This is obviously driven by football and by the money schools and conferences get from TV contracts, radio, bowls, etc. That means the basketball-only schools, St. John's, Providence, Marquette, Seton Hall, DePaul, Villanova and Georgetown, and Notre Dame (which is independent in football) would be out of the loop. That's the problem.
Would those remaining schools grab the better non-football schools from other conferences? Would those be only Catholic schools? Who are likely candidates to go to the new Big East? Dayton, Xavier, St. Joe's, SLU, Butler? Could GW go there? What about URI, UMass, Temple? What would happen to GW and the A-10?
The GWHoopsters are hashing it out too. Free Quebec has a couple of scenarios:
The worst case scenario would be that the leftover BCS football schools (like South Florida and maybe Iowa St or Kansas St) will join C-USA and MWC to create solid second tier leagues. Then, in the worst case, the top A-10 catholic schoolsw will join up with the big east basketball schools to create an all-catholic league. I don't tihnk this is as easy as it sounds, but if it happens, that's the worst case.There's that stupid saying that the Chinese symbol for "crisis" is made up of the symbols for "danger" and "opportunity." That isn't true, but it's accurate in this case. We could lose the crappy schools and get some better ones, or we could end up with the dregs.
That would leave GW along with UMASS, URI, and Richmond to form the core of a new confernece. That's not that bad. You could even potentially keep Temple if they don't feel they have to join the MAC or CUSA for all sports. You might be able to add a school like Butler if they don't go to the new Catholic league, or a good basketball school like Western Kentucky. BU could possibly jump over to it, and that's a school that could be decent if they wanted to. Duquesne and the Bonnies could get left out of the big league and stay with us (decent tradition but I could live without the Olean road trip). Maybe you get some other school like GMU, JMU and/or ODU to jump from the Colonial, or someone like Siena from the MAAC. Heck, you could even have a school like St. Joe's get vetoed by Villanova.
And that's all just the worst case scenario. It's no given that schools like st. John's and Villanova will want to travel to Philadelphia or Dayton or even Milwaukee for swim meets without football revenue. It's just as conceivable that the Big East basketball schools stay together and add no one or add only a couple teams, leaving the A-10 largely intact. Or that the baskteball schools from the Big East and A-10 split into a midwestern regional league and an eastern regional league, with us in the eastern league.
I think we're better positioned now than ever, and that was kind of the idea. New athletic director Patrick Nero is said to have a lot of good connections, and Mike Lonergan has a lot of northeastern experience too. Conference-wise, conference commissioner Bernadette McGlade was associate commissioner of the ACC, and seems a lot better than Linda Bruno.
So, fingers crossed. Hail to the Buff.
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