non-football schools (remember my alma mater had no football!!), I do have a beef with a conference that seems to mandate getting rid of football to join its league. Maybe it's the conspiracy theorist in me, but I'm starting to think that maybe the Pac 10 is behind that league somehow or another.