Blog Entry

Big East: different look, but same name

Posted on: December 7, 2011 7:38 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2011 7:43 pm

NEW YORK – First things first: the Big East Conference, stretching four time zones from the East Coast to the West Coast, is not undergoing a name change.

It will remain the Big East.

It will, however, look much, much different.

On Wednesday, the league announced that Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, SMU and UCF would join the league in 2013. Boise State and San Diego State as football-only members and Houston, SMU and UCF as all-sport members.

And even with the addition of those five schools, Big East commissioner John Marinatto said the league has no plans to allow West Virginia (to the Big 12) and Syracuse and Pittsburgh (to the ACC) to leave before June 30, 2014, as required by conference by-laws.

“The additions that we're making today have no impact whatsoever in regard to our commitment and our belief that our schools that are leaving would fulfill the 27‑month requirement clause that's currently in our bylaws,” Marinatto said. “The bylaws are the bylaws are the bylaws. They represent the agreements between the conference schools. I think there's an understanding amongst all of our schools that an early departure and a violation of those bylaws would do damage to the schools that are remaining. As a result, two of our schools have indicated that they respect that process and they understand it.”

Those two schools are Syracuse and Pittsburgh. West Virginia, however, has filed a lawsuit to join the Big 12 next season. The Big East also has filed a lawsuit to make West Virginia honor the exit agreement until 2014.

West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck told Wednesday that even if the league compromised and allowed the Mountaineers to leave a year early in 2013, their plans are still to join the Big 12 next season.

“That doesn’t change,” Luck told

Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross said his school is prepared to honor the 27-month exit agreement, but told “we’re just open to seeing what happens.”

“They’re starting to put together what the new Big East will look like,” Gross said. “As they go forward to put together new multi-media deals, they’re going to need us to move out of the way. We’re waiting for that.”

Marinatto said that was not the case. So if West Virginia, Pitt and Syracuse must remain in the league through June 30, 2014, that means the Big East in 2013 would consist of at least 13 teams in football and 19 schools in basketball.

Officials at Air Force, which was a target of the Big East as a football-only member, told the Gazette Wednesday, that it would remain in the Mountain West. Navy, however, remains a viable target, but won’t make any decisions this week that would take attention away from Saturday’s Army-Navy game.

The new Big East is certainly bigger than any conference out there. It’s got a bigger footprint than even Bigfoot.

“We've envisioned the premise that we could theoretically on any given Saturday have four kickoffs that don't compete with each other,” Marinatto said. “We think, as I mentioned earlier, that's a very powerful model as we move forward in our upcoming TV negotiations.”

Those will begin in 2012. The Big East first must give ESPN the first opportunity as its currents rights holder and if they don’t reach a deal by November 2012 then the Big East could negotiate with other networks such as Fox or NBC/Comcast.

NCAA President Mark Emmert, without specially mentioning the Big East, discussed schools leaving non-automatic BCS qualifying conferences (such as Boise State, Houston, San Diego State, UCF and SMU) for an automatic qualifying BCS conference such as the Big East.

“There’s a lot of motivation’s going on (with expansion), clearly the BCS automatic qualifying position is driving a lot of this,” Emmert said at the IMG Forum at the Marriott Marquis. “Nobody wants to lose their AQ rights in the BCS and, of course, one of the ironies is the BCS is going to be refined again (in 2014).”

And if there remains BCS AQ conferences at that time, the Big East feels strongly it will remain one.

“Part of our objectives in expansion was to create the best conference we could both on the football side as well as other sports,” Marinatto said. “We recognize obviously the departure of the schools leaving the conference affected us. But we always felt confident that if we made the right moves, we would keep our BCS AQ status and we've done that.”


Since: Aug 22, 2007
Posted on: December 8, 2011 2:16 am

Big East: different look, but same name

fox or nbc/versus may shell out the bucks. you're right frisco, the northeast has very little interest in college football, particularly nyc. well, the big east has shown that they have 9 lives and some staying power. so i wouldn't be surprised if the big east commisioner can get that multi-billion dollar tv deal somehow.

Since: Dec 7, 2011
Posted on: December 8, 2011 12:08 am

Big East: different look, but same name

Cuban, your point tv revenue driving this seems to be accurate. The issue I have is what major network (ESPN/ABC, CBS, NBC) is going to pay big $ for the new Big Least? People in the Northeast do not give 2 sh*ts about college football just the professional sports. The PAC 12 and Big 10 expanded to have a championship game which means more tv $. The SEC picked up A&M to get into Texas. Somebody SERIOUSLY tell me what network will pay top $ for the new Big Least?  

Since: Oct 3, 2010
Posted on: December 7, 2011 11:35 pm

Big East: different look, but same name

and at the same time explain how the Big-12 has 10 teams and the big 10 has 12!  Makes just as much sence!

Since: Dec 6, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 11:17 pm

Big East: different look, but same name

I love it! Change the name to the National College Football League!  NCFL!!!!  A TRUE Coast to Coast league, great universities, great cities, up and coming (some already here) teams. The upside is HUGE. It is 2012, nearly, not 1912. All deserve to be in it to win it, just like in college baseball and college basketball. Now the Big East aka: NCFL will represent solid, strong football from the west coast to the east coast. HEY, it works for the NFL and all other major sports and College Football is a Major sport, second most popular sport in America, only behind the NFL. The Big East is set up for success, Big Time! Now it makes sense that they hired Paul Tagliabue! Major markets, Major schools, and a Major Sport.  I can easily sell that! I hope CBS, FOX or NBC steps up and shoves down it ESPN’s throat. (Notre Dame are you paying attention? if so you might want to tell NBC this is a very good thing!)  Will anybody stand up to ESPN? Probably not, their own staff are robotic puppets or are scared to go against the canned storyline. What is old is new and what is new is old!!!  Throw in Air Force and Navy, football only and Temple and Memphis for basketball only at first and then bring Memphis and Temple in for football once they have had time to sell the new line-up and HUGE national exposure they will get, to improve their football programs(although Temple is looking real good already!)  they then will join the same year  when Air Force and Navy join!

Since: Aug 22, 2007
Posted on: December 7, 2011 11:10 pm

Big East: different look, but same name

the only way penn st leaves the BIG is if they're kicked out. Penn St would never be foolish enough to ask out of the BIG and into the Big East mess 

the only conference notre dame would join is the BIG. Notre Dame plans on remaining an independent as long as possible.

and lets face it, if the Big 12 offers louisville and/or cincy an invite, they're gone!

Since: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: December 7, 2011 10:56 pm

Big East: different look, but same name

I look forward to explaining to my kids and grandkids how San Diego State is in a conference called the Big East...I think I'll start with "college athletics is stupid and broken"

Since: Aug 22, 2007
Posted on: December 7, 2011 10:40 pm

Big East: different look, but same name

cubanbull, your post is about the only i read tonight that made a whole lot of sense. i totally agree 100%

as for the Big East changing its name...never will happen. the Big East is a recognized brand name.

Since: Jan 8, 2007
Posted on: December 7, 2011 10:13 pm

Big East: different look, but same name

Sorry, jdc, but I don't see much that is realistic about what you've written.  ND is not going to join this conference, and why would Penn State leave the B1G for this conference grouping?  What you are proposing is fantasy, IMO, and it's really not worth going into.  Sorry, but I do not see your point of view at all.

Since: Dec 7, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 9:56 pm

Big East: different look, but same name

They absolutely have to change their name at some point before the merge to gain more creditabilty and legitimacy. They also should go full bore to get to 16 teams with 4 divisions. Full court press to secure Air Force, BYU, Navy, and Army by 2015. With those programs in hand, they will have a chance to pursue Notre Dame. They also need a team from Pennslyvania, so Temple is a logical choice, but what about an attempt to pry Penn St from the B10? PSU will be under extreme duress for the forseeable future, and they are not going to compete as the scandal drags on.

A new conference with morally and ethically binding institutions  like BYU, the military acadamies,  ND could be very persuasive. UConn and Boise also safe schools. Not to mention the competition will be advantageous in the long term. a 16 team superconference with 4 divisions based on geography is the future. Each team plays within their division and a cross division which rotates every year. That's 7 games in conference annually, and then each team gets 4 games to schedule out of conference.

The suoerconfernece will be divided into 2 leagues which rotate every year to  accomodate the division schedule. Tiebreakers will be the head to head that takes place within that season. 2 teams, 1  from each league, will play for the conference championship at a rotating marque stadium within 1 of the conference markets.

An ideal setup would be:

Coast to Coast Conference- Triple C (CCC)

Eastern Division: UConn, Rutgers, Army, Navy
Central Division: Cincinnati, Lousiville, Notre Dame, Penn St     &nb
sp;   (Temple fits in here if PSU or ND are not in)

Southern Division: UCF, South Fl, Houston, SMU
Western Division:  Air Force, Boise St, BYU, SDSU   

This season could have had Notre Dame vs. Boise St for the Triple C Championship held at the New Meadowlands in NJ. That game is a sellout and ratings bonanza. Of course, if you get Cincinnati vs. Houston, not so much.

Next season the Eastern and Southern Divisions combine into 1 league with best team repesenting against the Central-Western League with a Championship game held at Qualcomm stadium in SD or Bengal stadium for example. 

Getting the Military Acadamies is crucial, and should be the next priority along with a new name reflective of the geographic landscape.
 From there, it might be easier to influence  Notre Dame and Penn St of the long term advantages of this move.     
;     &nbs

Since: May 1, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 8:33 pm

Big East: different look, but same name

Everyone keeps repeating that it's the AQ status that is driving all these moves and that's not true. Did the Pac12 add Utah and Colorado for BCS AQ status? Did Nebraska leave for BigTen for AQ status? Did Texas am and mizzou go to sec for AQ status? Or how about cuse,Pitt and WV? The reality is that all of these moves were driven by the new tv contra,cts which bring more money per school than the bowls including the BCS ones. It is the main reason the Big East is expanding and that teams are moving to it. The league will provide them with better tv revenues annually whether it keeps it's AQ status or not. So stop the stupid Big East bashing because all the league and it's teams are doing is trying to maximize tv revenues which is what college sports has become

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