More turbulence in Big East

More bad stuff is coming at the Big East.  With Boise State backing out of its agreement to join the Big East in July, San Diego State is now probably only days away from doing the same thing and sticking with the Mountain West.

Once that happens, Navy, which was scheduled to join the Big East in 2015 in football only, could  pull the plug on its agreement to join. Navy has the luxury of waiting to see how everything plays out.

And then there is the uncertain status of the group of Conference USA schools who now also feel they may be in state of limbo.

And finally, we come to the University of Connecticut, which is the middle of what must seem like to be a never-ending nightmare.

With the Big East falling apart, and neither the ACC, Big Ten nor Big 12 likely to extend an invitation any time soon, UConn is again left standing in the game of conference musical chairs.

The Huskies have limited options. They could stick it out, hoping that the Big East can keep enough schools together to form a league that can at least compete for a BCS bowl berth with certain conditions.

They could make a call to the Catholic 7 school,s who announced last month that they were leaving the Big  East, and ask to be part of that league in all sports but football. Whether they can find a home for football in Conference USA, the Mountain West, the Sun Belt  or the MAC, if Big East football folds, is problematical.

The other three options–playing as an independent , downgrading to FCS status or dropping the sport completely–all do not make much sense at this point.

For new Big East commissioner Mike Aresco, the choices are also not pleasant. Aresco could stick it out, hoping he can put some kind of league together, lobby the Catholic schools to become commissioner of that league or simply ride it out, collect the money from the contract he signed in August and retreat into the shadows of semi-retirement as a consultant.

With a new year upon us and more questions than answers still remaining, the process should speed up considerably during the next few weeks. Aresco has spent the past 48 hours getting recommittments from the new schools, although it looks like a group of 10, rather than 11 with San Diego State waffling.

Aresco’s stance will be simple: the Big East will field a competitive 10 team football league in 2013.

The Catholic 7 are y meeting at the end of the week. Anything from announcing an official date when they are leaving the Big East,  to naming a new commissioner to guide them through the process is possible. The most likely option will be to negotiate a deal with the Big East which will allow the Catholic schools to leave after the 2013 college basketball season.

The 2012 college football season may be coming to an end in a few days as Alabama faces Notre Dame in the BCS title game in Miami on Monday but the silly and mind-boggling season of conference reconfiguration continues to move forward.

© 2013, Mark. All rights reserved.

  35 comments for “More turbulence in Big East

  1. Barry Cousins
    January 11, 2013 at 12:33 am

    Something tells me UConn will have the last laugh. They are too valuable a property for cable rights. No other fan base in the Northeast is as loyal to its TV package as UConn is to SNY. SNY shows UConn WBBall and pr-empts Syracuse MBBall. That says a lot. UConn will be a prize for one of the big boy conferences.

  2. BCADGeneD
    January 2, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Ucon is dying. I’m laughing so hard right now. AHAHAHAHAHA.

    • Ben Dover
      January 4, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      Hahah 2nd best alias on this site behind Mark

  3. Chris Columbo
    January 2, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Catholics want stability and U Conn would need to have some iron clad agreement to stay in for Basketball. If they did that I am sure the Catholics would take them in a heartbeat. My sense is that U Conn wont want to agree to something like that and will be in an awkward circumstance until the ACC or Big 12 decide to expand again. At which point they will be brought in with Cincinnati. They are just going to have to be patient. They have a lot to offer and their time will come they can’t appear desperate though which is what their University President has been doing for quite sometime.

    Yes I agree the Big East football is a one year deal. Essentially get the last year of AQ which is worth about 1.8 million for each of the schools. Plus whatever other Bowl money they can split up. Louisville Cincinnati Rutgers UCF were all in bowls this year. Who knows maybe Houston SMU or Temple can make a bowl . Another year is also another installment on the severance money from those departing. Going forward the money will not be enough to justify the lack of geographic logic.

  4. Gene DeFilippo
    January 2, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Uconn is dying. I’m laughing so hard right now. Suckas.

    • SJGMoney
      January 2, 2013 at 10:23 pm

      C’mon Gene, don’t you know that UConn kind of sort of maybe one day will be AAU accredited and that will make them desirable to every conference in the world? Hell, I bet their men’s soccer team will probably get an invite to the English Premiere League! Women’s team too!

  5. Guy
    January 2, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    “Aresco’s stance will be simple: the Big East will field a competitive 10 team football league in 2013.”

    Competitive 10 team league for one year. After that, not so much.

    Big East, dead man walking.

  6. Guy
    January 2, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    It’s over. The Big East tried to work outside of ESPN and ESPN smacked them into oblivion.

    ESPN will work a deal with the Catholic schools for basketball content. I have no doubt ESPN will work with Boise. Look for ESPN to help guide UConn and Cincy into the ACC, Big XII or put their basketball into the Catholic 7.

    Done. Over. The Big East hybrid experiment is done.

  7. Chris Columbo
    January 2, 2013 at 12:05 am

    C7 has no interest in bringing on anyone with ambitions in football. It was U Conns vocal overtures that drove the C7 to act to have a future not dependent on football. Only way they go to c7 is with a downgrade to FCS status in football in the meantime they are stymied. U Conn has no one to blame but themselves for their predicament. C7 is in a strong position which is why Aresco keeps saying things are amicable. They have the absolute right to dissove the league. My sense is they won’t because they will need some infrastructure etc

    U Conn will have to be patient and see how things evolve. They need Cincinnatti to become ACC worthy and maybe they can move as a package in a few years. Otherwise if they keep their Football as is they are stuck in a less than desirable neighborhood

    • John Bragg
      January 2, 2013 at 11:57 am

      As a St John’s fan, I’m inclined to think we’d have UConn in the league. Their football problems are their problem, and if they leave, we’re no worse off than if we never had them.

      We’re done with the constant turbulence and league makeovers. Losing one school is not turning the league upside down, the core would still be intact.

      Say the league starts in 2014 with the C-7, Xavier, Butler and UConn. Then UConn gets the call. So we either A) continue with 9, B) choose a new #10 from VCU, Creighton, Dayton and St Louis or C) go to 12, choosing 3 of those schools.

      All that said, I wouldn’t advise UConn to make that move. They put a lot into building that football program, and if you don’t like playing football with UCF, Memphis, Temple, and ECU, you’re going to like the MAC or independence a lot less.

    • Joker
      January 3, 2013 at 10:29 pm

      If they couldve dissolved the league, they would have.

  8. SJGMoney
    January 1, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    Boy, you are a one trick pony with this nonsense about being an AAU school. And unfortunately you are a very naive little pony at that. I’m going to say it one more time….slowly. This….is….about….TV…markets….and….cable….subscriptions…..It…..has…..nothing……….with….academics…..

    Mark has made it very clear what this is about, I have made it clear, what aren’t you understanding? If the ACC wanted UConn, you would already be in. They don’t want you. BC was keeping you out originally and still is, plus you don’t deliver any TV clout. That is not going to change any time soon. You’re probably going to have to split things up and send your basketball team off with the pompous catholic school gang, and if you’re smart have your football team join the MAC.

    • mikeinmanila
      January 2, 2013 at 3:40 am

      SJC, it’s time to increase your A.D.D. medicine. Please try and follow along:

      * NOBOBY except ND gets a B1G invite without AAU status…PERIOD. The only available AAU schools are GT, UNC, UVA and Duke; with UConn positioning for an invite. That’s the available candidates for east coast expansion for the B1G..PERIOD. Note: Nebraska had AAU status when they were invited to the B1G and only lost it afterwards due to a dispute in the accounting for medical school research.

      * More likely for UConn, the ACC gets picked apart within the next 2-3 years and ends up looking like the BE circa 2003, WITH UConn as a member

      You clearly need to do your homework on AD revenue, fans and TV markets. Nate Silver’s NYT article is a good source for fans and TV market clout. In that article UConn ranked 47th nationally (BC was 35th) putting it about in the middle or upper quartile of a new BE/ACC conference (depending who the ACC ends up losing in the next 2-3 years). Depending on which study you believe, UConn AD revenue is consistently very close to BC’s (both in the low 40s); and that’s without the benefit of the same football TV revenue, without the benefit of UConn’s upcoming upgrade in hockey (BC’s claim to fame), etc…so I think it’s fair to say UConn has more upside income potential than BC.

      While I agree that there may be reasons for schools like BC to try and keep UConn out of the ACC, at the end of the day, IF UConn is still available (which I hope we aren’t), the odds are that we will get an invite…it’s not personal, it’s business

      • mikeinmanila
        January 2, 2013 at 3:55 am

        Just to be clear, all B1G schools except Nebraska have AAU status. So, excluding ND, AAU status will be a major factor in any B1G expansion (I know academic credentials won’t be nearly as important to the ACC)

        • SJGMoney
          January 2, 2013 at 12:13 pm

          And just to be clear for the 8,752 time, the B1G doesn’t care about AAU status. All they care about is TV markets. End of story. UConn brings nothing to the TV table, nothing.

          • Jack Black
            January 2, 2013 at 2:41 pm

            But but but but… WOMEN’S HOOPS!!!!!!!!

          • mikeinmanila
            January 2, 2013 at 4:37 pm

            SJG, I know it might require a change in your approach, but what about using facts instead of spouting your “gut” feelings. Your lack of any facts to support your position doesn’t exactly make you persuasive (at least not to those with a brain).

          • SJGMoney
            January 2, 2013 at 10:18 pm

            How’s this for facts: Did you read any analysis by any reporter for ESPN, SI, CBS Sports, Yahoo etc that said AAU status was why the B1G added Rutgers and Maryland? Anything, anywhere? Show me one quote from someplace other than the boneyard that shows this was an important factor. You can’t because it doesn’t exist. Whereas I can show you hundreds that talk about the key reason being access to the Washington, DC. and NY TV markets. Why do you refuse to believe this?

          • mikeinmanila
            January 3, 2013 at 1:19 am

            Here’s a FACT SJG:

            NO SCHOOL has EVER been invited to the B1G without AAU status. You need to check your sources you refer to…there are many articles from ESPN, SI, CBS, Yahoo Sports, etc stating that the B1G would only waive the AAU requirement for ND. Note: Nebraska lost its AAU status AFTER it was already in the B1G.

            That’s why the B1G will only look at GT, UNC, UVA, UNC and Duke (only AAU schools in the ACC). All provide a more southeastern access (something the B1G wants) and GT, UNC and UVA have decent market pull (all are close or over 1M “fans” per Nate Silver). The B1G is very deliberate. They want GT (the largest fan base/TV market of the 3) and would love UNC. UConn becomes a viable option if they can’t get UNC, UVA and maybe Duke (hard to imagine Duke and UNC splitting up) as a partner for GT.

            So as I stated before, UConn needs a few things to happen to be a viable B1G option, but it’s not out of the question. More likely scenario is that 2 ACC teams go to the B1G and UConn will be one of the teams invited to replace them. And don’t think the SEC and Big 12 won’t pick off ACC schools before this is all over…and I’d keep an eye on ND too!.

            Anyway, you don’t seem to like to deal with facts or logic, so I’ll leave it at that.

          • SJGMoney
            January 3, 2013 at 11:20 am

            You have reading comprehension issues evidently. I repeat, did you see any reports that mentioned AAU status as a reason the B1G added Rutgers and Maryland? Simple question that you choose to ignore because the answer is no. The world of college conferences has changed in the last couple of years and it revolves around one thing: TV markets and cable subscriptions which = $$$$.

            Virtually every point you bring up is incorrect. GTech doesn’t have bigger fan support than UNC, or Duke or 10 other southern schools. What they do have is the Atlanta market, simple. Of course UGA has even bigger support but the B1G knows they aren’t taking any teams from the SEC so GTech is next best thing. The Atlanta TV market is what the B1G wants access to, it doesn’t want Charlotte or Greensboro or Raleigh or Richmond or Hartford. Don’t feel bad, it doesn’t want Cincy either, Ohio State has that market covered.

            It would like Boston however and boy I bet that would burn your ass to see BC get an invite!!

        • Chris Columbo
          January 3, 2013 at 1:13 am

          Most likely next Big Ten expansion will be Oklahoma and Kansas. Oklahoma brings national football presence and renews their traditional football rivalry with Nebraska that way. Kansas brings in another big time Basketball program. Gives geographic continuity in Middle of the country and pick up the Kansas City TV market as well making the overall Big Ten network TV product far more attractive with Oklahoma football in the mix . Kansas is a quality school and Oklahoma has the oil money to upgrade academics as necessary. Big Ten has demonstrated a willingness to compromise academics for super big time names like Penn State and Nebraska. Also remember NCAA headquartered in Kansas and this will help Big Ten maintain their disproportionate basketball seeding.

      • January 2, 2013 at 10:47 pm

        Buffalo is AAU as well
        A decent market though their football isn’t too good

        • sjgmoney
          January 3, 2013 at 12:23 am

          A decent market for what, chicken wings? Snow blowers?

  9. SJGMoney
    January 1, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    Western schools, aka the MWC already made the deal, hardly a Texas situation as the Longhorn Network got a shitload of $ in partnering with ESPN while Boise probably is getting chump change from Potato Cable Inc for their 3rd tier rights.

    Texas’ deal, and their refusal to share the wealth kept them from joining the PAC-12; that conference drew a line in the sand with that deal. The Big 12 couldn’t do the same, with the teams they were losing they needed to bend over and say thank you to anything Longhorn related.

    The only school that wants out of the ACC is probably Florida State, although with the pathetic state of the conference’s football teams I can’t imagine why, they should be the prohibitive conference favorite for a long time to come. GTech probably can’t say no to the B1G but as far as imploding, that’s not happening. So not many open spots and BC will continue to keep UConn out.

    • mikeinmanila
      January 1, 2013 at 11:05 pm

      Reports are that Boise will get at least $10M out of the deal….much more than other MW schools, so we’ll see…

      In the meantime, I sure hope you are right regarding GT …because if the B1G can only get GT, then UConn will be #16 (assuming it gets an AAU invite, which looks probable) and THAT would make all UConn fans VERY happy!

      • mikeinmanila
        January 1, 2013 at 11:08 pm

        BTW, if you are wrong and the B1G can get more than 1 ACC team, say hello to the ACC’s newest member….UConn

  10. mikeinmanila
    January 1, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    I’m still here SJG…

    Not surprised about Boise CC leaving, but will be interesting to see if the western schools are willing to give Boise a better deal at their own expense…seemed to be a problem when Texas tried to do something similar with the Big 12…

    Anyway, this is far from over..and it’s just a matter of time before the ACC gets disemboweled….tick, tick, tick..

  11. SJGMoney
    January 1, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Anybody see Mikeinmanilla or did he hang himself for the New Year?

  12. SJGMoney
    January 1, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Glad to see you are finally coming around to what I’ve been saying since the day the B1G announced the Rutgers and Maryland moves, UConn is screwed.

    Totaly disagree with Huan above, I can’t see any of those schools (save FSU) leaving the ACC for the Big 12.

  13. 77Friar
    January 1, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    Why would the Catholic 7 take in UConn? As soon as they get a better offer football-wise, they take off.

  14. vu97
    January 1, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    if the c7 is considering VCU, why would they not consider uConn?

  15. Ben Dover
    January 1, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    “They could make a call to the Catholic 7 school,s who announced last month that they were leaving the Big East, and ask to be part of that league in all sports but football.”

    Well that most certainly seems in line with the goals of the new Catholic league.

  16. Jeff
    January 1, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    UConn is the state university from a small New England state. It never emphasized football before making the decision to become Division 1-A in the 90s, and lacks the natural advantages that other state schools have (ie, strong in-state high school football, good weather, tradition, on campus stadium), so it was always going to be a long shot at best to compete with the big boys; The goal now is to protect the men’s and women’s basketball programs. They have tradition, on campus facilities, a loyal fan base, and national recognition. It is time to split basketball from football. Explore staying with the Catholic 7. This would provide the most continuity and preserve some long-standing rivalries. Accept that UConn is better suited to competing as a mid-major in football and attempt to seek entry into the MAC or CUSA. The worst scenario would be to assume outcast status as an independent and be left to twist in the wind.

  17. Steve K
    January 1, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    UCONN, Cincinnati, South Florida, Temple, and Memphis should just wait for the certain implosion of the ACC and then join up with the remnants of that conference like Syracuse, Pitt, Louisville, Boston College, Wake Forest, and NC State. Won’t be very good for football (and it was never going to be a very good football league) but basketball will be very good.

    Here’s what I see happening:

    Big Ten takes Virginia and Georgia Tech.

    SEC takes Duke and North Carolina.

    Big 12 takes Florida State, Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Miami.

    What happens with Notre Dame is anyone’s guess but the Big 12 doesn’t go to 16 because they are keeping a seat for them.

  18. January 1, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    The Big XII will expand but will likely take teams from the ACC, teams like FSU, Miami, Clemson, and Pittsburgh. The ACC will then back fill with UConn, Cincinnati and USF.

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