I can't get enough of expansion talk, but one thing is starting to bother me. I keep reading everywhere about greed and the loss of integrity among the college football landscape and university presidents. And most of that is probably true. Texas A&M abandoned their conference because they were mad at 1 school. That school, Texas, is playing their own conference by threatening to leave just to show they have that power and that a conference NEEDS them, they don't need a conference. (Anybody remember Stillwater? No, I'm not talking about OklaSt, but he band from 'Almost Famous') They don't care about leaving or staying in the Big12. The Pac? is trying to solidify themselves as a top football conference but they have to be careful or their fate 20 years from now could be like the Big East today...
I was born in Syracuse and have loved the Big East. It's sad to see a charter member leave and the ramifications of possibly ending some terrific rivalries that had been formed in the conference. However, don't assume that this move is anything like what is happening west of us. Is there greed and integrity issues in the ACC, like all other conferences? Absolutely. But before you start calling the ACC 'snakes' and bashing Pitt and Syracuse, be open to the possibility that this makes sense in every other way and more money also happens to be a by product... Which is why this is a no brainer (and the Big East will eventually be better for it)
The schools that comprise the Big East don't mesh, and it was only a matter of time before something happened to this conference. Football members, basketball members and simply the schools themselves all have different priorities. There is no unified direction for the conference that involves all the schools. In 1982 the Big East decided it was not a football conference by rejecting the addition of Penn State, and so it continued developing a fantastic basketball base. But some of the schools already in the Big East actually have storied football programs, what are they to do? The Big East's goal was to be a basketball conference for smaller "big-time", religious? institutions, and it's accomplished that. But besides saying that they were in the same conference, some schools had no other connections or similarities, which means it's impossible for the Big East to make everyone happy. It's sad to see it happen but good for Syracuse and Pitt. They DO fit with the ACC in every facet. That's why this happened sooo quickly. This decision was not- 'Oh, lets put together the top 16 schools in the country regardless of location, cultural similarities and academic missions because we could negotiate a huge TV contract'. The ACC wins because they added 2 universities that will mesh instantly and have the same agenda as the current 12 schools... AND it happens to extend the ACC brand into new places (more money), why would the ACC or Pitt/Cuse not do this?
Now if the ACC goes out this week and grabs Texas and Kansas because OU goes to Pac-12... then I'll agree with some of you and sports analysts about the greed behind the ACC. But for now, no.
And if the Big East were smart, they should concentrate their effort on continuing to do what they set out to do years ago... form a top non-football conference. They still have amazing institutions to base that around, and there are other schools out there in smaller conferences that fit their profile and have shown they have extremely successful basketball programs. Even if football is the big money, the Big East could be successful for years to come without it. Don't go out and just add all these schools with football programs that will pull in money. Or some years from now the same thing will happen because besides all joining the Big East to stay afloat... thats where the institutions similarities will stop.