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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 10:06 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2003 9:41 pm
Posts: 749
Location: Wilmington, NC
i was rereading this article the syracuse ad about the history of the big east, and it amazed me how one vote determined so much and changed the entire landscape of collegiate conference affiliation.

Had Penn St. been admitted in 82, the Big East would have been

penn st.
seton hall
st johns

i suspect pittsburgh would have been added shortly after that to get to an even 10. a football conference, with football only members who played other sports in the a10, could have been established much earlier and the big east today along with the entire college landscape would look much difference. eventually, the big east would have probably gone to 14, adding wvu, temple, rutgers, and notre dame (for basketball only of course) giving them a true eastern all sports conference

the atlantic 8 could have been

st. joes
george washington
st. bony
la salle

the big 10 would still be at 10 and everyone would be happy with them.

the sec could have added miami instead of south carolina, forcing south carolina to stay in the metro.

the metro would have survived for a while longer with only fsu leaving in 91. south carolina staying would have given memphis and cincinnati second thoughts and they would have sponsered football

so the metro conference would be
south carolina
virgina tech
southern miss
houston- would have joined when swc died

the sunbelt and midwestern collegeiate conferences would be drastically different as well.

the mwcc/horizon would be something like
st. louis
loyola ill.

the sunbelt would be:
arkansas st
new orleans
south alabama
south florida
central florida
western kentucky
north texas
middle tennessee st
troy st.
la tech

the caa would then be much different
william and mary

this would lead to a much different american east, midcon, atlantic sun, southern, etc.

crazy how different things could have been and in a since better, at least geographically.

of course an acc expansion to 12 would force the metro to react which would effect wac east (rice, smu, tcu, utep) or the sunbelt and their football playing schools.

Last edited by accseahawk on Sun Jun 04, 2006 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 10:43 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2003 9:41 pm
Posts: 749
Location: Wilmington, NC
to expand a little further.

i believe the wac would have gone to 16 and then have the mwc spilt from it like it did leaving

san jose st.
fresno st.
boise st.
utah st.

new mexico st.

thats a pretty even east/west spilt and is stable until mwc wants to expand

Last edited by accseahawk on Sun Jun 04, 2006 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2006 6:15 am 

Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2003 1:09 pm
Posts: 1540
When I read the head line to this thread, I thought you were talking about the Supreme Court installing Bush as president. Now, there's a vote that really made a difference!

A lot of assumptions in your post, ACCSeahawk. . .

1. Remember that Penn State was looking for an all-sports league. Who's to say that they would have been happy in the Big East, a non-footabll league at the time? Who's to say that they would not eventually have gone to the Big Ten before the BE added football? Penn State is a better fit in the Big Ten than they would have been in the Big East despite geography.

2. Elsewhere, Joe Pa has said that Penn State had no interest in joining the Big East, that they were only interested in an all-sports league, & that conversations with Big East schools, BC & Syracuse, were only in relation to this all-sports idea. The Big East may have taken a secret vote, but it was irrelevant if Penn State wasn't coming.

3. The invitation for Penn State to join the Big Ten was extended in 1989, 2 years before the Big East hurriedly put together its football league & 4 years before they began a full schedule. Big East membership or not, Penn State would have headed to the Big Ten at that time.

4. These retrospectives on history ignore the obvious. There was another path to an Eastern all-sports league. Penn State was already affiliated with West Virginia, Pitt, Rutgers, Temple, & UMass in the Eastern Eight, which unlike the Big East was a primarily a group of football schools. Back then, 6 members were all that were needed to form a league. Had this group simply announced themselves as an "all-sports league" & set up a schedule, the pressure would have been on BC & Syracuse to join them - especially if the new league had refused to schedule those 2 if they refused to join. The all-sports league also could have sought additional members in the East in Army, Navy, & Virginia Tech. They also could have headed south to South Carolina, Georgia Tech, Miami, & florida State. Or west to nearby Cincinnati & Louisville. Penn State's failure to form such an all-sports league with such a readily available opportunity speaks volumes about the lack of direction at the school in 1982. There was nothing about BC & 'Cuse at the time that made them critical to the formation of such a league. Penn State was casting about for a better fit & nothing really seemed right for them. The mercurial success of Big East basketball at the time cast a pall over the Eastern Eight & its failure to achieve such success despite the fact that it had a 3-year head start on the BE as a conference. Surely that left them with regrets, but they were never the right fit for the BE & it was never the right fit for them.

5. Penn State's discussions with the Big East took place prior to their 2 national championships in the '80s, which catapulted them from a regional power to a national power with an even higher profile, thereby making them much more attractive to the Big Ten.

6. Most ignored of all in these discussions is the fact that coaches & athletic directors do not have the final say in determining conference membership. College presidents do. And college presidents listen to their Boards of directors & to their faculties. In 1983, Bryce Jordan became president of Penn State, arriving from the University of Texas system. Obviously he brought with him from Texas a football background. More importantly, he saw right away that Penn State was affiliated schools with whom it had regional ties but not with its academic peers. Because of its academic consotium, the Big Ten was always more attractive to him & to the faculty at Penn State. It was under his leadership that Penn State joined the Big Ten.

7. The idea that Miami would have headed to the SEC has no basis. Even with Penn State in the Big East, the league would have been looking to add football power in 1990 when they added Miami. And they would have done so in your scenario as well. The SEC was not looking to expand at that time & Miami was looking for conference membership.

Woulda, coulda, shoulda . . . The idea that Penn State would have been the salvation to Eastern football has always been a pipe dream.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2006 12:21 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2002 5:14 pm
Posts: 3369
Location: Phoenix Arizona
Friarfan, interesting point on Eastern 8. Would the Eastern 8 allowed football expansion since only four members played football (PSU,Pitt,Rutgers,WVU). Villanova had already bolted to the newly formed Big East when Penn State started the movement for all sports. Could Penn State got the necessary votes to add football. At that time, hybrids for football were not around as examples. I think you needed at least two votes from UMass, Duquesne, St Bonaventure and George Washington. Out of those four, only one played football at any level.

The same issues existed in the eastern 8 that existed in the Big East prior to expansion primarily for football, hybrids just don't work well regardless of how much the Big East states the necessity of having hybrids for its respective region of the county..

I disagree on Penn State leaving for the Big 10 had the all sports movement got off the ground.

We will never know for usre and so we just have to agree to disagree on what impact Penn State left on eastern sports.

One thing that folks living in the east do not see that we outside of the east do, the Big East is a complete mess and football reputation suffers from the current hybrid arrangement.

If you don't think that matters, then you should not care about getting good bowl deals, strong OOC schedules, and possibly maintain the BCS automatic bid.

Maybe the Big East should just forget about football and let the schools play independent like Notre Dame is doing.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2006 1:42 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2003 1:09 pm
Posts: 1540
The point remains the same, Lash. There was nothing critical about the inclusion of BC & Syracuse in the formation of an all-sports Eastern conference. There were other I-A schools with whom Penn State could have organized such a league. There was no need to work through the Eastern Eight. It could have been done outside that structure.

For anyone to cry "Foul" that Penn State was denied access to the Big East, they have to ignore historical fact. Penn State itself was a founding member of the eastern Eight in 1976 at a time when I-AA didn't even exist. They could have formed the all-sports concept then with Villanova, West Virginia, Pitt, Rutgers, & UMass. UMass was Div. I at that time. GW & Duquesne were the only charter members of the Eastern Eight who did not play football & only 6 members were required for a football conference. Penn State chose not to pursue the all-sports concept at that time.

In 1979 while Villanova was still in the Eastern Eight, Penn State left the conference & competed as an independent in all sports. Obviously there was something about the conference with which they were dissatisfied. During this period did they make an attempt to form an all-sports conference? Joe Pa says they did. But only via discussions with Big East football members. Why? Why not organize those outside the Big East? Why pursue membership in a basketball conference if what they wanted was an all-sports league? At that point they were not in the Eastern Eight, so their task would have been to convince others to leave. Temple was not in the conference either & would have been a ready partner. Div. I-A requirements were not as stringent at the time as they later became. It would have been easy for UMass to step up to I-A.

After floundering as an independent & failing in their talks with the Big East, Penn State rejoined the Eastern Eight in 1983. Temple joined at the same time. Penn State's Scheduling needs obviously dictated some conference affiliation. Hoever, Penn State failed to show the leadership at the time that might have led to the formation of an Eastern super-conference even without BC & Syracuse. Or else timing wasn't right. Miami, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech & South Carolina were all out there at the time as well at the football schools in the Northeast. They might even have convinced a Maryland or a Clemson to join them given the weak sister status of ACC football at the time.

The fact is that Penn State did not pursue such an option. Or else no one else was interested. However, I have no idea why anyone thinks that Big East membership for Penn State would have saved Eastern football. The Big East was not a football conference at the time & it would take another decade for it to become one. It was formed to meet basketball needs & most of its members did not play football.

If you don't think that Penn State would have joined the Big Ten once the invitation was offered, read about Bryce Jordan, who was president at Penn State from 1983 to 1990. He was a key figure who was instrumental in guiding Penn State into the Big Ten. He recognized that Penn State is a university built on the same scale as Big Ten universities & that it has little in common with the Eastern football universities. In addition, the Big Ten's academic consortium is something that no coalition of Eastern football school's could ever match. Penn state in the big Ten is a far better fit than they could have had with anyone in the East.

Big East football is unquestionably a mess, but that has little to do with the Penn State situation.

Big East permission is not required for anyone in the conference to leave to play as an independent. The conference is a creation of its members, not the other way around.

Last edited by friarfan on Wed Jun 07, 2006 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2006 3:10 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2002 5:14 pm
Posts: 3369
Location: Phoenix Arizona
Friarfan, I say good by and good riddance to both Notre Dame and Penn State.

I would jump with joy to watch Notre Dame struggle in the Big 10 or play in a basketball only conference struggle to find good minor bowl deals in most years the school does not reach the BCS.

Now less bring on four more football teams and be done with it.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 9:48 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2006 2:29 am
Posts: 93
Didnt Stanfords vote keep Texas and Colorado out of the pac ten? That would have changed things.

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 7:21 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2004 10:22 am
Posts: 1030
It certainly would have changed things but IMO but to the same degree as PSU not getting in the BE.

The Big 8 and SWC would still have eventually merged into something. The Big 8 was the power broker in the scenerio and would have been even more so without Texas.

The BE lost the biggest school in its region - essentially it's anchor. I suppose that it was inevitable that the ACC raided the BE because without PSU - the BE was weak. The ACC held the cards and took the schools they wanted - much like the SWC/Big 8 merger.

Again, no one know FOR SURE what would have happened if PSU would have gotten in the BE but certainly the BE was playing catchup in regards to FB ever since PSU was left out.

Last edited by panthersc97 on Mon Apr 09, 2007 7:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:21 am 

Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 2:37 pm
Posts: 9052
BE MB thread discussing NYTimes article with Mike Tranghese "exit" interview.The piece covers a lot of territory to include the worst BE mistake in 30 years,the 1982 vote against bringing Penn State into the BE.Tranghese says it wasn't his fault because he was only the "water boy" or something equivalent.Also,Tranghese doesn't say any thing about being "blindsided in 2003,but that's another thread.Link at

PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 6:52 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 2:25 pm
Posts: 65
I thought this thread was going to refer to the 4-4 deadlock the ACC had in the '80s over whether to bring in Syracuse or Florida State as its ninth member. Had SU been accepted at the time, the Big East would have drastically changed; of course, FSU did get in a few years later.

In hindsight, the ACC should have invited both. If it later went to 12 and the Virginia Tech flap arisen, Boston College would have een the odd school out, not Syracuse.

PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:45 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2009 10:21 pm
Posts: 1050
The vast majority of college football independents east of the Mississippi met in the 1980s to discuss a conference. Louisville killed it.

Florida State joined the ACC
The SEC then added SC
Penn State went to the Big Ten
The Big East was formed.
C-USA was formed.

But had Louisville been on board, there could have been:
North: Louisville, Cincinnati, Pitt, WVU, Syracuse, Penn St, Rutgers
South: Florida State, Miami, Va Tech, Tulane, Southern Miss, South Carolina, East Carolina

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