Big East ready to move with or without SD State

The Catholic 7 schools are still in a pre-flight mode, planning the best way to take off.  The television contract discussions are moving ahead, slowly, waiting for the final configuration of a league which has been unsettled and unresolved for months.

And the call from the west coast, while important at one point, no longer means as much. Such  is life in the Big East right now as Commissioner Mike Aresco goes about his business.

Aresco was in Dallas on Friday, meeting with the new group of Big East schools, the majority of them who feel they are in the right place at the right time.

“A good feeling about where we are and where we are going,” was the way Aresco  described it.

The key question, of course, is where is San Diego State–scheduled to join the Big East on July 1–going?

And while no one will officially say anything otherwise, there is a general feeling in Big East circles that the conference will be happy to have the Aztecs join the fold and move forward as an 11 team league in football in 2013 and a 13 team in 2014 (Tulane and East Carolina)  and a 14 team league (Navy) in 2015. But the Big East is also very content to go with a 10, 12 and 13 team set up just as quickly.

The meeting in Dallas–which San Diego State officials attended–was a face-to-face meet and greet among the new schools that are coming into the conference next season–SMU, Houston, Central Florida and Memphis, along with the other veterans and newcomers who are all part of the mix such as Connecticut, South  Florida and Cincinnati,  Tulane (all sports) and East Carolina (football only now, but almost certainly to be included in all sports in the near future).

The consensus opinion of the group was that if everyone stayed together and worked together it could be a viable, competitive league that would make money, contend for a BCS bowl berth and have a presence in basketball.

“Maybe not the best league, but certainly the best of the rest (Mountain West, Sun Belt, Conference USA, MAC, WAC),” said one Big East source, who has been part of the overall strategy discussions.

The key words here are “staying together”.  Of the old group of Big East schools, Cincinnati and UConn remain the most likely to get and accept calls from the other BCS conferences if they are made.  UConn officials also looked at the prospects of having basketball and the other sports hook on with the Catholic 7 if a reasonable landing spot could be found for the football program. But that possibility only increases if there  is another raid on Big East schools from other conferences.

Until, and unless, that happens, there is no great sentiment for UConn to break away unless the ACC, Big Ten or Big 12 make a call to join in all sports.

For San Diego State, an issue of timing remains. San Diego State officials are working on getting the best financial deal they can. But there are no guarantees enough schools in the Mountain West want to take them back and there is a growing sentiment in the Big  East schools that having San Diego State as a lone West Coast representative is far from the ideal situation.

The nightmare scenario for San Diego State is that neither the Big East nor the Mountain West wants to take them.

No one in the Big East is saying that will happen, but there is clearly a sense among Big  East officials that life will move on with or without the Aztecs with a minimum of cheers or tears.

***

Big East officials say there is no sense of urgency about the break up of the Catholic 7 schools into their own conference. Unless huge exit fees are paid and money is forfeited, not many people in the Big East office are expecting a mass exodus until July of 2014 at the earliest. The  plan right now is to have a 10 or 11 team league in football for 2013 and an 18 team league in basketball which would still include Louisville (ACC) , Notre Dame  (ACC) and  Rutgers  (Big  Ten) as well as Temple, UConn, Cincinnati and Memphis AND  all 7 of the Catholic schools that say they are leaving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Copyright 2013 Mark, All rights Reserved. Written For: A Jersey Guy
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11 comments for “Big East ready to move with or without SD State

  1. John Bragg
    January 14, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Any rumblings on selling the name to the C-7?

  2. Guy
    January 14, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Big East is just postponing the inevitable.

    HUGE mistake for the Big East to take ECU and Tulane in a rush. The Catholic 7 approved the deal then immediately announced their departure, they kicked Aresco in a privates.

    Think if Aresco would’ve held steadfast. Think about the Big East with 2 legitimate openings to fill.

    Probably would have kept Boise and SDSU and enticed UNLV and Fresno State to join.

    UConn
    Temple
    Cincinnati
    Memphis
    USF
    UCF
    Houston
    SMU
    Boise State
    SDSU
    UNLV
    Fresno State

    That could have bee a league that would have been the best of the rest and a national sports full member sports conference. When and if that joke of an invite Navy came 3 years down the road, the conference could have picked another football only school like Army to finished it off.

    Instead, ECU and Tulane were added which was a disaster. The conference blew up weeks after their announcement. I blame Mike Aresco for being a puss and trying to salvage what every internet forum reader saw as a problem. The hybrid conference sucks.

    Instead of being the best of what’s leftover of the Big East, the best of CUSA and the best of the MWC, the new Big East a CUSA + Uconn and Temple. The money is going to be a joke, the confrence will go from being a joke to a laughing stock.

    Mike Aresco, you are over your head. Which isn’t hard, the guy is like 5’8″.

    • SJGMoney
      January 14, 2013 at 3:39 pm

      @Guy, I agree with your point about the hasty additions but you’re kidding about how your idea of a conference would be the best of the rest. Other than Boise and Cincy, who else is any good? Collection of mediocrity.

      • Greg
        January 14, 2013 at 6:36 pm

        As an ECU fan and alumni, believe me when I say I wish ECU had never taken this deal. I cannot tell you how tired I am of reading rude, insulting comments about my school.

        If you think adding ECU for football was the reason Boise State left, you’re wrong. Plain and simple.

        • Guy
          January 14, 2013 at 9:38 pm

          ECU is a regional backwater school. A teachers college that barely offers more than masters degrees, period.

          That said, ECU was just a bad timing add, it reeked of desperation.

          Seeing that the Big East is nothing more than CUSA, the LEAST, ABSOLUTE LEAST that should’ve been done was to wait. Wait for cooler heads to prevail. The C7 was leaving, should’ve told them to hit the door, not allow them to saddle the conference with Tulane. Good Lord.

          Instead Mike Aresco shot is wad prematurely and bent backwards to please a set of schools that eventually gave Mike and the conference the finger.

          Not saying CUSA teams wouldn’t have been picked anyway, but if the conference were really, truly interested in fielding the best schools and very good support than TULANE WAS AN ABSOLUTE LOSER CHOICE, ANYONE CAN SEE THAT.

          At least take the best of CUSA for goodness sake. Could have picked up Tulsa and Southern Miss, then if absolutely needed, pick up the Pirates. But there is some rotten, dead wood in the Big East. Nothing less than conference welfare by having Tulane on the bill of lading. ECU is “okay”, but about as exciting as FIU.

          Tulsa and Southern Miss should have been chosen instead of Tulane and ECU, imagine the Big East with the current left-behinds and Tulsa/Southern Miss. Not a bad football and all sports conference, all things considered. Tulane? Why not Rice? Why not UT-Pan Am? UTEP, Rice, Tulane, UAB and Marshall are CUSA’s dead weight. Poor Southern Miss.

          Go sulk somewhere else Greg.

          • Greg
            January 15, 2013 at 2:45 am

            You were sulking before I was.

            Thanks for your incredibly valuable opinion. I too, would prefer my school be conference partners with Tulsa and Southern Miss.

  3. SJGMoney
    January 14, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Without. Most definitely as Shannon Sharpe would say. But I love the spin the Big East is now having their friends in the media use: “we will be fine either way and boy won’t it be ironic if we say no and the MWC says no, then SD State will be left out in the cold.” Yah right. Hold on a second, my phone is ringing and I think it’s Jennifer Aniston and I have to tell her that I’m not interested in banging her any more, I changed my mind.

  4. RudyMass
    January 14, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    Move on, Blaud. No.one cares.about this Frankenconference. Use your contacts to let us know WHEN UConn and Cincy this mess. That is the only news. If I read one more Aresco quote about unity and teamwork I am going to puke. What a complete, utter nimrod.

  5. johnny
    January 14, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    The Big East is dead. Even the name will go with the Catholic 7 (like it should). UConn will not be invited to join the New Big East/Catholic 7 because all they have done is lobby to get to the ACC or Big Ten for the past 3 years. UConn is done. They will now be considered on temple level more than a Cuse or L’Ville or North Carolina level. And to be honest they deserve it due to all the double sided lips service they have been giving and whoring themselves out to the next big conference that calls. The Catholic 7 are taking their time now cause they can. They are pretty much guaranteed a better deal then they currently have in term of TV money…so take the time and get everything right. Ultimately this will be the last year of the BE. SDST wont stay (there is no advantage for them to). Lets just get all the speculation over with.

  6. January 14, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Apparently the ONLY teams happy to be in the Big East are those who have floundered in the Conference USA!

  7. True Statement
    January 15, 2013 at 8:47 am

    North Division Football:
    -Cincy
    -UConn
    -Temple
    -ECU
    -Navy (2015)
    -Army (Add in 2015 with Navy; gives you the only reasonable NY market team available; gives you a signature league game every year, no matter their record or Navy’s)
    -UMass (Add in 2015 to allow time to grow; gives you a footprint in the Boston market)
    -Northern Illinois (Add in 2014; proven program over the last 5-6 years; coming off BCS bowl; gives you a footprint in the Chicago market)

    South Division Football:
    -UCF
    -Houston
    -Memphis (North Division until 2015 to allow for championship game)
    -SMU
    -USF
    -Tulane
    -UTSA (add in 2015 to allow time to grow; program on the rise early; gives you a footprint in all three major Texas markets in the football crazy/rich state of Texas)
    -Florida International (add in 2014; gives you a footprint in the other major Florida market – Miami; gives you three teams in football rich state of Florida to go along with the 3 in Texas).

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