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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Big East Expansion

The Big East Conference discussed expansion in their last meeting this past week.  Very exciting news for fans of any team in the Big East.  It's definitely the smallest football conference among the SECs and Big Pac - 12s out there.  According to NCAA bylaws a conference must have at least 10 teams in order to hold a championship game.  Which means that right now the Big East Champ is crowned by virtue of regular season conference record and not a lucrative Championship game.

The question isn't whether or not this is a good move but rather who will they pick.  Well it's probably not the only question but it is definitely the most fun to speculate about.  The names being thrown around right now include TCU, UCF, and Villanova.  As you can see in the picture above I would like to personally include Notre Dame.  Let's examine each of these schools and in the comments I'd like to encourage you to do the same with any school you think the Big East should consider.

The Horned Frogs would be a great addition to the Big East for a number of reasons but the strange thing about them is that they just geographically don't make sense.  Texas is really far from any of the other schools currently in the conference.  However, that is actually a good thing as far as the conference is concerned because it gives them access to a huge TV audience in Texas that normally wouldn't be watching.  TCU would clearly bring some football success to the Big East by virtue that they have had a Top 5 team at various points over the past few years and they are currently a few more wins away from a shot at a National Championship.  The coaches would also like to expand into the fertile recruiting lands of the Lonestar State.

The Golden Knights have really put together a respectable program over the past decade.  By utilizing the immense amount of athletic talent available in Florida the Knights have been able to put some great runs together.  By solidifying the Big East presence in Florida with 2 schools there it would help the conference as a whole find more and more of that speed so often associated with the SEC.

The Wildcats basketball team is already a standout member of the Big East and their football team is coming off a Div-1AA championship season.  Villanova would provide a center for the conference geographically speaking.  It would be somewhat easier to convince the school to make the leap to FBS by joining their conference because they are already a member of the conference in their other sports.

Notre Dame -
The Golden Domers like Villanova are currently members of the Big East in other sports.  After an atrocious run over the past few years it might be about time for ND to stop playing the exclusive card and join a conference.  Why not the Big East?  As much as I hate to say it, the Big East is a conference that a school like Notre Dame could join and continually compete for a championship in.  ND would be great for the conference due to their enormous following which just so happens to be very big in the East.
(UPDATE: Looks like Andy Staples of SI beat me to the punch here.  But at least we're both on the same page)

Well how about it?  What other schools should be considered for membership into the Big East?


Jusjerm said...

I fear that the Big East expansion will be Nova and Notre Dame, as we seem to have given up on the hopes of the football conference and instead just wish to have the greatest conference basketball tournament on Earth. UCF doesn't have a very good program in either sport.

SKOHR said...

I've also heard that they may be interested in adding the University of Houston (go Cougars!), Eastern Carolina University, and Temple. Personally I would like to see them add 4 schools. Why not? Let's blow this thing open! Obviously it would be amazing if they could add Notre Dame and TCU but among all 7 schools we've discussed those seem to be the 2 least likely to join. Here's hoping though.

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