Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Conference Realignment 2011: The Big East Strikes Back?

This could be a busy day for the Big East. Conference President, John Marinatto has a teleconference with the media scheduled for this afternoon. It is expected that he will announce the increase of the exit fee and possibly the announcement of invites.

The Big East may be proactive for the first time in a long time, but possibly too late. With the news of Missouri potentially on their way to the SEC, that leaves the door open for WVU, Louisville and/or Cincinnati to defect to the Big 12. And without one or more of those teams, it seems unlikely that the Big East will be able to keep its AQ status, let alone stay in business.

The rumors have Boise, Air Force, Navy, Houston, UCF, and SMU as the potential new teams. That's actually not a bad group of schools. Boise has been a BCS contender for years, Houston is undefeated, SMU seems to be back, UCF brings more attention to Florida, and the service academies bring some prestige. With these 12 there could be a pretty good chance of the conference retaining its AQ status.

However, the belief that nobody else will be defecting from the Big East over the next few years seems naive. Even if the Big 12 wants nothing to do with this conference watch for Rutgers and UConn to continue their push out.

Yes, the future is still incredibly unstable for the Big East, and may always be until SuperConferences are running the world. Keep that seatbelt on folks, this trip won't be over for a long time.

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