Blog Entry

Big East hoops: Where UCF at SMU happens

Posted on: November 1, 2011 4:09 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2011 4:13 pm
By Gary Parrish

The Big East presidents have decided to rebuild their league by inviting Boise State, Air Force and Navy as football-only members, and SMU, UCF and Houston as all-sports members. So Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia will be replaced by Mustangs, Knights and Cougars -- three basketball programs that finished seventh, ninth and 11th in Conference USA last season.

Rick Pitino must be pissed.

Yes, I know basketball doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. But there was some thought that the sport I cover might matter some to the Big East because it's a brand most closely associated with hoops. Turns out, that thought was wrong. The league could've gone with UCF, Temple and Memphis for all sports and at least added two quality basketball programs to go with Connecticut, Louisville, Cincinnati, Georgetown, Villanova, Marquette and Notre Dame. Instead, the Big East went with three schools that bring nothing to the basketball table, meaning the league will now be worse in football and way worse in basketball than it was a year ago.

I guess the Big East could still add Temple and Memphis at some point.

That's possible, I'm told.

But for now, yeah, Rick Pitino must be pissed.

Since: Jan 30, 2010
Posted on: November 4, 2011 5:28 pm

Big East hoops: Where UCF at SMU happens

Please get your facts straight. The bilion dollars is the CONTRACT, NOT for ONE YEAR!!! Just not comparable. Not only that, the money in football we're talking about is TV money to televise regular-season games. Much more lucrative in football. Not even close.

Also, the Big East HAS to try and remain a football conference. It has no choice. It might work. It might not work. But Boise State and Houston are better than Pittsburgh and Syracuse in football. No argument right now as far as the BCS AQ calculations next time around.

Now, should Memphis be brought in once West Virginia is gone? Absolutely. Could not agree more. Put them in the Western Division for football (where they will be awful) and bring them in for basketball and you get Louisville, Cincinnati and Memphis in the same league again. If the Big 12 doesn't take them away.

Don't think for a minute the Big East won't get a decent football TV contract, probably from NBC Sports Network (Versus). Throw in Boise State, two service academies, and a few big state schools and, although the quality of football might not be that high, the fact that it will be the only BCS-level league looking for a TV deal will make them desirable simply for the inventory.

Big East leadership has been horrific for several years BECAUSE it catered to basketball. That's why schools with good basketball teams left. Ironic, isn't it?

Now, if the football league fails, and Louisville and Cincinnati get poached by the Big 12 and/or Rutgers and Connecticut go to the ACC, THEN you give up on football and bring in Xavier, Butler, Temple and just give up on football. But not until then. Too much money. Yes, more than basketball.

Since: Sep 18, 2011
Posted on: November 3, 2011 10:34 pm

Big East hoops: Where UCF at SMU happens

Can you imagine just how excited Providence or Seton Hall or St. John's is about the BIG new rivalry games they'll have against SMU, Houston, and Central Florida?  Oh whoopie, I can hardly wait!  As best I can tell, the former three schools never play the latter three, probably know virtually nothing about them, and have absolutely nothing in common with them -- not geography, academics, athletcs, student body compositions, or histories and traditions.  IMHO, the Big East is now taking a huge step toward total irrelevancy in the minds of both the media and its fans.  This is a totally desperate move by a group of schools mesmerized by football dollars -- the irony being that what they're creating won't be of interest to anyone other than to the alumni of those schools, and hence not worth nearly enough dollars in the long run to justify it.  Far better at this point would have been for the Big East basketball schools to "invite" the remaining football schools to join them for all sports other than football, and maybe then add a few new basketball powers with similar athletic and academic philosophies to replace what's been lost (try Butler, Xavier, or Temple for starters.)  If they'd done that, Lousiville, UConn, Cincy, Rutgers, and Central Florida (hardly the brightest bulbs in the national football chandalier) would have had to join other leagues for football (CUSA anyone?), or even  for all sports.  Instead, those five football powerhouses (NOT!) have effectively dictated the shape of their league to the other eight -- and an ugly and shapeless thing it is.  This deperate move just plain stinks.

Since: Sep 4, 2011
Posted on: November 3, 2011 3:58 am

Big East hoops: Where UCF at SMU happens

Yes, I know basketball doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things.

If you are saying this to be modest or to concede something to football, I don't think it's necessary. Now don't get me wrong, I couldn't care less about the NBA. But college basketball is so exciting. March Madness is probably one of the most entertaining sporting events to watch, and I've been extremely lucky to be a part of it through work. It's great to see people competeting for the love of the game (most of the time). And the parity in college hoops makes the game that much better.

And if we want to talk business, basketball trumps football. The BCS Bowl games garner 125 million dollars in TV deals each year. The contract for March Madness fetches over a billion dollars. College Basketball is doing something right, much more so than the BCS.

So basketball does matter, which I know you believe. Just saying you don't have to be modest. College Hoops rocks. And Tulane plays it's first game this Sunday. Been looking forward to it all year. Roll Wave.

Keep doing your thing Mr. Parrish.       

Since: Oct 25, 2007
Posted on: November 3, 2011 12:40 am

Big East hoops: Where UCF at SMU happens

We have to hold on to the Garden though b/c the ACC is coming for it. Last time I remember playing Houston, you guys beat us, and we went to the FF that year and ended 33-5. From this UL fan, I welcome you to the BE, but I'm not so hot about SMU. Should have been Memphis instead.

Since: Nov 2, 2011
Posted on: November 2, 2011 4:38 pm

Big East hoops: Where UCF at SMU happens

New class coming in this year with 8 new players, gone are Penders players, and the #6 BBall ranked class in the nation for 2012. That as well as renovations to football and bball facilities soon. UH going to the Big East is UT's second worst nightmare...first being A&M going to SEC. That gives two more conferences that can come into your background and recruit in football, and the BBall recruits will think twice before signing with UT if they can instead play against Big East competition and play in the Garden every year. The crowds will come to see BBall games instead of CUSA games.

Since: Nov 2, 2011
Posted on: November 2, 2011 4:35 pm

Big East hoops: Where UCF at SMU happens

UH currently has the #6 recruiting class in the nation for 2012. Not to mention that they are in a transition period from Penders to Dickey who has 8 new comers to this years team, including Providence prized recruit Joseph Young.

The crowds suck because who wants to go see them play CUSA teams? That will change when Big East BBall comes to town. Not to mention the football stadium and basketball stadium are planned to be renovated in the next few years.

Since: Oct 25, 2007
Posted on: November 2, 2011 3:00 pm

Big East hoops: Where UCF at SMU happens

I think Houston and UCF have basketball potential. Not sure about SMU. Houston was building a decent team with Tom Penders when CUSA was a good basketball conference, and they have a little tradition. As a UL fan, of course, I would have loved to see Memphis come in, but Houston needed a travel partner/rival in SMU, and we will need that ranking of theirs this year. As far as getting worse in football, prestige only really, Boise and Houston will actually give us a better shot at retaining AQ if you go by the numbers. Memphis can still be added in the future. We should kick out DePaul and add Temple as well.

Since: Oct 6, 2011
Posted on: November 2, 2011 1:48 pm

Big East hoops: Where UCF at SMU happens

There is no guarantee there will even be a BCS in 2014.

Since: Nov 2, 2011
Posted on: November 2, 2011 12:29 pm

Big East hoops: Where UCF at SMU happens

All of you guys crack me up. You guys are really high on yourselves.


Since: Jan 30, 2007
Posted on: November 2, 2011 12:24 pm

Big East hoops: Where UCF at SMU happens

The Big East as a power conference is done.  The ACC will poach UConn and another North Eastern school in the next couple of years.  I fully expect the Big 12 not to sit and wait and go and get UofL and Cincinatti sooner rather than later.  The SEC will pick up two more schools just not sure who those will be.  It will be interesting to see but I don't look for that to happen soon, I of course assume that Mizzu is already a done deal.  There will be five 16 team mega conferences within the next 3 to 5 years and those will be ACC, Big 10, Big 12, SEC, and Pac 10.  That's 80 of the 120+ football playing schools in five conferences.  Basketball I believe will see some merging as well due to this and less auto bids with more at-large bids.  Not such a bad thing. 

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