|Cincinnati is reported to be looking around the Big East ... and isn't necessarily happy with what it sees. (Getty Images)|
Of course! We couldn't make it to dinnertime on Tuesday without some more news from realignment's front lines. ESPN.com's Andy Katz is reporting Cincinnati is looking into its options (I'm already ahead of you: Cincinnati has options?) of leaving the Big East -- which it joined via Conference USA in 2005 -- and snuggling up next to Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame in the ACC.
The aforementioned other three schools are spending their final months in the Big East as we speak. The Big East Tuesday made official its plans to invite Tulane into the conference. And if league commissioner Mike Aresco is to be believed (and of course we believe him), the league is not done bringing more schools into the fold.
But will that cost it one of its best basketball programs? Is Cincinnati leaving because of other inevitable imports, or are the imports forcing Cincinnati to see what it can do to maneuver out? Chicken/egg situation, I suppose.
Let's go to the report:
Cincinnati is making a strong push to gain admittance to the ACC with a campaign about why the school is a more viable option than fellow Big East members Connecticut and Louisville, a source with knowledge of the situation told ESPN.
The source said Cincinnati officials are cautiously optimistic that the Bearcats are in step with both Louisville and UConn if the ACC were to choose just one school to replace Maryland, which is headed to the Big Ten.
Lousiville and UConn would appear to be the two biggest schools that could defect from the Big East. But the story states Cinci's endowment eclipses $1 billion (MONEY!) and such a number is better than six current ACC schools' bank account -- plus twice what Maryland was bringing to the table.
Plus, Cinci has football to offer, an ever-fledgling program at that.