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Tag:Atlantic 10
Posted on: May 24, 2011 9:40 am
 

Calhoun predicts Big East split in 4-5 years

By Brett McMurphy, CBSSports.com Senior Writer

PONTA VERDA BEACH, Fla. – UConn basketball coach Jim Calhoun admits he likely won’t be coaching when it happens, but he still sees it coming. And it can’t be stopped.

Rapture? The end of the world? Not quite, but the end of the Big East Conference as we know it now.

“My own personal opinion – and I won't probably see this – in the next couple of years, four or five years down the road, I think you'll see a separation [of the football and non-football membership],” Calhoun said. “I think it's inevitable.”

The Big East currently has 16 members, including eight football members. Next season with the addition of TCU, that number inflates to 17 all-sport members and nine football members.

That number could increase even more in the next couple of years with the Big East looking to expand its football membership by as many as three teams, which conceivably could result in a behemoth 20 member conference, including 12 football members.

Big East commissioner John Marinatto has said the Big East’s 16-team basketball league could evolve into 20-teams, split into four pods of five teams or two 10-team divisions.

“If you go to 18 [members], oh boy,” Calhoun said. “We're talking about going to 17 [now and that] creates enough different issues.”

A split of the football and non-football schools has been speculated for some time, but league sources feel that would happen as only a last resort.

Calhoun, 68, said if the league split, the eight basketball members – DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Notre Dame, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John’s and Villanova – would pursue some additional teams from the Atlantic 10, such as Xavier and Dayton.

“That’s what I think could happen,” Calhoun said.

Posted on: April 19, 2011 11:49 am
Edited on: April 19, 2011 5:24 pm
 

Report: UMass will join the MAC

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

FBS football is about to get another new member, one that should make the already-competitive MAC that much more challenging.

The Midwestern league is set to announce that they will be inviting FCS power UMass to join as a football-only member, according to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. The MAC Twitter feed has already confirmed that a press conference has been scheduled tomorrow featuring both conference and UMass officials; it's all but official.

Per the Plain Dealer, the Minutemen will play a full conference schedule as soon as 2012 but won't be eligible for the league championship until 2013. UMass is the second football-only member that plays its other sports in the Atlantic 10, joining Temple, and brings the MAC's total football membership up to 14.

The addition of the Minutemen will allow the conference to return to two even seven-team divisions after an awkward set up the past few years with seven teams in the East and six in the West. (The league will likely move area rivals Bowling Green and Toledo into the same division to accommodate the addition.) But more importantly, the move gives the MAC a member with a strong history of terrific football at the FCS level.

UMass won the national championship in 1998 (then I-AA) and finished as a runner-up in 1978 and 2006, pulling in their most recent conference championship in 2007. The Minutemen provide a few "big-time football" advantages to the MAC, including the use of the New England Patriot's Gillette Stadium for certain home games.  As far as the Minutemen are concerned, the move to FBS opens the door to plenty of new opportunities - bowl games, exposure, money - and should come as welcome new to the UMass faithful.    




 
 
 
 
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