In addition to the search for a car — now approaching a conclusion — I spent the weekend wondering what my doctor wanted. Got sick a couple weeks ago, and in addition to the medicine, I had to get some bloodwork done. Procrastinated on the blood work for a week. And then missed a couple calls from my doctor near the end of the week. By the time I called the office was closed and I got to stew over why they were calling me for the weekend. Cancer, rare disorder. Something horrible.
Turns out I have a Vitamin D deficiency. Have to take a prescription vitamin for a while. Seems generally stupid until I googled it, and holy shit, rickets! Getting old sucks. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
Moving on to other things. Which comes first, the Big East invites Temple, Temple’s board authorizes Temple to accept an invite, or Temple reaches a settlement with the MAC to move to the Big East this year? Given how ass-backward the Big East portion of expansiopocolypse has been, my money is on settling with the MAC first.
If there was any doubt that taking Temple now is done for saving the Big East money vs. what it would cost to get Boise out of the MWC a year early. This should clinch it:
The Owls will have to pay exit fees. Sources have said it would cost them $3.5 million to leave the MAC immediately, and $2 million to get out of the A-10. Less if they move later. But this stuff can be negotiated.
Boise would have cost at least $10 million more — and Temple could possibly settle at lower. I’m sure Temple has a tight budget, but that is chump change simply based on the TV deal of the Big East (even just for football) vs. the MAC.
Tomorrow is almost certainly Pitt’s second-last Big East Tournament. But there are plenty of reasons to think that it won’t be Pitt’s last conference tournament at MSG. Lost Lettermen lay out the logic as to why the ACC wasn’t just trolling the Big East back in September about holding the ACC Tournament in NYC.
You can guarantee that Syracuse and Pitt would rather continue playing in Madison Square Garden instead of Greensboro, NC, Charlotte or Atlanta, so let’s get that out of the way. My guess is that Mike Krzyzewski would sign on as well, as he routinely plays games in the New York City area for exposure and recruiting purposes like his record-setting 903rd victory in November.
That’s three power schools on board.
I’d also guess that Maryland and Boston College would prefer to stay up North instead of making the trek South and always playing the conference tournament in the backyard of Duke and UNC.
You can probably count out North Carolina, NC State and Wake Forest from supporting the move since all three are used to staying in-state for the ACC tourney and getting plenty of fan support.
That leaves the X-Factors as Florida State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Miami (FL), Georgia Tech and Clemson.
While they are all geographically closer to North Carolina than New York, I think it’s safe to assume three of those schools would trade Greensboro or Charlotte for Madison Square Garden in a heartbeat.
It really wouldn’t be a hard sell for most of the other schools. Every conference has that suspicion that certain schools get extra advantages from the conference powers — in no small part because of where the conference offices are. Many ACC schools would be happy to have the North Carolina schools lose some of the seeming control.
Just when I think I can let some of the bullcrap of the Big East past missteps go, someone like Mike Tranghese has to try and reinvent his history to say how he saw so much of this coming and, and — well here:
Tranghese was hired to follow Gavitt in 1990. In 1991, the Big East began playing football. The league had no choice. It had to look at football or break up.
The conference presidents commissioned a study to determine whether the Big East should stay intact or disband. The turmoil in the college football establishment was cresting — you were in or you were out. The Big East had taken in Miami to get the big-name football program it desperately needed. Now there was pressure to take on more football-playing universities: Rutgers, West Virginia, Virginia Tech.
The study recommend that the Big East stay together. Tranghese had misgivings even then. “I don’t think they envisioned any idea of all this jumping around taking place,” he said.
“I thought at that point, our league should have given very serious consideration to separating,” Tranghese said. “From where I was sitting, the difficulty of keeping everything together — some people playing football, some people not playing football — was a challenge.”
The Big East added Rutgers and West Virginia in 1995, Virginia Tech in 2000.
Temple doesn’t even get mentioned. Part of this goes to the dearth of leadership by the football schools. Pitt was a mess and in the midst of the O’Connor incompetence/malaise. I suppose there could have been a good case that neither side really would have been that good in the 90s for basketball. For the Big East Football Schools — whatever they would have been called — it would have been Pitt, Syracuse, WVU, VT, Miami, Rutgers, Temple and BC. I mean it essentially would have been Cuse and Temple running the basketball side.
That’s a digression, because Tranghese is so full of shit about his feelings of splitting the conference. Perhaps he thought it might make sense (or more likely, tells himself and everyone else that he saw the logic back then), but there is no way he said crap about it. Let alone take the lead on the issue. It would have weakened his power with a diminished conference — because I’m assuming he would have stayed with the basketball side back then. It also would have weakened Providence — which Tranghese and the Big East offices would never let happen.
He also prattles on claiming that he was pushing for Penn State membership back in 1989 — but of course the basketball schools blocked it. Even using the same words — “rue the day” — that he has used in other interviews when speaking of failed chances to bring Penn State into the Big East in 1979 and 1982 as well.