Tag:Big East
Posted on: April 23, 2010 2:06 pm
Edited on: April 23, 2010 4:51 pm
 

Big East, C-USA: Now what?

Future of College Football Graphic: Five Super Conferences

The biggest question in all this expansion talk is what is going to happen to the Big East?

If the Big Ten pulls in Connecticut, Rutgers and Pittsburgh for the Big East, the conference will be down to five teams and on life support to survive. As Dennis Dodd points out, Cincinnati, Syracuse, West Virginia and Louisville would do their best to look elsewhere and most likely join the ACC.

Links

Dodd: Part IV: Variables could spawn revolution

Dodd: Part III: Texas would cause domino effect

Dodd: Part II: A look at the Big Ten Network

Dodd: Part I: The sport will never be the same

That means the Big East basically has two options.

No. 1: Fold. Allow the lone member South Florida to go somewhere else, mostly likely to Conference USA.

No. 2: Scrape together the best teams from Conference USA and the Sun Belt to keep the Big East together.

In scenario No. 1, the Big East would realize that no matter what teams it tries to pull over, it just will never be a major player in the college football/BCS world. So just close up shop and let South Florida to go wherever it could.

With C-USA losing SMU, Houston, Tulsa, UTEP and Tulane, that means it will need to replenish to keep 12 teams and its conference title game. Currently it uses two division -- East and West -- but it's time to change to North and South.

Army and Navy might end up staying as Independents, but why? Join a conference. Now that Notre Dame is gone it's time to do away with the Independents.

New Conference USA
North South
Army Florida Atlantic
East Carolina Florida International
Marshall Southern Miss
Memphis South Florida
Navy UCF
Rice UAB
New teams in bold

Things are a little bit more tricky in the South. Who would C-USA want and why?

Well, South Florida would be an automatic, so it really only needs two teams. Forget adding anybody from the MAC and WAC, so the only choices left are from the Sun Belt.

Florida International in Miami would be high on the list, if for nothing else, because of its location. The school is located in a Top 20 television market, has more than 40,000 students, and the school is doing its best to improve the football program (it just upgraded the stadium).

By taking FIU, that makes Florida Atlantic 60 miles north in Palm Beach County a perfect fit for a travel partner in other sports. The Owls also are building a new stadium.

I'm not sure the other schools would be attractive enough for C-USA to invite. Even though Troy has had the most success football wise, it has a major downside of being in a city of less than 15,000 people.

Louisiana-Lafayette does offer the conference a chance to get back int the state of Louisiana and the city is one of the largest of all the Sun Belt schools, but FAU and FIU are more attractive on a broader scale.

Now let's talk about scenario No. 2:

The Big East decides it can stay together by pulling some of the larger teams from Conference USA and Sun Belt. So here is what an eight-team conference would look like.

New Big East New C-USA/Sun Belt
South Florida Marshall
East Carolina UAB
UCF Rice
Memphis Southern Miss
Florida Atlantic Troy
Florida International Middle Tennessee
Navy La.-Monroe
Army La.-Lafayette
  Arkansas State
  North Texas
  Western Kentucky
  Georgia State (future)

Again, not much to work with, but the conference does get Memphis, UCF, East Carolina, the two Florida schools (FAU and FIU) and two military academies (Army and Navy). Is it strong enough to pull an automatic BCS bid? Doubtful.

Plus this creates another problem. Does the Big East invite all these schools to play basketball? No offense, but adding Florida International and its 5,000-seat gym, to play basketball and hosting games against Georgetown isn't very inticing. This would have to be a football-move only.

As for Conference USA and the Sun Belt, they would have no choice but to join forces. Conference USA would be left with only four schools, while the Sun Belt has seven. It would need one more school to get back to 12 and preserve a conference title game.

It's far-fetched and definitely something down the road, but Georgia State starts football in FCS (I-AA) this season and would be a perfect fit as the 12th school.

Located in downtown Atlanta with more than 30,000 students, the Panthers would be a nice addition to the C-USA/Sun Belt Conference.

Posted on: October 27, 2008 12:58 pm
Edited on: October 29, 2008 9:54 pm
 

CBSSports.com 120 -- Big Least?

Trivia time: Name the only two conferences in the nation without a zero- or one-loss team?

Answer: Sun Belt and Big East.

That's right. I know the ACC takes most of the abuse when talking about the weakest conference in the BCS, but make no mistake about it ... it's the Big East.

And it was proven this week in the CBSSports.com 120 as South Florida is now the only team in the Big East ranked in the Top 25, falling from No. 14 to No. 25.

The Mountain West has three teams ranked. The ACC also has three. Hell, all three of the ACC teams are ranked higher than the best Big East team!

And even that can be questioned. South Florida has lost two of its last three games, falling to Pittsburgh 26-21 and Louisville 24-20. The shocking victory over Kansas doesn't even look like an impressive win anymore, so I'm not so sure the Bulls are the best team in the conference.

So who is?

Pittsburgh? It gives up way too many points and it just lost to Rutgers 54-34.

Cincinnati? Not after getting blown out by Connecticut 40-16.

How about Louisville? Things were written off for the Cardinals after opening the season with a 27-2 loss to Kentucky, but they now find themselves in the thick of things.

But I'm looking at the teams ranked No. 27 and No. 28, who just so happen to play each other this week. West Virginia and Connecticut.

The Mountaineers fell off the map after losing on the road to East Carolina and Colorado, but have won four in a row and earned a big win over Auburn last Thursday night. The offense is really getting going, led by Noel Devine. The sophomore is finally showing everybody how good he is, rushing for 188 against Syracuse and 207 against Auburn.

Meanwhile, Connecticut has its own star running back in Donald Brown, who is second in the nation with 1,324 yards and has scored 14 touchdowns. The Huskies spent some time in the Top 25 earlier in the year before losing on the road to North Carolina and Rutgers.

Last season, West Virginia blasted Connecticut 66-21.

"You don’t think (coach) Randy Edsall will remind them of that score a few times this week?" West Virginia coach Bill Stewart said.

The last team West Virginia played after blasting last year was East Carolina and we saw how that turned out. The Pirates smothered the Mountaineers offense, beating them 24-3.

"Our people better get that in their heads. They celebrated Thursday night, Friday and they enjoyed it a little bit yesterday but our Mountaineers better crank our engine. If you saw the fourth quarter of UConn, wow, I saw a defense get after people and that was impressive."

The winner can stake its claim as the best in the conference -- at least in my eyes.

Notes

... Notre Dame is the closest to the Top 25 it has been all season, moving up to No. 26 after pounding Washington 33-7. Remember, Notre Dame counts as a "Big East" school when it comes to bowl selection. So with the Big East champion going to the BCS, Notre Dame most likely going to the Gator (Big East No. 2 slot), that leaves the No. 3 Big East team to the Meineke Car Care Bowl on Dec. 27 vs. an ACC team.

... Syracuse remains the lowest-ranked BCS team, coming in at No. 116. The 'Cuse are 1-6 with its only win coming against a FCS team (Northeastern)

... Oregon jumped into the Top 25, leaping 11 spots from No. 34 to No. 23. The Ducks give the Pac-10 their second team in the Top 25.

... Louisiana Tech fell 25 spots from No. 68 to No. 93 after losing 14-7 to Army.

... Utah jumped into the Top 10, moving up from No. 12 to No. 9. It is the highest-ranked non-BCS team.


 
 
 
 
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