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November 29, 2010

Welcome to the BIG SPRAWL

Filed under: Big East,Conference — Chas @ 2:31 pm

If you are following me on Twitter, then you know that I am pushing for the BIG EAST to rename itself the BIG SPRAWL conference. Since BIG EAST no longer fits, and the geography is, uh, awkward. I’m not letting this go anytime soon.

Here’s the press release from the Big East.

Texas Christian University has accepted an invitation for full membership into The BIG EAST Conference, it was announced today.  The BIG EAST, by a vote of its Presidents and Chancellors, extended the invitation for membership.

Notice that the vote to extend the invitation lacked the descriptor, “unanimous?” I’m looking at you DePaul, Seton Hall and Providence.

May seem like a no-brainer, but it apparently took a certain alum of TCU to get things really going.

Meanwhile, Pitt men’s basketball coach Jamie Dixon and a TCU alumnus, confirmed that he did initiate contact between his alma mater and the Big East. Dixon was with Del Conte for a homecoming weekend against Baylor Sept. 18. Dixon and Del Conte spoke about how the Big East was going to need another football member. Dixon tested TCU’s interest and then let Marinatto know of the Horned Frogs’ desire to look at membership. Once TCU’s football team rose in the BCS standings and the Big East struggled, the matter became a need for both parties.

Improving the football side of the Big East. Rescuing people from car accidents. A top-3 basketball program. What’s next for Coach Jamie Dixon? Care to run a football team? Hey, they actually talked about it for Tom Izzo a few years ago.

Stumbling into the Jamie Dixon hire is the best thing that ever happened to Pitt since Tony Dorsett was a student. Pitt should just let him run the athletic department.

Comment by Omar 11.29.10 @ 2:35 pm

Here is to Jaimie Dixon…he did what Wanny wasn’t able to do…

Bring a winning football program to the Big East!



Comment by DaveD 11.29.10 @ 2:45 pm

Perhaps he can run the Buccos, too!

Comment by Jacob 11.29.10 @ 3:06 pm

Now that this vote is behind Nordenberg and our illustrious AD Pederson, perhaps they can focus on remedying our football program.

Comment by Pitt it IS 11.29.10 @ 3:17 pm

I agree…now is the time to fix our FB program for real.

Comment by Pauly P 11.29.10 @ 3:19 pm

5th largest TV market in the country makes this a no brainer. Next up – Villanova or Univ of Houston or Central Florida.

Division Alignment
Central Florida or Houston


If Nova comes in then WVU will go to the South Division and Nova to the North. Expect PITT and WVU to play early in the season with the possibility to meet again in the BE championship.

I like this decision if for one reason (as explained in the BE press release…
“Located in one of the top five media markets in the country, TCU also enables the Big East to extend its media footprint, which already encompasses more than a quarter of the country,” league Commissioner John Marinatto said.

Now in of top 35 media markets in the country. It’s all about the benjamins.

Comment by PITT fan in Atlanta 11.29.10 @ 3:29 pm

You’re right: They should rename the conference to reflect its expansive nature. Something like — I don’t know — “Conference USA”? Yeah, that will work. That will work on many levels.

What a disaster.

Comment by JTC 11.29.10 @ 3:48 pm

I prefer “Conference America – World Police”.

Comment by maguro 11.29.10 @ 3:56 pm

Now Jamie can play his alma mater. TCU

Comment by alcofan 11.29.10 @ 4:05 pm

Pan American Conference

Comment by steve 11.29.10 @ 4:15 pm

I think I have a man-crush on Jamie Dixon.

Comment by Chris 11.29.10 @ 4:15 pm

TCU is in the central time zone. Big East name is fine. It would be called Pac-16 even if Texas and Oklahoma bolted

Comment by Tony Cancilla 11.29.10 @ 4:23 pm

NCAA requires 12 teams to have a conf champ game.

Comment by wilk 11.29.10 @ 4:23 pm

If the Dallas Cowboys can be in the NFC East, why not?

Comment by Tony Cancilla 11.29.10 @ 4:23 pm

My excitement (for real, not sarcastic) of TCU coming in, is diminished by the extremely real probability of DW still being here.

Comment by DAN 11.29.10 @ 4:57 pm

I’m still pusing for the Conference of Relocated Athletic Programs aka The CRAP. When we’re good we will be “The Crap” when we’re bad we’ll simply be “Crap”

Comment by Pabs 11.29.10 @ 5:06 pm

Who cares what they call the conference, at least this will hopefully keep the NCAA & BCS from stripping us from EVER having a chance at a national title game!

Comment by Greg 11.29.10 @ 5:07 pm

Wilk – the rumor is that if they get to 10 football playing members, they will petition the NCAA to allow them to hold a championship game. I’m not sure why the NCAA would grant such a request, but that is apparently in the plans.

Comment by Pantherman13 11.29.10 @ 5:27 pm

“Expect PITT and WVU to play early in the season with the possibility to meet again in the BE championship.” I like where your heart is, but this statement is just hilarious.

Comment by chet 11.29.10 @ 5:45 pm

Dan, that was my earlier post as well…Good for the conference, but that means that as long as DW is at the helm, we are now just further down in the BE pack. TCU will win the BE the first year in followed by WV, Louisville and Cincy. We will be in the middle and finish at .500 with Dave saying that the program is in good shape considering he is only in his 10th season. Things take time when you are doing it the right way.

Comment by Pitt it IS 11.29.10 @ 5:46 pm

The way things are going with college sports, we should have announced this as a blockbuster trade!

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Big East has traded DePaul to the Mountain West for Texas Christian. Wait for it! As part of a three conference deal, Marquette will be returning to Conference USA, SMU to the Mountain West and Memphis to the Big East!

But, in a strange turn of events, just five minutes later, The Big East traded Memphis back to Conference USA for Tulsa. This came due to the discovery of fool’s gold in Oklahoma.

Shoot, I say let’s raid the ACC and change our name to something that will bring in the cashola. My top 3 conference names:

1- The Incredible American Conference (TIAC)
2- The Conference that needs to dump some basketball only schools(PEEN)
3- The hurry up and join Villanova so we can target Vermont conference(PRUNE)

In all seriousness though, this saves The Big East’s AQ status for the time being. TCU can play football real swell and the basketball team will have recruiting pickup. It will take some getting used to but we have come out and basically told the country that geography is going to be a small bump when we expand again. Now if only our football team can win some games, we could have a blast in 2012 before it all comes crashing down.

Sorry for pokin’ a little fun but I think this is good news and it put me in a good mood. GO PITT!

Comment by Panthoor 11.29.10 @ 5:51 pm

Isn’t that the truth Pitt it IS. Hey, why not go after Boise St and Air Force. TCU -does- it for me, Houston, Central Florids, Villanova do absolutely -nothing- for me. But, alas, when I’m about to get excited by something related to Pitt, I see Wanny, hair blowing in the wind, telling me, “we’ve got to play better”.

Comment by DAN 11.29.10 @ 6:32 pm

I think this will end up being a good add. TCU will not be recruiting in WPa any more than Pitt is gonna go after Texas high school players. So now we can see who actualy produces better players….. PA or Texas…………

Comment by mtoolmn 11.29.10 @ 6:32 pm

An addenum to my post a few days ago, with scores and quotes.

TCU–55–PITT–13……”Hey, we knew they’d be tough coming in here”, “that is one fast team”, “we are gonna have to play catch up”, “the kids, the kids, have GOT to get focused”

Comment by DAN 11.29.10 @ 6:34 pm

Hey……. if the BE has to split into 2 divisions we can always name them the ESPN division and the CBS division……… and keep everything simple then. Maybe the media will pay extra to have their name on a division……… !?!?

Comment by mtoolmn 11.29.10 @ 6:40 pm

What it has actually become is the Interfaith Conference, now comprised of a majority of religious-affiliated schools.

A fellow alumni suggests the next invite be Yeshiva in order to cover all the bases.

Comment by steve 11.29.10 @ 6:58 pm

did you see that the U football ranked 3rd in NCAA graduation Rate? Hell, that is more of an accomplishment than any BCS Bowl …. give Shannon a promotion to University president

Comment by wbb 11.29.10 @ 7:14 pm

follow-up the U ranked behind only Army & Navy … that is amazing!

Comment by wbb 11.29.10 @ 7:15 pm

I hope we add Nova, Houston, and UCF to get 12 football teams for a conference championship game and 19 basketball teams for an 18-game round-robin schedule with the top 16 to MSG.





Looks pretty good.

Comment by Tony Cancilla 11.29.10 @ 7:20 pm

@wbb….I would love to see a list of courses offered by the ‘U’ if they have the 3rd highest graduation rate. That would be a hoot, indeed.

Comment by carolinapanther 11.29.10 @ 7:52 pm

What about Cincy? Best passing team in conference. Hear that Antuan.

Comment by alcofan 11.29.10 @ 7:54 pm

Great another no tradition football school wins the big eaet, since apparently Pitt and WVU are relegated to drunken uncle coaches. The downfall of collegiate football is sinking it’s teeth. Let’s ban the football team for 10 years and save the revenue; invest it into the science program and ecological sustainability. Pump money into Pymatuning increasing the fertibility of ecological development in Western PA. ANd let’s bring back the men’s tennis team for Jah’s sake.

Comment by Justin 11.29.10 @ 7:57 pm

New Name for the conference that stretches from Storrs, Conn to Tampa, Florida to Dallas, Texas to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

How about the ‘Big Country’ conference.

I always liked that song ‘In a Big Country’

link to

Comment by carolinapanther 11.29.10 @ 8:00 pm

@justin TCU has loads of tradition similar to Pitt’s, going back to the 1930’s with Davey O’Brien, who won the Heisman Trophy, the Maxwell Award and the Walter Camp Award as the best player in college football. The best qb in college football is annually awarded the Davey O’Brien Award.

link to

TCU has been to 6 Cotton Bowls (back when it was one of the Big 4 New Year’s Day Bowls), 2 Sugar Bowls, 1 Orange Bowl & 1 Fiesta Bowl, as well as 2 Sun Bowl games and a whole flock of lower tiered bowl games. (much like Pitt)

What’s really interesting in one of those Sugar Bowls they played Carnegie Tech and in the 2 of the Cotton Bowls they played Syracuse and get this, Marquette. (maybe we can get Marquette do to FCS football again).

TCU has also played PITT twice in a home & home in 1959 & 1960. We haven’t beaten them yet, as they won 13-3 and the other game ended tied 7-7.
So we better get prepared.

Welcome to the Big Country, glad to have you !

Comment by carolinapanther 11.29.10 @ 8:43 pm

@ steve,

Temple would suffice on that order as well.

Comment by carolinapanther 11.29.10 @ 8:46 pm

There is no down side to this for the BE…We don’t walk to away games, we fly…The travel distance is way over stated…We needed a 9th team for scheduling. It just so happens that we got one that has lost one game in the last three years and will finish in the Top 10 for the third straight year. A 17th BB school? Big deal we will still play ever team in the conference every year. This is a really great move for the BE. Who on here would tell me that if TCU gets to the BCS NC game that you won’t watch with a little more interest than you would have before this move? Well, the same will be true for the Dallas-FT Worth TV market when BE games are on. It will take a few years, but we will be on in the market gaining the exposure that it brings. Great job BE front office!!!

Comment by HbgFrank 11.29.10 @ 9:20 pm

Word on the street, unscheduled Pitt press conference Wednesday, 1:00 pm. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Comment by Chris 11.29.10 @ 9:46 pm

Please Chris Do not TEASE me……please….now what do I do till Wednesday @ 1:00 PM

Comment by Tony In Harrisburg 11.29.10 @ 9:55 pm

Sorry tomorrow (Tuesday).

Comment by Chris 11.29.10 @ 9:56 pm

Can’t confirm, but the source is pretty reliable.

Comment by Chris 11.29.10 @ 10:05 pm

Pederson announcing 5 yesr Wanny extension

Comment by Pitt It Is 11.29.10 @ 10:30 pm

I hope nova gives a no i think the florida team would bring more to the table in the long run.

Comment by FRANKCAN 11.29.10 @ 10:31 pm

Tuesday! ok going to sleep now and I will wake @ 12:45

Comment by Tony In Harrisburg 11.29.10 @ 10:54 pm

I don’t think the Big East is ever in danger of having their BCS affiliation taken away.

Sure the teams tend to be mediocre, and the stadiums aren’t always packed, but the teams are mostly in larger TV markets and still draw decent TV ratings.

The BCS values that.

Comment by Jimbo Covert's my Dad 11.29.10 @ 11:00 pm

link to

Don’t know how to read this – it sounds like he’s being canned but since he says this kind of stuff all the time he might have just played back the tape…it is curious

Comment by TonyinHouston 11.29.10 @ 11:37 pm

ok this is what we do dump the basketball only schools. To the nine football schools we add temple to keep a foot print in philly plus they have a good bb program then we add memphis they play football and we add a great bb team to keep are bb rep up. then we add central floida for the recuting plus they have a lot of potential. That gives us 12 teams for football and we have kept a real good bb leage at same time we would have 8 really good bb programs still.

Comment by FRANKCAN 11.29.10 @ 11:49 pm

before you say that wont work who plays the best bb in big east. pitt syracuse u conn wvu louisville and cincy if you add memphis and temple you could not get mutch better think abought it the bb only schools are at the bottom of the big east right now we dont need them. who is at top the football schools. you add the two i want we have a better bb leage than we do now we could still play are champion ship at ms garden

Comment by FRANKCAN 11.30.10 @ 12:34 am

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