^Thanks for the background on Memphis, bullet.
Granted Cincinnati, Louisville, and USF are not in the Northeast. First, these schools were taken because they were the best available that were either relative close to the Big East Footprint, or in a state where the Big East was already located, Florida. Ohio and Kentucky border the historic Big East Footprint, and are sorda "Outposts" of the Big East. However, the lone clear "outpost" is USF, and conferences should not have more than one outposts. Here is why: Look at the WAC when it first expanded into Texas. As TCU first left, the WAC had to abandon expansion in its predominant western footprint, and find a team that was near Rice, SMU and Tulsa, to help feed them with regional base -- so La Tech came in. What happened 4 years later? Rice, SMU, and Tulsa are all leaving the WAC and La Tech is dangling a long ways away from a predominant western footprint. TCU and somewhat Rice, SMU, and Tulsa all nourished off of the WAC, and the WAC try to get them a regional axis in the conference, and they ended up leaving when something better came along that fits them better regionally. Those teams were all trying to gravititate to something that either served them in a higher profile way (TCU to the MWC) and/or were trying to gravitate to something that served them more regional (TCU originally bolted the WAC to go to CUSA, and Rice, SMU, and Tulsa all bolted the WAC to go to CUSA because it geographically served them better). Why should a conference try to serve and accommodate far-flung conference members, or for that matter seek far-flung conference members that may eventually end up leaving the conference later because of a better geographic deal? This matters for conferences that may lose teams in other parts of the conference, and a bi-gepgraphical region or a splitting of a too-stretched amoeba occurs and the conference has to serve both amoeba.
If Memphis came into the Big East, then a bunch of members leave, then you might see a "bi-amoeba product" like the WAC, where Memphis, Louisville, Cincy demand replacement members that serve their amoeba, and the seeking of new members from the Big East would be ignored, which is the base and the primary market of the Big East. Memphis is 400 miles from Louisville. Its 500 miles from Cincinnati. Memphis is 750 miles from WVU. Memphis is nearly 800 miles from Pitt. Memphis is nearly 1,100 miles from Syracuse. Memphis is nearly 1,100 miles from Rutgers. Memphis is nearly 1,300 miles from Storrs, CT.
Yes, Louisville is somewhat close, but not really. Louisville is about 400 miles from both Pitt and WVU and obviously closer to the other Northeastern schools than Memphis.
Louisville and Cincy were both aligned with Memphis in CUSA, but they were actually in separate basketball divisions. Also they were aligned in the Metro, before Memphis left and joined the Great Midwest. Louisville stayed in the Metro. Louisville, while being in a southern state like Memphis, is more of a rival of U Cincy than Memphis and is only 100 miles from Cincy. Cincy as a city fits well with the northeast. Ohio is the most "Northeasternish" state outside of the Northeast. Cincy is the historic biggest city of Ohio and grew to be a big city about the same time as Pitt. So Cincy is not a stretch to be in a Northeastern conference, and WVU and Pitt make natural rivals. Louisville is just 100 miles further down the road. So both of these programs fit the "Near Northeastern" label the best of any teams that could join the Big East. Louisville's sports program is also very competitive, so bringing them in with Cincy makes sense. Pitt can relate well with Cincy, and fairly well with Louisville. But it would be a stretch on how they would relate with a team 800 miles away that is the capital of the "Mid-South" and is near the Ozarks and the Mississippi Delta. Those aren't close to being Northeastern and if something happened like the WAC, where some teams leave, and they are part of a Far-west geographic wing, the Big East, as it is depleted, would have to try and maintain and/or find new members that would be geographically close, then its just a matter of time before they would leave the conference anyway, so why even take them in the first place?
400 miles is too far from Louisville and its way out of the Northeast or Near-Northeast footprint.
Conferences need to stop being "Migrating Nomadic Amoebas", focus on their very own geographic footprints, don't have more than one "Outpost" and certainly don't become a "Conference of Outposts" because history shows those conferences eventually diminish to something below what they were or even talk of disbandonment occurs.
Memphis belongs in CUSA, it should stay there and try and help build that conference. Its on the east side of that conference, which right now has its own Migrating Amoebic characteristics. But its a lot closer to USM, UAB, Tulane, Tulsa, Rice, Houston, and SMU and Texas in general than Storrs, New Brunswick, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and Morgantown, and is a lot more like those CUSA schools and thus should stay in that conference to help it thrive.
Last edited by sportsgeog on Wed Jul 28, 2004 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.