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November 2, 2010

Oh joy. Well, at least the Big East waited to stir things up until there was a bye week for Pitt.

The BIG EAST Conference submitted the results of its extensive self-analysis and evaluation of the college athletics environment today at its annual Conference Board of Directors meeting.  Based on those results, the BIG EAST presidents agreed that the interests of each of the conference’s 16 member institutions would be served by increasing the number of Bowl Subdivision football-playing members to 10.  They unanimously approved the process to evaluate the terms and conditions for potential expansion candidates.

That means — nothing. It means the only they approved the concept that going to 10 teams in football is a good idea (duh). The other thing they approved is the manner in which they will decide to figure out the best way to figure out the best possible options.

They didn’t approve of a short list. They didn’t approve of the actual evaluation process. They only approved the evaluation process for the way they will evaluate candidates.

Really? We already know this one. Villanova has the invite and has to decide. Then it is TCU, Houston, UCF, Temple and Memphis.

That’s the list. It doesn’t take much to figure out. Navy and Army won’t bite.

The ACC and Big 10/12 aren’t coming calling for Pitt or anyone else for some time, so don’t start screaming about how Pitt needs to get out of the Big East tomorrow. That’s a broken record with no relevance to this. Pitt has no leverage to make that happen. They would be a nice addition to a conference, but they are not a sought after crown jewel. Only those programs can dictate when and where they want to be.

I’m not going to get too wound up about this. If there is news, I’ll pass it along and offer my thoughts. Right now, this is not news. This is just still a reminder to ‘Nova to make up their minds and a message to the obvious candidates to start preparing their presentations (and maybe line up donors for the entrance fee).

Thanks for the updates, Chas. It is pretty big news, don’t you think, given how ponderous and sloe moving the conference big-wigs have been?

Comment by TonyinHouston 11.02.10 @ 7:12 pm

agee wth Chas is that it is pretty much ado about nothing for now … 10 teams does make sense but would doubt that it will include both Temple & Nova. But I do believe if Nova doesn’t jump he Temple will be a big consideration

Comment by wbb 11.02.10 @ 7:18 pm

If it is only to ten teams, I feel like TCU is a must, and the you grab either Houston and UCF.

Comment by BnG 11.02.10 @ 9:37 pm

why not TCU,Temple,Houston and UCF?

Comment by POLE 11.02.10 @ 11:42 pm

POLE–if we did that, I also wish we’d get rid of DePaul, Marquette, Seton Hall, and Notre Dame/St. John’s/Providence

Comment by merlin 11.02.10 @ 11:51 pm

I agree! maybe we can bribe the priests at B.C. with some little boys to come back to the big east? J/K that may offend some on here… notre dame does not bother me as much only that they have the bowl tie in but if you look they have thrown a couple big east teams a bone i think pitt plays them thru 2019 dont quote me on that but i am pretty sure. i really believe the split of the football and basketball would be the best option.building up nova up to a d1 program is just stupid!the football schools have to man up and put the law down football makes the world go round.

Comment by POLE 11.03.10 @ 12:21 am

Also the big east sold them selves short they do have a TV contract thru ESPN Plus produces and syndicates the following telecasts:
Big East Conference football and men’s college basketball (starting with the 2008 football season these game are branded as the Big East Network with SportsNet New York as the flagship station) they just didnt do a very good at getting more revenue?

Comment by POLE 11.03.10 @ 12:28 am

I think Houston and TCU would make better sense because of market size and recruiting. We’ll see what happens.

Comment by Pittastic 11.03.10 @ 7:19 am

one last thing…They should really split from the basketball schools.

Comment by Pittastic 11.03.10 @ 7:20 am

I think this is big news in that all the schools (including the basketball only)agreed with the concept of adding football teams to solidlfy the Big East conference. Who and when they add will be very interesting.

Comment by B Foss 11.03.10 @ 8:41 am

The other thing that is not clear is whether there is agreement about adding schools to the basketball side of the ledger. I guess it is possible that they tabled that question and only approved adding two schools for football. If that is the case, I would guess that it would significantly limit interest from schools other than Villanova and maybe Temple (although Temple would probably prefer to ditch its current bifurcation of basketball and football conference affiliations).

I know I joked about this yesterday (referencing BBQ and TexMex), but from a football perspective, the two schools on the list that seem to bring the most to the table are TCU and Houston. That probably means they won’t be invited, but…

Comment by Pantherman13 11.03.10 @ 9:58 am

Adding Villanova + 1 FB only member works best for BB. With 17 hoops schools each team can play every other team in the league one time each (alternating home and away years). That would give basketball a balanced schedule (8 BE home games and 8 BE away games each year).

As far as the BE tourney is concerned it is easy to either exclude the #17 regular season finisher or have #17 play #16 in a play in game.

Going to 10 in FB is less desirable than only adding 1 to get to 9, IMO, however. It presumably leaves FB teams with an unbalanced league home/away schedule (5H/4A or 4H/5A)–unless the old Big ten practice of not playing one league opponent each year is adopted. It also reduces the ability to schedule a number of attractive OOC opponents (despite how that unfortunately played out this year).

Comment by pitt1972 11.03.10 @ 10:00 am

Correction–I meant to say 1 all sports member in addition to Villanova. Not going over 17 in hoops is best for hoops scheduling. Still prefer an uneven # of FB teams to allow a balanced home/away conference FB schedule and room for at least 4 OOC opponents so at least two can be attractive name opponents.

Comment by pitt1972 11.03.10 @ 10:05 am

Have to agree with Chas as usual. It’s way too early to get excited about this and it’s just a distraction to the 2010 football season. This is something that won’t happen until next season at best, or maybe even the 2012 season. By then Gary Patterson could be coaching in the NFL and TCU could be rebuilding their entire program. Not trying to start more rumors but stranger things have happened in college football.

Speaking of TCU: Sorry, but I just don’t see it for these reasons:
1. TCU wants to be in the Big 12, and that makes the most sense for them. They could be allowing these rumors to float just to try to force the Big 12’s hand.
2. The rumor came from the NY Post, a paper known for sensationalism under Rupert Murdoch’s New Corp. Yes, they have an excellent Sports section, but Murdoch knows what sells papers.
3. The BE presidents will have to approve of TCU. They have many things to consider other than their schools’ football reputations – like travel budgets in a tough economy, academics, etc. TCU will have to bring more than a short term winning football program to the table. Don’t know if they bring enough especially since Texas is still the big dog in that TV market, and probably in the Houston market as well.
4. No one in the Eastern US knows what a Horned Frog is. Had to throw that in. 🙂

Logically, I see this as Villanova being forced to step up (yuck) and adding a school already in the BE footprint. My guess is UCF because:
1. It adds a decent, growing TV market (#19 – bigger than Pittsburgh’s #23 market by the way) and even though U of Florida is the big dog, Orlando is transient enough for UCF to continue to gain followers.
2. Travel to Florida is already a given for USF and this would create an attractive in-state rivalry.
3. Now that they have a large enrollment (#1 in Florida) they’re upgrading their academic standards and made a few of the coveted lists.
4. An up-and-coming university in the existing footprint that also adds a new TV market would be attractive to the BE presidents.

That’s my best guess at this time, and why I’m not all that excited. But I hope I’m wrong and the BE presidents go berserk and do some of the things mentioned in the previous thread.

Comment by TampaT 11.03.10 @ 10:28 am

With the BE’s basketball focus, I only realistically can see one of three potential outcomes to expansion, ranked from most to least likely.

1. Add Villanova and Temple. I think this is most likely since it will do the least to “upset the apple cart” so to speak. You gain a stronghold on the eastern PA market, create geographical rivalries with eastern PA, NY, Conn, and NJ, and add a strong BB school.

2. Add Villanova and UCF. Probably the backup plan. All the benefits of eastern competition, plus increase a foothold on the FLA market which would help FB recruiting especially due to population shifts and instability in FSU & FU FB programs.

3. Add Villanova and some MAC school.

What I would like to see is BE add: ND, BC, Villanova, and Temple. If you are going to expand to 10 in FB why not 12 so you can get the conference champ game? It evens up # of BB teams, strengthens FB, creates great geographical rivalries, and solidifies northeast market. Unlikely you could get ND and BC but with increased revenue from championship game, TV contract negotiating strength maybe its not impossible.

Comment by Greg 11.03.10 @ 10:29 am

The more I read about this, and the more I think about the statement that was put forth yesterday, it appears that what was not agreed upon by the Big East presidents was to expand the basketball league beyond its current 16 team makeup. Over at, there is an article that states that if TCU were to join, it would probably be as a football-only member. In my mind, this is extremely short-sighted, and basically would leave the door open for TCU to bolt as soon as the Big 12 comes calling. I agree with TampaT above that TCU is most likely using this as a wedge to try to force some action from the Big 12.

In any case, if it is true that the basketball schools will not approve the addition of any more members to the basketball league, then I am back at my original gut feeling that this all is essentially an effort to convince Villanova to move up to FBS, and that if they do not do that, there really is no other long-term plan ready to go.

I don’t know if it would have worked, but it is too bad the Big East didn’t aggressively go after KState, Missouri and/or Kansas last spring when it appeared the Big 12 was on the verge of collapse.

Comment by Pantherman13 11.03.10 @ 10:56 am

TampaT… see what costs more for advertising revenue… Orlando football broadcasts or Pittsburgh football broadcasts

demographic and preferences matter more than actual size of the market… old ladies from the Bronx who moved to orlando dont care about college football… in fact the whole state barely cares about sports (watch tampa’s playoff attendance?)

Comment by DeVanzo 11.03.10 @ 11:30 am

I think most likely what will happen is either Villanova and Temple join, since that keeps the hoops at 16 or if they bring in TCU, Houston is the school that comes in with them, and then a possibility of a split between the hoops and football schools. I don’t see TCU coming without being able to bring all of their sports, and I don’t see the MWC allowing them to keep all olympic sports there.

Comment by Twink 11.03.10 @ 11:32 am

Also… its about time Pitt explains to the BE how bad it really needs us…and by extension how much they need the four schools of Pitt, WVU, Cuse, and UCONN… the football and bball cream of the crop

Without us in football, the Big East loses its top program as far as national exposure (titles, heismans, histories, rivalries, pro players, etc)… without us in bball it loses one of its top 3 programs over last 10 years. As far as combined revenue generator for tv… pitt has to be number one in the last 5 years (national tv football games, ND football games, national tv bball games, etc)

they need to put the axe to Nova football… them or us. A 6000 student catholic school with no tradtion, fan support, facilities, or money WILL NEVER COMPETE IN DIVISION 1. Its an insult to think they will replace Miami, VT, and BC and try to stay competitive in the BCS with VILLANOVA.

Pitt is attractive to the Big 10 and ACC… and will certainly find a home for hoops if it needs to go independent for football.

Nova and Temple? Are we the MAC? What a joke.

If the big east doesnt make bold football moves (which i give a 5% probability regarding TCU/Houston/SMU/Navy/Army/Kansas/Kstate/etc) Pitt needs to abandon ship

Id rather play ND’s schedule and be an independent as we always were then deal with two Philly joke football schools who will take Utah/Miami off the schedule

Comment by DeVanzo 11.03.10 @ 11:40 am

The most obvious candidate is UCF. It is a natural rival for USF, strengthens the Big East presence in Florida for recruiting purposes,is a growing school with a growing alumni base, etc. The second choice should be TCU. The conference needs a contender for the BCS Championship and this is the only one available. With the MWC being decimated with defections TCU would be happy to join. The second wave of expansion to twelve would be Houston; in order to strengthen the Texas market and give TCU a natural rival and Villanova to strengthen the northeast rivalries. Notre Dame should be shown the door when we expand to ten teams and then weed out the weakest BB programs when Houston is added. The league should be no larger than sixteen teams total. No teams should be added as football only teams. We need to keep the Big East an all sports league. That was the problem with Virginia Tech and Temple all those years.

Comment by John in South Carolina 11.03.10 @ 12:11 pm

No, no, no, no, no, no…NOT Villanova! They have 6,500 students and average 9,000 fans a game! Come on! Nova does not capture the Philly market because no one cares to watch them play football. Philly is a pro sports town and people who do watch college football want to watch Penn State! Period. They will be Temple 2.0 for goodness sakes. Adding Nova is simply adding a school just to add a school. The Big East already has an image problem. How does adding Nova help??

ND will not join. Plain and simple really.

I think the only way to make this happen is to take some chances and be bold. TCU and Houston and how about UCF (I know the arguments against this) and East Carolina?

Or better yet, the ACC picks us up asap. lol

Comment by JAM 05 Pitt 11.03.10 @ 12:39 pm

Totally agree DeVanzo, if it’s Nova and UCF, E.
Carolina, Temple, Memphis, you know what, don’t bother. That is exactly what will happen, we’ll be left with 3 OCC, and you can bet two of the three will be Vermont and Southern Illinois. That is the one thing that helped me, somewhat stomach the Big East, Utah, Miami, Iowa, Mich St. Nebraska, T A&M etc. etc. Could you imagine the schedule……what we have now, with UCF and Temple, then add Middle Tennessee, Western Kentucky, and hopefully one Illinois, Fla St. B.Y.U. No thanks, if you’re not gonna do something bold, leave it alone. Your list of teams is exact, anyone else, is just filler. Please, don’t bash us, we’re not bashing the Big East, we’re hoping they are proactive and bold, not just stuffing for stuffings sake!!

Comment by Dan 11.03.10 @ 12:39 pm

If I stumble upon a genie’s bottle, and get three wishes, I will wish for excellent health for my family and I, a billion dollars (can make a lot of other wishes come true), and Pitt WVU UCONN and Syracuse to the mega conference ACC!!!!!!! Big East hoops is the best, but, really, what are we hanging onto, G-Town and Villanova. Prov, St Johns, Seton Hall, Rutgers, Depaul haven’t been good since I was in high school. Sorry to lose GTown and Nova, but, we get to take are three biggest hoops rivals with us. I know I’m dreaming, just finishing up lunch with a wish list.

Comment by Dan 11.03.10 @ 12:47 pm

Hey, one more, I’ll be out of your hair for two days. For some that sell the football team short, when some of us speak of being a perrenial top 10, top 15 team, with a top 5 occaisionally, and maybe a shot at a NC one in awhile. I think it might mostly be some younger folk, look around, and you will see, a lot of teams come and go. It’s not always Texas and Alabama and Ohio St. It seems that way, because they go on runs. Texas-they absolutely stink this year. USC-stink (ya, probation, that’s part of it) Michigan, an also ran for 3 years. Yes, even Ohio St., before Jim Tressel, Ohio St. lost about 8 or 9 years in a row to Michigan, and had many 8-3 and 9-2 seasons. Alabama stunk 10 years ago, it was always Florida and Tennessee fighting it out for what seemed like ions!!!!! Miami and Florida St. fought it out, for what seemed like the National Champ every year, for years. So, my point, don’t underestimate Pitt’s chances for top level success, and to be a power again. Don’t shoot for 7-5 and 8-4 and be happy, shoot for national prominence. It can be done, just ask Jaimie….Hail to Pitt, good 3 game run, keep on pushing forward!!!!!! p.s. posted this, to a comment heard on the radio yesterday, no one on here. Hail to Pitt!!!!!!!

Comment by Dan 11.03.10 @ 12:57 pm

true that Dan… the Big Least has a chance to become relevant again… if it blows it on Nova thats it… full scale flirting with ACC/BIG 10 needs to get going!

I still cant believe that everyone who has anything to do with pitt is not outraged at the thought of Nova being on our football schedule. You could fit Villanofun’s entire student body in Pitt’s lower bowl student section

have any of you ever been to Nova?
the stadium and football experience can be described in a word – JOKE
12,500 seating capacity… seriously
link to

so small it is not even on wikipedia…
link to
yes… that’s 1/3 as most WPIAL championship games draw in the burgh
link to
Anybody have WPIAL high school attendance? I think Cupples Stadium for the City League has to be close to that little pipsqueek field

Look at all of this tradtion on their wiki page!
link to


Here is why I cant take ESPN BE blogger Brian Bennett seriously:
3. Villanova: The Wildcats solve a lot of practical headaches, as the Big East wouldn’t have to add another school for other sports. They also have the Philadelphia market and offer another rival for the Northeast schools

They have the Philly market? Really? What facts does he use to justify that statement. I lived in Philly for two years and never saw a Villanova game on TV once… I dont even think they are televised on a regular basis.

I think one of the Ventrone brothers who wasnt playing at Pitt transferred there and became the second coming of Brian Westbrook… jk but really, Villanova in our football conference? Im waiting for Stevie P to say “got ya! just kiddin!”

Comment by DeVanzo 11.03.10 @ 1:08 pm

DeVanzo: As usual, your point is based on your own assumptions rather than facts.

Median age:
Orlando DMA = 39.6
Pittsburgh DMA = 41.1

Household Income:
Orlando DMA = $64,286
Pittsburgh DMA = $53,178

The Orlando DMA also leads the Pittsburgh DMA in consumer sales in most major categories tied to TV ad spending, including automotive and alcoholic beverages, two key sports ad spenders.

So which market has the most POTENTIAL for TV ad revenue? However, my point was not that Orlando is BETTER than Pittsburgh. Personally, I’ll take Pittsburgh any day.

My point was that it was a bigger TV market than Pittsburgh, which based on some earlier comments might surprise some here. But as ususal, you took that out of context to act smart.

Of course Pittsburgh can probably demand a higher ad rate for sports programming. It’s a market steeped in sports tradition, so they should have higher TV ratings for sports programming. Again, that wasn’t the point. The point is that Orlando is an attractive TV market.

By the way, UCF averaged 38,078 in home attendance in 2009 on a pretty mediocre schedule. That would have put them ahead of Cincinnati and Louisville, and pretty close to Connecticut.

Comment by TampaT 11.03.10 @ 1:15 pm

This might sound crazy because because it’s from a hoopieville paper, but why not try to catch bigger fish?

Comment by Pittastic 11.03.10 @ 1:23 pm

Comment by Pittastic 11.03.10 @ 1:24 pm

I’m not going to get too wound up about it, either — especially because I have no say in what’s happening. The only thing that really bugs me — and I’m sure someone else has already thought about this — is the addition of Texas schools makes the BE a bigger joke than it already is.

Everyone already laughs at us in football, sometimes for good reason and sometimes out of ignorance. But do you know what we have? We have some sort of integrity. No ridiculous divisions, no useless conference championship game and no commissioner grandstanding about the “values” of the conference. (Granted, it would be nice if he said SOMETHING once in a while.) (And, yes, it won’t happen, but how much more integrity would we get if we could get Army and Navy?)

But if we add a Texas school, we are C-USA. You can justify the inclusion of South Florida and the possible inclusion of Central Florida through history (we used to have Miami) or through the demographics of the United States (most people are moving to the Sun Belt). And hey, it is on the East Coast. But while Storrs isn’t exactly around the corner from Louisville, UConn at TCU in a Big East football match-up makes about as much sense as Louisiana-Lafayette at Hawaii in a WAC game.

Be smart, administrators. Be smart.

Comment by JTC 11.03.10 @ 1:31 pm

TampaT… your stats arent relevant to your point or my counterpoint

apparently you didnt read my post, yet you felt the need to make incorrect statements about it:

“TampaT… see what costs more for advertising revenue… Orlando football broadcasts or Pittsburgh football broadcasts”

did you see what costs more? no… i was simply stating tnat I felt that college fb games in Pittsburgh generate more ad revenue than Orlando… find some stats on that before you bring any more useless ones to the board

Unless you have ratings for college FB games in the Orlando market… or the actual rates charged for ads during those games… those stats mean nothing to this argument

Comment by DeVanzo 11.03.10 @ 1:31 pm

As far as UCF’s potential… I think it can be a legit program… and i think your attendance numbers justify that

I never disagreed with that point

Id take UCF/Houston/TCU package in a heartbeat

Comment by DeVanzo 11.03.10 @ 1:34 pm

Okay, I feel like my post was too long to get my point across: It would be sheer insanity to take any of the Texas schools. Don’t do it.

Comment by JTC 11.03.10 @ 1:39 pm

and taking that high school team Villanova puts out is better?

Comment by DeVanzo 11.03.10 @ 1:46 pm

Again, you’re getting into this tit-for-tat stuff, which makes it hard to agree with you on anything you post.

My stats were relevant to the meat of your comment which was “little old ladies…don’t care about football” insinuating that Orlando was full of retirees on fixed incomes. As those stats you call irrelevant show, that’s not the case.

And, you again only picked the part of your first post that was relevant to your counterpoint above. Pretty sad.

Comment by TampaT 11.03.10 @ 1:52 pm

College sports is not going to explode, it’s going to implode. Regionalization is going to come back. Relevant televisioin markets aren’t going to exist anymore — everyone will be watching on their phone.

The best strategy, short and long-term, is to concentrate on building relationships with universities that are, first, geographically relevant and second, similar in their overall mission.

Adding Villanova would cut down on travel, bring another strong academic school into the BE (with well-regarded professional schools) and will not result in a facilities arms race in which Pitt cannot compete, because Villanova doesn’t have the money or room to expand, either.

Plus, when the inevitable split between the football and basketball schools takes place, ‘Nova will be an important part of the conference.

Comment by JTC 11.03.10 @ 1:56 pm

JTC: The TV market, or more accurately the DMA, will always matter because it defines the number of households and the demographics of those households. It doesn’t matter what device is used advertisers will want to reach the larger DMAs first.

DeVanzo: One last point to you. Comparing current TV ratings is apples-to-oranges and irrelevant to my original point. You can’t compare Pitt vs. any BE team to UCF vs. any C-USA team. Of course the ratings and correspondingly the ad rates would be higher in Pitt’s case. My original point was about POTENTIAL – UCF vs. BE team TV ratings.

Comment by TampaT 11.03.10 @ 2:25 pm

JTC- what youre saying is some weird blend of philosophy and dystopianism…

even in that alternate future… adding villanova as a football school is just pathetic

please read all of my points above, they are instantly the worst program in the BCS

who cares about academics? They arent a research university either, no doctoral programs… its a small catholic masters school… why dont we invite Swarthmore too?

A facilities arms race? What does that even mean? We already have the best facilities in the BLeast… and some of the best in America. And were supposed to bring in Nova so we dont get threatened into making capital investments in our athletic programs?


Comment by DeVanzo 11.03.10 @ 2:51 pm

The Temple option may be much ado about nothing, but for arguments sake, how is this different than dating an ex girlfriend to see if anything has changed? Correct me if I’m wrong. I’ve admittedly not been following Temple over the last few years. I just think it’s embarrassing to have Temple as an option floating around.

Where has Pederson been throughout all this landscape conference talk over the last year? For a guy who came in with guns blazing the first time around at Pitt, making controversial moves for the greater good, he’s been pretty quiet with his second go-around.


Comment by Cool Hand Nuke 11.03.10 @ 2:53 pm

Dan, You and I are finally on the same page. DeVanzo, you and I are AGAIN on the same page. Aside to all: it makes me weary to think we have months and months of speculation about who may or may not be in the Big East. Is it not a mite early for that? Let’s just concentrate on the remainder of THIS season. And, oh yes, anticipate with relish, the forthcoming roundball campaign. Rev. George

Comment by Rev. George Mehaffey 11.03.10 @ 3:46 pm

You’re missing the point entirely. The fact is, Villanova has gotten enough notice that all the local news stations include Villanova in their weekly football coverage, along with Temple and Penn State. They are recognized as one of the top-5 programs at that level, with potential to move up. Was UConn any different when they moved up ten years ago? Villanova could make the move, with a stadium expansion. But if they are the only school the Big East adds, they’re in trouble. I say take Temple from the Philly schools, their football program is rapidly improving and taken seriously by many 3-star candidates, and they have a storied basketball program with a great home court and another rising program.

Comment by merlin 11.03.10 @ 3:54 pm

Youre missing the point entirely

I lived in Philly… they get ZERO notice… their games are not even broadcast on television…. nobody cares. I think Penn’s games at Franklin Field had more coverage and attendance. I dont care if they are top 5 playing other high school teams… that makes them what… 130th in div 1 then?

“taken seriously by many 3 star candidates”
are you a 3 star? Thats a Brian Bennett statement… thats not an observable fact. The facts are that they dont even really sign blue chips:
link to

How are they different from UCONN??

Uconn is a public land grant university with 20k+ undergrads… the exact kind of school that fields a solid football program and has the alumni and students to support it

To think that Nova will ever have the fans or alumni to support it seems a bit far fetched to say the least. The only teams that do well with that small of a student body either have first mover advantage from starting a football program back in the early 20th century or have a ton of money (TCU qualifies for both there)

Comment by DeVanzo 11.03.10 @ 4:10 pm

Don’t confuse what I said with Villanova about what I said with Temple. And I grew up outside of Philly, which is where a large portion of Villanova’s fan base will come from–a wealthy, influential fanbase.

Comment by merlin 11.03.10 @ 6:19 pm

Any conversations about contraction by addition? The conference would have better financial figures to sell to schools by eliminating the sand baggers of the conference, DePaul, Marquette, Providence, and Seton Hall to increase revenues spread between the conference for now. Than you could swing TCU if you could grab Kansas, Kansas State, and Houston. 12 Football squads and the perfect 16 squad basketball conference and would allow Villanova to develop a solid plan for their programs and have implace those facilities that would be needed to help take their program and elevate the Big East into one of the top programs and make the jump to FBS football with a more structured conference and a better plan for what other three squads could be added to become a football super conference and have a strategic plan that would work for basketball.

Comment by Teddy 11.03.10 @ 6:20 pm

Good points Teddy. Too bad it all seems like wishful thinking considering the big east past

Comment by DeVanzo 11.03.10 @ 11:03 pm

Drop DePaul, Providence, Seton Hall, and Marquette and add TCU, Houston, Central Florida, and Memphis. This would create two schools in both FL and Texas – two hotbeds for recruiting and TV markets. Nova and Temple will never fill seats – I was born and raised in Philly and don’t see any value in those schools but plenty in TX and FL coverage. Memphis brings FedEx financial support and corporate support for the league. I have some interest in Kansas and Kansas State, but like the other 4 better.

Comment by dish 11.04.10 @ 12:00 am

If they add Temple & Nova, why even bother! The selection of who they add will be test of who has the power in the BigEast. The football schools or the basketball only schools. If it’s the two above, you will know it’s the bball schools. However if the football schools are in charge and I’m assuming those schools want to build a stronger football conf., they will go after schools like TCU, Houston, SMU and Central Florida, for only those schools (especially the Texas schools) add to the geographic & financial footprint of the BigEast. Nova & Temple add absolutely nothing. Temple is a non-entity in Philly, Nova has no Div.1 tradition what so ever. It was bad enough we had to ween UConn to Division 1 (FBS) status, not 2 in the same decade. This conf. is not well thought of nationwide(as a lot of you note on an almost daily basis), adding Nova & Temple will make it more of a joke. This will be the test of who is in charge of the BigEast and who will lead this conference either forward and stronger or just waiting to be ‘road kill’. (at least for the football schools) Dish has it right except for Memphis, SMU is a lot better choice.

Comment by VirgilSollozzo 11.04.10 @ 12:59 am

K State & Kansas would be great(epecially for hoops), but they’re not going anywhere as long as the Big 12 exists and I don’t think the BigEast can wait for the Big 12 to implode. For that could be a long time, who knows.
If they go to 16 team Mega-conferences, then we would have our 12 teams and then we could add the remnants of the Big 12, if Texas & it’s 3 little brothers move at some point in time to the Pac 10 or the Big 10 or who knows, even the SEC.

Comment by VirgilSollozzo 11.04.10 @ 1:13 am

its speaks volumes that we ALL AGREE on this haha

Comment by DeVanzo 11.04.10 @ 10:20 am

IMO in order to build the football side of things we need teams that have geograpic rival ties. Im thinking more long term than a quick fix. TCU is good this year but have you seen TCU in a down year. I remember when they played in CUSA and it did not work out because of the location. The Houston Cougars are worse. They average 25,000 for football and 3,000 for basketball. I think of it this way, The SEC was not built on TV markets but rather GEOGRAPHIC RIVAL ties. They veiwership came by building those rivals over years and the rewards came later. The SEC was not built upon in big cities. Im not trying to make anyone mad Im just thinking of what could be big.

3 Memphis
4 Louisville
5 Cincinnati
6 Marshall
8 Pitt
9 Temple
10 Rutgers
11 Syracuse
12 Uconn

I would rather the Big East split the two and one be a basketball only conference. The Big East would still own both keeping the old basketball rival ties by playing them as non conference games.

1 Umass
2 Providence
3 St. Johns
4 Seton Hall
5 Villanova
6 Georgetown
7 Charlotte
8 Xaiver
9 Notre Dame
10 St. Louis
11 Depaul
12 Marquette

Comment by Cards House 11.04.10 @ 6:52 pm

Card, just saw a hint at this setup on Frank The Tanks blog…They could call the football schools the Big East Football Conference (BEFC), the BB Schools keep the Big East Conference name (Like the Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC) and the Missouri Valley Conference. FB and BB break apart into separate conferences, but they reamin tied to each other.

Comment by HbgFrank 11.04.10 @ 8:01 pm


“what youre saying is some weird blend of philosophy and dystopianism…”

So? Philosophy is built upon logic, and logic comes in handy when making decisions. And between Jim Calhoun, Bruce Pearl and Cam Newton’s “agent” (just some recent examples), why would I think the world of college athletics is a UTOPIAN environment — never mind a positive, enriching one? Excuse me for seeing it as the sewer that it is, and for not being very encouraged about the direction in which it is moving.

“please read all of my points above, they are instantly the worst program in the BCS”

That doesn’t mean they always will be; they could get better. As for television, I live near Villanova. Their games are on TV every week in the area. The same cannot be said for Pitt. The field is an issue, but there are ways around that: If they really wanted to commit, they could knock down their stadium and build a 20-30,000 seater on-campus. That’s about what we draw at Heinz Field. If they don’t want to do that, what’s the difference between a half-empty Linc for Villanova football and a half-empty Heinz Field for Pitt football?

“who cares about academics? They arent a research university either, no doctoral programs… its a small catholic masters school… why dont we invite Swarthmore too?”

Swarthmore doesn’t even have a football team anymore. That would be a much bigger project, but I am intrigued. Anyway, I care about academics, and it seems like you do, too, if you want a major research univeristy. Cincy, UConn, Louisville, South Florida and WVU are dragging the conference down by not being members of the AAU, i.e. “major research universities”. Know what other schools aren’t major research universities? TCU, UCF and Houston. So, if you want major research universities, you’re not getting them in your package. And besides, BC isn’t in the AAU, but, hard feelings aside, you’d have them back, wouldn’t you? Pitt is a fine school, and I’d prefer them to be rubbing shoulders with schools at their station, not arrivistes like South Florida and UCF. You’re not getting your academics with those schools, nor are you getting geographic locations that make any (Texas schools) or much (UCF) sense.

“A facilities arms race? What does that even mean? We already have the best facilities in the BLeast… and some of the best in America. And were supposed to bring in Nova so we dont get threatened into making capital investments in our athletic programs?”

What do you mean, “What does that even mean?” People talk about facilities arms races all of the time. Read about a conference besides the Big East — facilities are kind of important in recruiting. Maybe we do have the best facilitiies in the Big East, but that’s really just based on what we’ve been told. Have you ever worked out at UPMC Southside? I haven’t. And I think UConn or Rutgers could get better facilities. They have the land and the money. But to say that we have some of the best facilities in America is completely out of order. Do you know what kind of palaces to football they build at places like Texas and Tennessee? We are not even on the national map for football facilities. So, if you bring in a school like Villanova that doesn’t have the land or the money to build much (especially if they did build that stadium), you’re not going to get out-classed in facilities when recruiting. At least as far as facilities are concerned, the playing field can be kept relatively even.


Is it really that disgusting to you? Is it really that frustrating — the idea of playing opponents whose fans are close enough to travel to some of the other schools in the conference? To build a conference that, in, say, twenty years time, has established tradition? Would you rather just jump in the Big Ten and pretend Michigan State then Nebraska is a rival? Hold a pointless conference championship game no one will attend? Is it so bad to continue our basketball rivalry with ‘Nova in football? How does being in a conference with TCU, UCF and Houston do anything for us? It hardly makes sense to be in a conference with Cincy and Louisville, but I’m at least used to it now. (Not South Florida, though. You can kick them to the curb as far as I’m concerned.) If markets and manufactured enthusiasm are your thing, stick to pro sports. I await the day we play Carnegie Mellon and Duquesne in conference play.


I have a question. When we’re all watching on our phones, how is one city’s demographics going to matter? People in Houston or Tampa will be able to watch whatever they want; in some cases they already can. Don’t you need to nurture your own fans’ interest? Isn’t that your only guaranteed audience?

Comment by JTC 11.05.10 @ 7:01 pm

JTC: Who really controls the broadcast out of the stadium, individuals or monoliths like ESPN? Who will have the financial wherewithal to continue to provide those feeds to your phone, PC, iPad, radio, TV, etc.? Don’t you think that ESPN will continue to protect its investment and monetize it to the fullest? When Brighthouse in Tampa shows a BE game that they’ve purchased from ESPN it is blacked-out on ESPN will always go where the ad money is the largest, and that still resides with the market not the individual.

Don’t you think that advertisers are still going to target the markets where they have the highest sales volumes? Budwiser doesn’t know how much beer you drink, but they do know they sell a lot of beer in Pittsburgh. So, they’ll still throw bigger money at Pittsburgh than at individual Pitt fans. And, ESPN will continue to follow that money, at least for the foreseeable future.

Comment by TampaT 11.08.10 @ 12:44 pm

TampaT: No, I don’t think any of those things. That’s why I asked.

But, yeah, it is the monoliths who control the feed. And while the “market” is more powerful than the “individual” if we’re talking about where the money is, what you’re not allowing for is a change in what constitutes the market.

In other words, if the market becomes fragmented — and Pitt is a bad example because its fans are located in roughly the same geographic area — and your viewers are not located in one place, you would need to find new ways to reach your market other than just beaming your programming to a certain region. I think that’s why things like and exist.

And, sure, ESPN will throw money at the city of Pittsburgh, but I was suggesting that Pitt itself should try to nurture the interest of its own fans rather than concentrating on bringing in markets like Houston or Dallas/Fort Worth that aren’t going to care. Heinz Field is never full and most people leave after the third quarter. Though they ultimately succeeded, the university struggled to get an FM deal for their radio broadcasts and coaches shows. There’s an argument to be made that we don’t have the best fans in the world, but I just don’t see how bringing in schools that no one identifies with in any way is going to either service the existing fan or bring new fans.

Comment by JTC 11.08.10 @ 1:07 pm

JTC: You are correct. ESPN and others are always looking for new ways to reach audiences and the Internet, phones, etc. certainly provide that. But those viewing numbers are still tiny compared to TV.

The problem is that in most cases, your largest fan base tends to be in the market that your school is in. That is a combination of alumni and local bandwagon fans. Exceptions are “national” schools like ND, the service academies, and the huge state schools to some degree. That’s why I also think markets will continue to dominate. Delivery methods will continue to fragment, but not necessarily the market for the product itself. Does that make sense?

I do agree with your point about moving into markets for the sake of just trying to get bigger markets. That’s another reason I like UCF as an add. There will be a natural rivalry built with USF, and there are probably a lot of BE fans in Florida. Don’t know if you know, but Florida is the #2 state with Pitt alumni, well behind PA of course and we’re spread all over, but I’m betting it’s that way for many other BE schools too.

Comment by TampaT 11.08.10 @ 2:00 pm

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