Blog Entry

Big East hoops forever changed for the worse

Posted on: December 6, 2011 2:45 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2011 3:03 pm

By Matt Norlander

You don't need reminders or jokes or pithy comments about how basketball doesn't mean jack in conference realignment. We all know it now, have known it too well for too long.

But the Big East's conference rejiggering today means Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, SMU and UCF will join the Big East Conference in 2013. The latter three will be the only ones hopping over for hoops and football. Boise State and SDSU will be finding homes in basketball in some other conference, either bloating another league or kicking over a smaller pile of dominoes on the way to the latest infrastructure shakedown.

It's incredibly stupid. Again, look at this and tell me it makes sense. Of course it doesn't. And naturally I'm annoyed as hell by it. The country's best basketball league has been bastardized, and it's had an active hand in doing so. Essentially, the Big East has just swapped out Jim Boeheim for Donnie Jones. Bob Huggins for Matt Doherty. Jamie Dixon for James Dickey! No slight on the men of Conference USA, but that's a serious, serious downgrade in coach and program.

I think a divide is coming in major college basketball. We've got 345 teams in Division I. It's a competitive model that's not truly competitive -- only about 250 teams are really worthy of the D-I distinction, and half of those schools don't bring real money to the table. Eventually, the hoops programs are going to figure out how to split off and create their own country of sorts. They'll have ways of keeping TV revenues to themselves, and so a new coup gets brewed. We'll have tiers of D-I schools, a real, thick, black line of distinction.

The Big East will make the cut above said line, but it will be blurred into the group of lesser conferences that it's now on its way to joining at the small-kids table. Right now, the league still has to worry about UConn bailing to the ACC. If that happens, all's truly lost. The Big East will still have good teams and good games, but it's shaping up to be defined as the true shell of what it once was. We're now seeing what can happen to a prestigious basketball conference when it gets desperate and has no sense of anything except a smell for any money, anywhere.

Twenty years from now, I think we'll look back at today, the days the news broke, as one of the critical notches in the timeline of the downfall of the Big East. It may not have been responsible for losing its place in the pecking order in the first place (re: the ACC taking Syracuse and Pitt), but it's woefully out-thought itself by expanding across the country. It's undeniably spreading itself too thin for the sake of trying to keep up in the football race, and even that's clear to see it can't do. You can make the argument Boise State's already peaked as a program -- and it's sure as hell not a major TV market.

The Big East was never supreme in football. It was never going to be. But it could've always been near or at the top in basketball. I just don't see how that's the case going forward.


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Category: NCAAB

Since: Oct 26, 2006
Posted on: December 19, 2011 11:22 am

Big East hoops forever changed for the worse

If basketball doesn't matter in conference reailgnment why did the ACC take Syracuse over Rutgers/UConn?  Syracuse has been to less Bowl games in the past 5 years (only 1) yet is a top Basketball program.  If it was only about football ability Syracuse wouldn't have made the cut.

Since: Jul 9, 2010
Posted on: December 15, 2011 12:06 pm

Big East hoops forever changed for the worse

I think this article is excellent and very much to the point as to WHY Boise State and SDSU should have never been invited to the BIG EAST Football Conference.  In the LONG RUN it makes absolutely no sense to invite these two far western schools into the league.
There are arguably other strong schools in the eastern USA that would have been better choices, ie. TEMPLE, ECU, Southern Miss., and Memphis. SDSU was only invited because Boise State wanted another western school, so these invitations were made at the expense of the other BIG EAST Football schools, it absolutely makes no sense. Futhermore, there is a good chance there will be no AQ after 2013.

Since: Mar 27, 2009
Posted on: December 14, 2011 8:01 pm

Big East hoops forever changed for the worse

Hey, throw in Richmond too.
Why Richmond? No, they suck.

Since: Oct 30, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 8:27 am

Big East hoops forever changed for the worse

The BCS is a joke compared to the NCAA tourney in hoop.
You are right but I sure wish the NCAA tourney would become a best 2 out of 3 to move on rather than single elim. Single elim. makes it much easier for the Cinderella teams to get the upset and knock good teams out. A 2 out of 3 would put a stop to that and you would see the better teams move on much more often than they have in the past.

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: December 12, 2011 2:25 am

Big East hoops forever changed for the worse

yeah, I forgot Marquette..oops. George Mason and ODU and maybe VA Commonwealth would be awesome picks for Big East bball...just saying. Hey, throw in Richmond too.

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: December 12, 2011 2:22 am

Big East hoops forever changed for the worse

who's left in Big East bball??? Geogetown, Seton Hall, and maybe Notre Dame? Temple would be a good pickup. Uconn, Rutgers, Louisville and Cincy are as good as gone, sorry Big East. May not be this year, but they'll be gone in a year or two. ACC will continue to be tops in bball. Also, SDSU will not be in it for bball which is too bad.

Since: Oct 26, 2007
Posted on: December 12, 2011 12:03 am

Big East hoops forever changed for the worse

Wow. You guys are right. The ACC has been great for Miami and BC and Va Tech, who are all complete afterthoughts in basketball now. Great seats are available at all of those three schools for hoop games. College football is a farce. The BCS is a joke compared to the NCAA tourney in hoop. But as long as everyone worships the pigskin dollar, we will be sentenced to these geographic abominations. I can't wait to see that Pitt vs Wake football game. Woohoo! Great rivalry. At least ESPN will be happy.

Since: Oct 30, 2011
Posted on: December 10, 2011 7:15 pm

Big East hoops forever changed for the worse

The football schools should have split from the BB schools long ago. What you see happening now is the result of the Big East trying to stay together - it is falling apart. The whole league would be so much better off if the football schools finally just split off and form their own league.

Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: December 10, 2011 12:01 pm

Big East hoops forever changed for the worse

Hand writing has been on the wall for quite awhile;  FB is the TV money sport,  deal with it;  Big East
always seemingly must react & needs faster acting hierarchy;  Big East BB will survive,  Not to Worry!

Since: Jun 1, 2009
Posted on: December 8, 2011 2:56 pm

Big East hoops forever changed for the worse

If the BCS AQ status is indeed going away, then this is a even worse decision.  Lets take a look at the new additions: SDSU......decent in both sports and a large tv market, but by the Pacific OceanUndecided.  Boise......western US, no TV market, but the cream of the football crop.......but in the long run, i think they will fall back.  UCF.....good tv market, good investment in facilities, but they have no fan base.  No one cares about UCF in florida and the NCAA is about to put the smackdown on them., good tv market, but no fan base either.  When they were ranked, they barely had anybody at the games.  What happens when Jones leaves?  Houston.....good tv market, has invested well in their programs, good football and the basketball is improving.  They lost their coach and QB which could set them back and their fanbase is not very large.  Still, probably the best pick up for the Big East.

Finally, the Big East was a basketball league and it never will be again especially when Cincy, Louisville, and Uconn bolt.  As a Memphis fan, I wanted to be in the Big East, but not so much anymore.  We just need to improve our football facilities, start winning again in football, and the rest will take care of itself.  We just hired Justin Fuente to be our new football coach and I believe our future is bright.  Memphis.....bad football and lack of facilities (that is improving), good tv market, great basketball, deep pockets, and a rapid fan base.

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