BYU moves, WCC and Gonzaga benefit

Updated: September 3, 2010, 11:53 AM ET
By Joe Lunardi

The buzz is settling on the sudden move of the Brigham Young Cougars to football independence -- and, with it, there's much talk about its implications for basketball. Time will tell, of course, although it's fair to wonder if the Cougars' subsequent marriage of convenience with the West Coast Conference will actually last long enough to have any sustained impact on the NCAA tournament picture. That is a story for another day.

What we know in the meantime is that the Cougars are going to take a bigger RPI hit than they probably realize. Like it or not, the Mountain West has played the "numbers game" rather well in recent years. This is in large part because the conference is smaller in number than its primary competitors. The results are fewer sinkhole opponents over the course of a team's league season (and its conference tournament).