Easily the best read on a Big East split I've ever seen.
It echoes virtually all of my thoughts on the matter, with the exception of Notre Dame's potential status.
I'm ridiculously certain that Notre Dame is going with the football schools (while trying to retain independence in FB).
The other telling thing to me is that Georgetown advocates Richmond. That I did not know. That could mean the league would expand to 12, because it sets up a perfect east-west format with travel partners. A nine-team league doesn't have travel partners.
Nova/Hall, SJU/Prov, GT/Richmond in the East, and Marquette/DePaul, Xavier/Dayton and... Saint Louis and Butler?
In a previous post in one of the dozens of threads on the subject, I put forth how it would be lucrative to each side to split. Now that we have better numbers on the TV deal, the math still works.
$32 million per year, divided by 16 teams is $2 million each for the old Big East.
The markets cover 57 million people in Chicago, Cincinnati, NY/NJ, Philly, Pitt, Prov, Tampa, Washington, Milwaukee, CT, WV, Syracuse and Louisville.
Let's say you have an 11-team football conference (FB8, plus Notre Dame, Memphis, UCF).
The question is: Can they get a TV deal for basketball that brings in $22 million or more?
Their new footprint would have 45 million people (NY/NJ, CT, Memphis, Chicago, Cincinnati, Louisville, Pitt, WV, Orlando, Tampa, Syracuse). And a plethora of good games, still. While they lose some, only those with UCF/USF/Rutgers are really not interesting games. And with a 16-game schedule, you've got home and home with six teams and double-up on TV games (when you had three home and home series before).
While the schedule goes from 288 games to either 176 or 198, there's only so many time slots you could put on TV anyway.
For basketball, they'd have options.
A nine-team conference would only need a $18 million deal to be profitable. Add Dayton and Xavier and you're looking at 46 million people market share (NY/NJ, Chicago, Philly, Washington, Prov, Milwaukee, Southwest Ohio). Their biggest problem might be marquee games, by losing Syracuse and UConn vs Georgetown and Nova.
They could get their market share up to 50 million by adding Saint Louis, Butler and Richmond, which would also lower travel costs. But then they'd need a $24 million TV deal, and you'd lose six games of Marquette vs the east, another six from Xavier vs the East.
So nine is probably the best option.
I have heard through college athletics administrators that the Big East name is owned by it's founding members with teams that leave forfeiting ownership. That means UConn, Syracuse, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John's and Georgetown. I have yet to confirm that.
Either way, the logical terms of the split would be:
FB leaves penalty free as a group, taking all earned NCAA Tournament revenues.
Basketball gets the Big East name
FB gets MSG
BB tourney at Wachovia Center
A non-conference scheduling agreement between the two sides is formed, including a basketball tournament/showcase in MSG in Nov/Dec.
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