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Big East - Is the football split coming?

Discussion in 'Colorado Football Message Board' started by Buffnik, May 26, 2011.

  1. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    If you check around, there are a ton of articles, blogs and message board discussions that make it clear that there's a huge and growing rift between the football schools in the Big East and the rest of the conference.

    It seems inevitable that the football programs will split off so they can cash in on the media deals that are out there.

    Current or soon-current football members (9):
    Cincinnati
    Connecticut
    Louisville
    Pittsburgh
    Rutgers
    South Florida
    Syracuse
    TCU
    West Virginia

    Non-football members (8):
    DePaul
    Georgetown
    Marquette
    Notre Dame
    Providence
    Seton Hall
    St. John's
    Villanova (might move up in football, but Rutgers and Pittsburgh trying to block - in limbo)

    The talk now centers around how the football schools can create a 12-team conference and compete with the big boys. To do this, they have realized that they need to look at a national footprint. Taking teams in their geography that don't play good football does nothing for them. That's the big hangup with Villanova now. It is also why Memphis hasn't been offered despite great histories with Louisville and Cincinnati.

    So, if the football conference needs 3 more members where do they look?

    Speculation is that with the previous western moves of adding Cincinnati and Louisville and now the new addition of TCU, the conference is fully willing to look national in order to get the best football possible.

    East Carolina and Central Florida remain possibilities within their existing footprint, as do Villanova and Memphis despite the football weakness.

    But the big prizes are in the West. Speculation is now that they'll look to add Boise State, BYU and maybe Houston (although they'd love Notre Dame - who wouldn't) to create a truly national conference of 12 teams. By doing this, they become a media player for football.

    Here's one way it could play out:

    Eastern Division:
    Connecticut
    Pittsburgh
    Rutgers
    South Florida
    Syracuse
    West Virginia

    Western Division:
    Boise State
    Brigham Young
    Cincinnati
    Houston
    Louisville
    Texas Christian

    If it plays out like this, I think it would be good for college football. And it would certainly end any talk of the conference not being worthy of an automatic BCS bid (or not having a place in a new association if there's a split from the NCAA).
     
    chipwich likes this.
  2. SpacemanSpiff

    SpacemanSpiff Club Member Club Member

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    If that's how it play out, that would be a solid football conference. I know the University of Houston is trying (has been trying) to position itself to be attractive when the next round of mergers come. They have big plans. I'm not sure they can follow through on them, but this is a potentially HUGE football season coming up. After a home opener against UCLA, they pretty much have a cakewalk. With Case Keenum getting a medical redshirt, if he stays heathly, they have a shot at going undefeated and being a BCS-Buster. It probably won't happen, but if it does, it adds fuel to the fire for the Big $$$ projects they have planned (new stadium, etc). The downside to them getting added by the Big East is that, while they are in a HUGE tv market, I don't think they really bring that many viewers with them.
     
  3. CsquaredCC

    CsquaredCC Well-Known Member

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    Army and Navy are part of the rumors as well: http://www.cbssports.com/#!/college...might-hold-key-to-big-east-football-expansion
     
  4. CsquaredCC

    CsquaredCC Well-Known Member

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    Also, if Villanova isn't rock solid proof that the BCS football is becoming less and less about performance on the field, and instead about the number of television sets in the living rooms, then nothing will. Nova doesn't even meet the minimum requirements to field a D1 team and its current stadium capacity is 16,000.
     
  5. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Yep. Main reasons they're getting blackballed. Conference members are also questioning whether they add to media exposure when Rutgers is so close and Pittsburgh shares a state.
     
  6. CsquaredCC

    CsquaredCC Well-Known Member

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    Also, where did you see the speculation about Boise State? I haven't seen that at this point and I find it hard to imagine the Big East schools viewing the Boise, ID television market as a must get. I think BSU remains non-aq unless the Big 12 ever decides to move to 12.
     
  7. BuffaloSoldier76

    BuffaloSoldier76 Unsound Meat Club Member

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    That makes a lot more sense to me than trying to incorporate BYU and Boise St. Army & Navy still have national appeal even if they haven't had a lot of success in recent years. Houston and USF make SOME sense, but I don't think USF really brings enough eyes to garner a huge media infusion. Boise & BYU are a problem. First, I doubt BYU accepts a bid if one is offered to Boise St. I think the powers that be at BYU still regard Boise State as a vastly inferior school that is encroaching on their footprint (don't forget, there is a BYU satellite school in Boise). Additionally, the travel concerns of traveling from those eastern seaboard schools to Boise or Provo is not insignificant. That is an awful lot of travel time and miles to add for access to the 31st and 112th sized DMAs in the country.

    Boise State is a problem less because they play good football, but because they are a small school in a small city with a small alumni base that all lives in that area.
     
  8. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Look up "Boise State Big East Football". It's mostly blog speculation. Unlike BYU, the Big East did not offer a football-only membership. But if the Big East splits, full membership is on the table. BYU is certainly the first choice. Boise State could get left out for the reasons you mention.

    I'm sure they'd love to add BYU, Houston and Notre Dame and not have to take a risk on Boise.
     
  9. MrFrumpylane

    MrFrumpylane Well-Known Member

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    I agree that UH would be a big and smart add for the Big East. Though I disagree with you somewhat of their inability to bring many viewers. UH is the third biggest campus in Texas (I'm almost positive they even have more students than CU-Boulder). Granted they still have a rep of a "commuter school" but that has been changing lately. I know a few peeps who are big UH fans and they tell me that Robertson Stadium often sells out.
     
  10. SpacemanSpiff

    SpacemanSpiff Club Member Club Member

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    They've done a nice job with Robertson. UH used to play at the Astrodome and that was horrible, even in the days when UH was good. Roberston is small (~32k) so they do sell out some games (but not as many as they would like, and none last year - see list below). They are really targeting this year as a big year. This year they announced a $120M plan to build a new stadium (on the same site) that would seat ~40k.
    [​IMG]

    Date Opponent
    9/4/10
    Paid Attendance
    Texas State 25,443
    9/10/10 UTEP 25,092
    9/25/10 Tulane 20,530
    10/9/10 Mississippi State 22,946
    11/5/10 UCF 20,517
    11/13/10 Tulsa 21,091​
    Average Home Game Paid Attendance: 22,603
     
  11. Mick Ronson

    Mick Ronson Well-Known Member

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    Big East has always been an "ad hoc" conference....be a shame to see football/not-football pry Syracuse and UCONN away from the St. Johns, Georgetown, Providence, Seton Hall origins...but, it's been largely made for TV since the inception and tended towards being unmanageable rather than "a unity"....losing BC, adding then losing Miami and Va Tech, and the big C-USA grab...ND for sports but not football....16 team hoops league....it's a mess.

    Temple also in and then out.

    the hoops only league started in 79 and came to prominence alongside ESPN, the CFA anti-trust (1984) lawsuit and cable TV in general. football league starts in 91 with some of the same ambitions.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2011
  12. MrFrumpylane

    MrFrumpylane Well-Known Member

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    Surprised by the attendance stats for last year, prob were better the season before when UH was ranked in top 10 at one point. I lived in Houston briefly and have driven by campus on gamedays, they seem to have a decent tailgate scene. It's good to hear they are increasing their investments on the athletic programs, the potential is def there to be a BCS school.
     
  13. Mizzle

    Mizzle Member

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    Interesting speculation. It'll be fun to follow what they end up doing before their Sept 2012 ESPN negotiation window. My issue with the BYU/Boise theory is that the schools would either have to accept football only deals (BYU already turned down this offer), or the conference would have to split into Football/Basketball leagues. I don't think splitting the conference is in their best interest.

    So, if we are talking football only offers, Army and Navy make a great deal of sense because of their national appeal. To get to 12, I would speculate they ask Boise State or East Carolina if they would take a football-only offer. If they wouldn't, why not go for BYU in all sports?
     

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