Saturday, June 12, 2010

Big East Expansion

Things are getting a little crazy in college sports and although not suffering the fate of the Big 12 in the now, the Big East is certainly at risk.  It is a danger mainly because it is more a basketball conference than a football conference (and has the awkward situation of 6 schools who don't play football in the conference) and lets face it, football steers the boat .  But since size doesn't matter any more (did it ever?), lets solidify the league in football and create a basketball conference that is unrivaled.

To do that the Big East should pick up the remaining Big 12 schools after Texas and their gang leaves on Tuesday.  Lets add Kansas, Kansas St., Baylor, Mizzou and Iowa State.  The Big East is already motley group, lets make is more so.

In basketball we add one of the three most storied schools in the history of hoops, plus solid hoops schools in the remaining 4.  In football, we pick up schools that are fine, and certainly no weaker than the current football lineup.  Plus we add television markets in KC, St. Louis and Texas.  And lets get that Big East TV network off the ground!

Travel will be a bit of a nightmare, but no worse than the Texas swimming team having to go to Pullman, Washington for a match. 

To create more balance, you can have two divisions in football and four for basketball and all other sports.  Geographically it almost works, plus in basketball, you could group the Catholic schools together and put together the old Catholic league.  In hoops, you can play all of the teams in your division twice and then play all the other teams in one other division once.  You wouldn't play some teams for a couple years, but live with it.  Plus you can have a championship football game that you can rotate between New York, Tampa and Kansas City.  Keep the hoops at Madison Square Garden though, because it is the Mecca of basketball, and, besides, who doesn't like coming to New York.  (If you have to keep the Midwesterners happy, maybe rotate Chicago into the mix every third year.)

It also insulates should the Big 10 come knocking at Rutgers or Syracuse (although I don't believe that will happen now -- and anyway, the Big 10 was crazy if they thought Rutgers was the entree into the New York City market.)  It also helps assure Notre Dame that a solid Big East will remain for their non-football sports, so they can resists the pressure to join the Big 10.  Should Rutgers get picked off, we could invite Memphis or Central Florida.

So here is my modest proposal:

Basketball
East
Syracuse
Rutgers
UConn
Pitt
U. South Florida
West Virginia

East 2 (Catholic Division)
St. John's
Providence
Georgetown
Villanova
Seton Hall

Midwest 1
DePaul
Marquette
Notre Dame
Cincinati
Louiville

Midwest 2 (Old Big 12 Division)
Kansas
Kansas State
Iowa State
Missouri
Baylor

Football
East
Syracuse
Rutgers
UConn
USF
Pitt
West Virginia

Midwest
Cincinnati
Louisville
Kansas
Kansas State
Iowa State
Missouri
Baylor
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