WCC welcomes BYU!

Now that I’m “back” from my vacation (WPS games of Boston-Philly and FC Gold Pride-Sky Blue FC and webcasts of the Women’s Rugby World Cup) it’s time to belatedly mention the West Coast Conference expansion!

The new West Coast Conference map, courtesy of WCCSports.com.

Brigham Young University will be leaving the Mountain West Conference to join our beloved West Coast Conference in 2011. According to the press release, “This is the first time the West Coast Conference has formally invited an institution as a full member since Gonzaga University and the University of San Diego began competing in the WCC in 1979.” There is a lot of emphasis in all of the quotes about BYU being a “private, faith-based institution with a strong academic reputation and tradition of excellence in athletics,” which is one of the cool things about the WCC. The press conference from BYU emphasizes that this move will give them more media exposure and make them more accessible.

The big drawback with BYU is that they have a football program–but that will not be affiliated with the WCC and will go independent. Other sports that won’t compete in the WCC include track and field, softball, and swimming.

So what does this mean for women’s soccer? I think it will make the conference schedule more competitive. BYU recently beat Northwestern (2-1) and Washington State (3-1). Both are ranked opponents from strong conferences. Northwestern, notably, beat UCLA 1-0 this season. BYU is off to a strong start already, ranked 12th in the nation, and they have a decent schedule overall in 2010. Coming up, they will play LSU, Marquette, Texas, New Mexico, Santa Clara, and Utah. Last season, they beat ranked UConn, West Virginia, Oklahoma State, and Oregon and advanced to the second round of the NCAAs (dropping to Stanford).

And because this is CCC, I have to plug the social media:

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