It was announced Wednesday morning that the University of Pacific in Stockton, Calif. would be joining the West Coast Conference in July of 2013. This makes U o P the tenth member of the WCC, and is finally a conference realignment decision that makes sense. With the Tigers joining the league, it creates a larger, more stable western region conference out of the WCC.
Pacific is the perfect addition to the conference, as they provide an even number of schools—ten, and are very similar in the style of university compared to the other schools; aside from BYU. When the Cougars joined the league in 2011, it made no sense; they are a humongous institution in Utah, not on the west coast, like the rest of the schools. They also created an odd number of conference participants.
U o P on the other hand, is a medium sized non-denominational private school in the heart of California, with a strong athletic department. It expands the Northern California fan base to the Central Valley region from the primarily focused Bay Area conference. All the while, the Tigers make travelling to multiple conference games much more accessible with four universities in the region; perfect for sports like volleyball and basketball that play two opponents in a weekend.
If common sense continues to reign in the WCC, it would be likely that within a few years or less, BYU would exit the league and Seattle University would join the conference. Right now, Seattle U is an independent school, who would thrive in the West Coast Conference, and be a much more suitable member than the Cougars overall. But for now, the league welcomes Pacific to one of the great private university athletic conferences in the nation.