Damn, the WCC school message boards are HAMMERING Pacific right now.
I think people forget that expansion/realignment is a two-way street: It's not just what a school brings to the table, but what the school CAN ACHIEVE with conference membership.
Pacific can achieve more in the WCC than the Big West. First off, Pacific IS a WCC institution. It's just played with the UC-s and CS-s of the world since 1972. They made the move out of the WCC for football, and have dropped it and have been WCC orphans ever since.
If you're the type of athlete who wants a private institution, (after you get your rejection letter from Stanford) are you going to pick a WCC school -- with three guaranteed MBB games on TV, Gonzaga and Saint Mary's in the dance every year -- or UOP in the Big West?
Essentially, out of the 11 private schools, Pacific SHOULD be 11th based on conference affiliation alone. Any kid looking at Pacific was also looking at a WCC school. And just about every sport, the WCC offers better competition (except baseball).
Well, now Pacific is recruiting on an equal ground with those other WCC schools. This changes the game in every sport.
It's really big when you look at subtle details, like women's soccer playing with 10 fewer players than Big West rosters. One injury derails the whole season. The WCC schools won't have that problem.
And most importantly, men's basketball. The WCC fans are making a huge deal about Pacific's RPI. RPI is a PRODUCT OF CONFERENCE AFFILIATION. Long Beach went 18-1 in Big West games, played the #1 OOC SOS and their RPI was #34. Saint Mary's and Gonzaga were #25 and #28.
All RPI is? How your conference faired in non-conference games. And the Big West basically HAD to play strong OOC schedules (and get losses) because of how weak the BWC in general was. On the women's side, running the table in the Big West would have resulted in an RPI of #48 (And the Tigers' WBB team played UConn and Florida out of conference, beating Florida). They could get a top 70 RPI by going 12-6 in the WCC.
This move will make Pacific better first, and then that will make the WCC better.
I think the resistance is that on the heals of the last move, BYU, which added not just access to a new market like SLC, it brought a national following. But even if they weren't national, it was the new SLC market along with their hoops success.
And then there is Pacific. a 9-19 school with a 290 RPI, a school that adds little to the future TV negotiations. Remember, the WCC is the #2 hoops conference in the west after the Pac-12, and in some years like this past one, the WCC was better.
Now, obviously, from a TV perspective, many of the fans would have preferred Seattle: a large, new market, closest candidate to the power center of Spokane, where the best WCC program is located. As for performance, even after the coaching change and cam Dollar coming on, in which Seattle's hoops performance has dropped, they still had a better record and better RPI than Pacific.
Then there is the camp hoping that Air Force will get in. Again, national like BYU.