Blog Entry

Big East hoops forever changed for the worse

Posted on: December 6, 2011 2:45 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2011 3:03 pm

By Matt Norlander

You don't need reminders or jokes or pithy comments about how basketball doesn't mean jack in conference realignment. We all know it now, have known it too well for too long.

But the Big East's conference rejiggering today means Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, SMU and UCF will join the Big East Conference in 2013. The latter three will be the only ones hopping over for hoops and football. Boise State and SDSU will be finding homes in basketball in some other conference, either bloating another league or kicking over a smaller pile of dominoes on the way to the latest infrastructure shakedown.

It's incredibly stupid. Again, look at this and tell me it makes sense. Of course it doesn't. And naturally I'm annoyed as hell by it. The country's best basketball league has been bastardized, and it's had an active hand in doing so. Essentially, the Big East has just swapped out Jim Boeheim for Donnie Jones. Bob Huggins for Matt Doherty. Jamie Dixon for James Dickey! No slight on the men of Conference USA, but that's a serious, serious downgrade in coach and program.

I think a divide is coming in major college basketball. We've got 345 teams in Division I. It's a competitive model that's not truly competitive -- only about 250 teams are really worthy of the D-I distinction, and half of those schools don't bring real money to the table. Eventually, the hoops programs are going to figure out how to split off and create their own country of sorts. They'll have ways of keeping TV revenues to themselves, and so a new coup gets brewed. We'll have tiers of D-I schools, a real, thick, black line of distinction.

The Big East will make the cut above said line, but it will be blurred into the group of lesser conferences that it's now on its way to joining at the small-kids table. Right now, the league still has to worry about UConn bailing to the ACC. If that happens, all's truly lost. The Big East will still have good teams and good games, but it's shaping up to be defined as the true shell of what it once was. We're now seeing what can happen to a prestigious basketball conference when it gets desperate and has no sense of anything except a smell for any money, anywhere.

Twenty years from now, I think we'll look back at today, the days the news broke, as one of the critical notches in the timeline of the downfall of the Big East. It may not have been responsible for losing its place in the pecking order in the first place (re: the ACC taking Syracuse and Pitt), but it's woefully out-thought itself by expanding across the country. It's undeniably spreading itself too thin for the sake of trying to keep up in the football race, and even that's clear to see it can't do. You can make the argument Boise State's already peaked as a program -- and it's sure as hell not a major TV market.

The Big East was never supreme in football. It was never going to be. But it could've always been near or at the top in basketball. I just don't see how that's the case going forward.


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Category: NCAAB

Since: Sep 2, 2008
Posted on: December 6, 2011 4:41 pm

Big East hoops forever changed for the worse

Good, maybe now my Blue Demons can win more than 1 conference game a year!!!!

Since: Nov 2, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 4:23 pm

Big East hoops forever changed for the worse

Please ACC, get UConn out of this mid major and travel nightmare of a conference! UConn deserves to play North Carolina and Duke and not SMU and Houston.

Since: Sep 27, 2011
Posted on: December 6, 2011 4:15 pm

Big East hoops forever changed for the worse

Go Bearcats.... Go Big East....

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 4:13 pm

Big East hoops forever changed for the worse

Nova hoops???ACC is putting Bball on back burner? Cuse, UNC, DUKE, PITT to along with the rest of the current ACC memebers? Thats like 4 top 15 teams?

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 4:09 pm

Big East hoops forever changed for the worse

Teres Minor! NUff said my brutha! Big East Bball was brutal and it hurt them most of the time down the stretch. They got UCONN on top and they will be stronger then ever! The football looks nice, would have preffered BYU but SDSU is no BBall slouch to along with a rising football team. Houston can bring it in both sports as well but BOISE ST in football! Now thats nice! Can't wait to see them play at Rutgers!

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: December 6, 2011 3:57 pm

Big East hoops forever changed for the better

The Big East needed more tomato cans and less serious contenders.  The conference is strong enough the way it is.  This move will improve the seedings of the elite teams at tournament time.  It will also allow pretenders like USF and UCF to win a conference game once in awhile.

Since: Nov 23, 2009
Posted on: December 6, 2011 3:50 pm

Big East hoops forever changed for the worse

The Big East's biggest problem is that they insist on being relevant in football.  Nobody in the northeast cares about college football. From D.C., to Philly, To NYC, and Boston - nobody cares.  It's hoops in the Northeast.  Can you imagine Rutgers packing in 100,000 fans at a game in NJ like they do in the midwest and in the south?  It would never happen. Pitt, Syracuse, WVU, Va Tech, Miami - see ya later.  You're football schools.  Fine.  Go.  THe Big East is blowing a big opportunity here to be a premier basketball-led conference.  The Big East was basketball focused years ago and lost its way.  The ACC is clearly putting basketball on the backburner to football, so here is where the opportunity is.  Take the lead in east coast basketball.

Much the same way that the whole country is messed up, the Big East is playing for the short-term benefits instead of the long-term. 

Hopefully the Big East basketball schools will just break off and start a basketball league. 

Then Rutgers can play Houston, and Central Florida can play Boise State, and SMU can play Louisville.  Wow!  How exciting do those games sound?!!  Set my DVR now! 

;     &nbs

Since: Dec 6, 2011
Posted on: December 6, 2011 3:23 pm

Big East hoops forever changed for the worse

Don't blame the Big East... it's Syracuse and Pittsburgh who started this latest fiasco running off to the ACC for 8-million in television revenue and a down grade of Big East basketball.   There is no reason why the Big East can't think bigger and help basketball too...  Every football conference needs a welcome mat... the addition of Memphis would give the good teams that extra win, and would be a boost to Big East basketball.  Don't stop at the 10 and future 12, move to 14 or 16 and to 18 or 20 in Basketball...    The Big East needs to take inititive, land it's new guarenteed larger tv deal with a national football footprint and the addition of Dallas, Houston, Orlando, and San Diego television markets...  with that tv deal and the addition of 3 ranked programs; it might just be enough to get Syracuse and Pittsburgh to pull a TCU and renig on joining a future conference.  The non-football basketball schools have a vote in the football expansion, you can have healthy football and basketball leagues and hopefully that will be the long term goal... through it all, one wild card has a chance to change everything and save football and basketball - Notre Dame - becoming a full member!  

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