College Basketball Insider

And your latest conference realignment loser is ... the Big East (again!)

Could Louisville be the next school that leaves the Big East? Will the ACC want the Cards to replace Maryland? (US Presswire)

So who's the biggest loser in Monday's realignment developments?

The Big East, of course.

Just like always.

And, no, I don't really care about Rutgers (of the Big East) following Maryland (of the ACC) to the Big Ten because I don't have to negotiate a television contract with anybody. That's Big East commissioner Mike Aresco's job -- though, it should be noted, his job just got tougher. And I don't care about academics either because, let's be honest, nobody cares about academics. I'm looking at this strictly from a sports perspective, and the Big East won't be diminished in any noticeable way in the eyes of fans by Rutgers leaving to join the Big Ten.

It's the next move that's gonna hurt.

Because you know there's a next move coming.

The Big East has been for a decade now like the bar people go to when they need a quick hook-up to replace someone lost, and it's a bar full of folks who can't wait to leave. Far as I know, no Big East school has ever rejected the chance to exit the league for another power conference. It started with Virginia Tech, Boston College and Miami leaving for the ACC in 2003, then continued with TCU and West Virginia leaving for the Big 12, and Syracuse and Pittsburgh leaving for the ACC. And now Rutgers is leaving for the Big Ten. And you just know ACC commissioner John Swofford is sitting in Greensboro figuring out how to replace Maryland, and you just know that'll likely lead to him poaching Connecticut, Louisville, Cincinnati or USF from the Big East, which is among the reasons the Big East's wikipedia page has a section titled "Instability" and another titled "Continuing Instability."

Put more simply, the Big East is about to also lose UConn, Louisville, Cincinnati or USF -- and some reports have suggested that Georgetown and St. John's might be on the ACC's radar, too. So whatever happens next is gonna hurt the Big East from a sports perspective in a noticeable way. And if the SEC ever decides to add Florida State and/or Clemson from the ACC -- or the Big Ten ever decides to add Georgia Tech from the ACC -- guess where Swofford will look to fill those holes? The Big East, naturally. And there really isn't a scenario that doesn't have the Big East -- as USA Today's Dan Wolken put it -- eventually looking more like the original version of C-USA than the Big East I grew up with.

Hell, it might be there already.

So pour one out for the old Big East.

It's the league that keeps on giving -- to everybody.

 
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