VIDEO: New Xavier AD says Big East expansion could come within 5 years
We almost did it. We almost made it through an entire offseason without realignment talk. But that's not how college sports work these days.
Hey, I never promised you realignment would totally stop. And while the cycle of shift in college sports has reached a standstill, for now, you should know that the remade, current 10-team Big East may not stay as such for too long.
On Wednesday, Xavier released an in-house video of a one-on-one interview with its new athletic director. In the interview (skip on over to 4:20) Greg Christopher gives light to a fact that many just are sick of hearing: expansion is probably still coming. Even the basketball-only Big East isn't without needs or desires to swell itself -- even before playing a game.
Springboarding off talk of the intra-Ohio Dayton-Xavier rivalry -- which was killed off for at least two years because Xavier left Dayton behind in the Atlantic 10 -- Christopher laid out an abridged timetable on when and how the next major phase of conference realignment could affect major college basketball.
"I think the Big East will expand," he said. "If you look at what's on paper and what's expected and so forth, from 10 to 12, I'm not sure it's actually codified in stone, but it does appear things are headed that way. The timing is the issue, and then the other issue would be which two schools get added to the mix. The timing part, I don't know that it's next year, but it's probably some time in the next five years."
Christopher speculated that Dayton, Saint Louis, Richmond and VCU would be the candidates to bring into the new league. VCU moved out of the CAA in 2012 to join the Atlantic 10. The other three schools have been A-10 members since 1995 (Dayton), 1997 (Richmond) and 2005 (Saint Louis).
And, as always, Christopher made a point to say that if this should happen, it'll be decided by school presidents -- and that this prospect is sure to be on the agenda with each year.
If the Big East can bring more interest, money and NCAA tournament appearances by luring more schools in, it's going to do it. As it stands right now, the league is set up to please the purists by way of its 10-team, 18-game round-robin schedule. Very few conferences these days are able to play a round-robin, so enjoy the balance while you can, hoops fans, because in a few years it's all too possible that this league will once again grow itself.
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