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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2003 12:04 pm 
I have been watching with interest the latest ACC/BE machinations and have reached the conclusion that BE FB is on borrowed time.
This slide of NE FB was started with PSU going to the Big 10.It was further ascerbated by the erosion of Army,Navy,Rutgers,and Temple FB and the failure of the BE to shift its focus away from bb and to FB.
Once BE FB finally is buried,I cannot imagine there being another major college FB conference based in the Northeastern USA.Can anyone else?I suppose we will just have to be satisfied with the Ivy on Saturdays and the pros on Sundays.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2003 3:50 pm 
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Very good post OC, I believe you may be correct in regards to Northeast football on Saturday afternoons.

I would imagine that what is left to the Big East will be largely basketball. :(


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2003 11:21 pm 
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Even though I'm a southerner, I think it's a minor shame that there's no NE-based conference simply because it's a region--that's reason enough for me. And if it wasn't, the next reason would be that it's by far the most heavily-populated region.

In terms of geography and nothing else, the Big East could capitalize on the possible defection of Miami and rally around the northeast--I think a great model would include

Army
Boston College
Connecticut
Marshall
Navy
Pittsburgh
Rutgers
Syracuse
Temple
West Virginia


This would be the only non-Ivy northeastern conference, and the rivalries would be intense. Plus they would have less trouble keeping the recruits at home.

What do you think?


Last edited by lsutootnanny on Sun Jun 22, 2003 11:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2003 12:10 am 
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I like your list, LSU. Unfortunately, I don't think that enough of the schools involved like the list. ;)

The real issue that ties the Northeast in knots right now is the conflict between foortball & basketball in the FOOTBALL schools. Follow this thought:

The crown jewels at UConn are the national championship men's & women's basketball programs, both of which are ranked pre-season #1 for next year. They are best served by playing a regional but big time basketball schedule, culminating at the Big East Tournament in Madison Square Garden. UConn does not want to lose this.

Similarly, Syracuse is big time basketball first & foremost, coming off a national championship which is the crowning achievement of 4 decades in which they have gone to a Final Four in each of those decades. Syracuse is best served by big time eastern basketball & the Big East tournament in New York.

Rutgers has a terrific young basketball coach who will make them a big winner in the next few years in basketball - with a Big East platform & the ability to recruit the talent-rich NY/NJ area. They have been to the Final Four in the past. They have no comparable past or future in football.

Temple is a big time basketball program with no history of success in football. 'Nuf said.

These 4 schools all want to play BCS football but not at the expense of their baketball programs.

The glory days at Boston College, on the other hand were the Flutie years. As good as basketball has been there at times, the best memories there have been football, which is at the heart of the culture of that campus. When basketball is played, hockey is a major distraction & splits fans interest. Moreover, BC is afraid of the competition from an emerging UConn football program & would just as soon not compete against them.

Virginia Tech is a great football school with a dismal record in basketball. Case closed.

Pitt & West Virginia have had some success in both sports & both sports have had their ups & downs at these colleges. They probably lean more toward football at this time, although they want to be successful in both sports.

I am convinced that the vision of a 12-team eastern super-conference, based on football, will not go away. Too many have bought into this vision. If it doesn't happen in the ACC - & it now doesn't appear that it will - then it will destroy the ACC as we now know it.

Some of the Big East football schools will jump at the opportunity to join such a conference, the move for which will be led by Miami, Florida State, Georgia Tech, & Clemson. Because enough of the schools to the north will jump on baord, the basketball first schools (UConn, Syracuse, Rutgers, & Temple) will have some hard decisions to make. Do they sacrifice basketball to participate in a league which will probably be dominated in football by the southern schools for the foreseeable future? Does UConn, for example, allow its crown jewels to be dragged around by its fledgling football program to far flung corners of the East Coast?

Sacrificing basketball doesn't just mean a decline in basketball success. In fact, UConn, Syracuse, etc. may well be the basketball kingpins of such a super-conference. What it means is the loss of the notheastern profile of big time basketball, the loss of local rivalries & easy access to road games for fans, & the loss of Madison Square Garden, its traditions, its publicity, & the Big East tournament. This may have a negative impact on recruiting, but this is unknown. The question remains, though, will the big time New York City basketball recruit still go up to Syracuse if it no longer means guaranteed regular season games in the metro asrea & a Big East toutnament at the end of the year?

In my opinion, the eastern 12-team super-conference will get done. Syracuse will join reluctantly. It will stretch from Boston to Miami & will not have a northestern identity. It may reach into the Ohio Valley or into other parts of the South to round out its membership. The remnants of the ACC will re-build with the remnants of Big East Football in the form of an 8 or 9 team league & will be a basketball first league with schools that have a strong academic profile as well. The Big East basketball only schools will form a baketball only league with some like-minded midwestern schools. As this process emerges, there will be tough decisions for many schools, so there is no way of knowing which way they will go at this time.

The ONLY thing that could prevent this from happening & that would coalesce a northeastern football league would be a commitment to membership from Notre Dame, but I don't see this happening.

Because of the pressures of TV contracts & coming BCS negotiations, I believe that all of this will get done sooner rather than later - meaning in the next year or so rather than years down the road.

The Northeast will never again have the identity in either basketball or football that the Big East gave it. It will be fragmented in several different directions. I think this is a shame.




Last edited by friarfan on Mon Jun 23, 2003 12:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2003 8:46 am 
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I agree that the potential loss of a northeastern conference would be sad, it's only consolation in that an east-coast conference would at least make for a nice bookend, potential new rival with the Pac 10. The problem is that part of the BE's success and regional image is based around the schools that do not play 1-A football. One wonders with all the NE schools that do play good 1-AA FB if more schools should drop down!

I've all but given up trying to figure out what the ACC will actually do, but assuming there is no more than 3 schools from the BE that actually leave/defect, there is still a chance for something colse to a ne fb conference, even as the BE. Everyone may have to resolve themselves, however, to no longer seeing Georgetown, ST. John's and others in the same bball tourny with UConn, Syracuse and Pitt.

The question before the surviving schools and others they begin to affiliate with is this: How much will regionalism play a part in the shape of the new conference? Do you take weaker programs (Rutgers, Temple) and possibly the military acadamies to strenghten the NE ties? Do you reach out for the larger, new markets (UCF, USF) at the expense of closer neighbors (Marshall)? The number of schools left from the BE, and their ability to shape their future against those questions will determine if there's a ne-based fb conference.

Even if three BE schools move to the ACC, you're left with this potential lineup;

VT/Cuse/BC
Pitt
WVU
Temple
UConn
Rutgers
Army
Navy
Marshall

UMass is considering upping to 1-A. Membership here would be perfect and the league could assist their transition. Throw in Louisville and Cincinatti and now you're at 12, with a fairly strong regional identity. If only Miami leaves, all the better. It's not a fb power conference, but they could build within. Conference and market size would suggest they'd be in the BCS, somehow, someway and could then seel recruits on the regional brand.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2003 10:35 am 
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FriarFan, those are some interesting points regarding conferences in the Northeast. My personal feeling regarding the lack of a major conference identity of the Northeast lies in the fact that so many of the state schools in the region play division 1AA football rather than 1A.

The Big East as a conference has given the Northeast a conference identity, but it is not an all encompassing conference, meaning all sports, including football, for all member institutions in the mold of the other major conferences. Also, the conference was built around private Catholic schools. The basketball has been tremendous and generated a lot of fan interest in the region, but probably not what it could have been with large public schools.

If schools such as UCONN, UMASS, Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire had made the commitment to 1A football when the split occurred and worked to form a conference with the likes of Penn State, Syracuse, Boston College, and Rutgers, this would be a Northeast equivalent of the ACC. Even if all of the New England public schools were not involved, Pittsburgh, Temple, and West Virginia already had rivalries with many of those schools and could participate in such a conference without detracting from the Northeast character of the conference.

When the Big East went to football, adding southern schools such as Virginia Tech and Miami did extend the conference. These two, in a regional context belong in either the SEC or ACC.

The organization of the Big East has not lent itself to success, either. Too many divisions exist along lines such as basketball vs. football and public vs. private. I just think that Dave Gavitt’s plan is a short-term solution that will just cause long-term problems. The Big East should continue as a conference that is composed of private, Catholic schools that play all sports except division 1A football.

Imagine if today a super conference in the Northeast was formed that looked like this:

Division 1: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island, Boston College

Division 2: Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Temple, Syracuse, West Virginia

I know that that does not look impressive in today’s context, but my frame of reference is if the schools had been playing division 1A football all along.


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