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.