Lash let me response point by point.....
There are a couple of very interesting rumors floating around that could have major impacts on the Big East.
There is a rumor that Mike Tranghese will retire as Big East commissioner in June of 2010.
I don't now how old MT is but is says on the BE website that he graduated in 1965 so let's assume he was 22 when that happened. So, my be estimate would be he is 64 this year and would be 67 in 2010 - so that could be possible.
The only thing for sure if that he signed a contract extension to be commish until 2010.
If this rumor is true, we can all assume the Big East is going to split and that date is very significant.
MT has always stated he will retire if the Big East decides to split.
Not that I wish MT to go into retirement, I do hope the football schools split and form an all sports conference.
MT retiring may or may not mean anything about the BE continuing to be together. You may be correct that this may be a sign that the BE is splitting or may just be a sign of MT wanting to just retire considering he just negiotiated the biggest BE TV contract in their history and may not want to be around when the next one needs to be renegotiated in 2012.
I hope that Tom Jurich is being groomed for the commish position myself. ;D
The other interesting rumor floating around is the implosion of the Big 12. There are many rumors with the Big 12 commissioner leaving for a lower job in the Big Ten the south school will split to form a new conference to maximize revenue
Both of these rumors have roots into commissioners of both conference making changes.
This would make sense as to why the Big 12 leader would take a lower job in the Big Ten. That is not a lateral move by any means. The Big Ten may have all those fans, however, it not that much better than the Big 12 to take a lower position job.
I may have been wrong about 12 team conferences setting the standards.
If the Big 12 splits which is only a rumor, then the south division would probably max out it payouts by taking only 9 or 10 schools.
The Big12 rumors have been around for quite some time. I honestly don't see it happening. The only way I can see it be worthwhile is if breakaway Big12 schools cut some 'dead weight' (ie ISU, KSU, etc) and they brought in Arkansas and/or LSU from the SEC. Do you really think that would happen?
Any shifts away from 12 team alignments could have adverse impacts on the current conferences that have a championship game.
If the ACC would decide the champions game is no longer a valuable option, the Big East will move closer to the TV money of the ACC.
This could persuade Boston College to join the Big East football schools if a split were to occur by 2010.
The ACC would have one less mouth to feed and could go with 11 members similar to how the Big Ten operates.
You're simply not going to goto 11 if you already have 12. You might as well stay at 12 because you get the added TV market (BC) and the championship game and can split into divisions.
What would be a nice transition if the SEC could work to take South Florida and the Big East could have the following 9 schools for an all sports league.
Big East Break Away Conference
Actually my preference is of course the NE based conference (similar to what you ahve but include UMd and PSU). Baring that, I think a more realistic chance than the SEC taking USF is for the BE to lure BC and Miami back (as Omni has mentioned quite a bit) so you have 2 10 teams conferences in the East (ACC and BE).
Now, many things need to happen (which Neil stated) as the BE needs to continue to have good FB, BB, better academics in the conference, traveling to bowls, awesome TV ratings AND
ACC FB continuing to falter with decreased viewer ratings, etc.
You would then have a nice 10 team conference with a traveling partner for USF (and it's not UCF ;) )
You already have deals in place for a series with BC-SU and USF-Miami ---- maybe they will be at the end of the year too?
Now, don't you think everyone would be happy with that? ;)