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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 6:50 pm 
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Here is a fun what if...What if the Eastern 8, founded in 1975, was founded solely with public schools while the Big East, founded in 1979, was founded solely on private/Catholic schools? How would things be different today?

The original Eastern 8 was
Villanova
Duquesne
Penn State
West Virginia
George Washington
UMass
Pitt
Rutgers

The Original Big East was
UConn
Georgetown
Providence
Seton Hall
St. John's
Boston College
Syracuse

What If It Went Down Like This

Eastern 8
Temple
Penn State
West Virginia
George Washington
UMass
UConn
Pitt
Rutgers

Big East
Georgetown
Providence
Villanova
Seton Hall
St. John's
Boston College
Syracuse
Duquense

For football BC and Cuse would have been allowed affiliate membership in Eastern 8 Football giving the league a solid football conference of

Temple
Penn St
Pitt
Rutgers
WVU
BC
Syrcause

Down the road:
Rhode Island was added early on in the Eastern 8's history and since they fit the profile, they would have made a great 9th member. Notre Dame and Miami could have been added to Big East and Virginia Tech added to the Eastern 9, now the Atlantic 10.This would have given the football conference 9 solid members (notre dame would still be an independent) and since this combined football conference would have the big east's BCS spot, UConn would still have the incentive to move up giving the football side 10 schools. UMass might even have moved up since they would have had the UConn guarantee


Result:

BIG EAST
Providence
St. John's
Seton Hall
Georgetown
Villanova
BC
Syracuse
Miami
Notre Dame

Atlantic 10
Temple
Penn St
Rutgers
Pitt
WVU
Va Tech
URI
UConn
UMass
George Washington

BCS Eastern Football Conference
Miami
VA Tech
WVU
Pitt
Penn St
Temple
UConn
BC
Syracuse
Rutgers
*Umass (If they took the Uconn guarantee and upgraded)

Could This Have Happend?

If the founding of the Big East and A10 had been based on Public v. Private/Catholic instead of Good at Basketball v. Not As Good at basketball, and they had worked together, then this could have very well been the end result. Instead UConn was a founding member of the Big East w/ the private/catholic schools and Pitt jumped into bed with them because they were the basketball power leaving Penn St. vulnerable for the Big 10 to come in after being rejected by the Big East. The A10 leftovers with 1A football got in the Big East eventually due to football politics (except Temple) while the non D1A football members did their best to create the hodgepodge A10 we know and love today.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 8:16 pm 
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I love this one since I'm a UMass guy.

I've always thought that even before the Big East was formed (football) that the E8/A10 could have gone the football route, not too much different than one of the JoPa options.

For me, I'll separate it a step further: private vs public

So for my version, GW would not be in the E8/A10 since they are a private school. But then Syracuse and BC would have been included since they would be lured by football. In time, other private schools like Miami might have sided with the publics...since they were football schools.

So even if the origins had been public vs private, I think football vs basketball would be the division today.




What If It Went Down Like This

Eastern 8
Temple
Penn State
West Virginia
* Virginia Tech
UMass
UConn
Pitt
Rutgers

Big East
George Washington
Georgetown
Providence
Villanova
Seton Hall
St. John's
Boston College
Syracuse
Duquense

Result:

BIG EAST
Providence
St. John's
Seton Hall
Georgetown
Villanova
Notre Dame

Atlantic 10

BC
Syracuse
Temple
Penn St
Rutgers
Pitt
WVU
Va Tech
UConn
UMass
Miami

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:09 pm 
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thanks for the info on gwu...i thought they were public and that's why i included them in the eastern 8/a10. I would still include them in the a10 in my formation b/c of georgetown covering their market in the big east and the a10 needing a school to cover the dc market. they can be the northwestern of the conference (only public with all the privates).

I was trying to stay true to form with the reasons of forming the conferences. The Big East would have never taken GWU because of Georgetown and I don't know how they felt about Duquense so I don't even know if that was a possibility, although I always thought it was odd that the Big East did not want Duquense initially as they were the Catholic School in the Pitt market. The Eastern 8, which was formed as a basketball league, should have stayed focused on big schools, and GWU. From what I can see the Eastern 8 was made up of, no offense, inferior basketball schools. This is why Villanova left the league when the Big East formed because the Big East was where the basketball power was and that is the only thing that mattered at the time. However replacing Nova with Temple, which fit the league's profile, looked to be a smart move. Adding URI too was good.

Another Alternative

The problem was the league lost focus. Penn St and Pitt both wanted in the BIG East. Instead of taking charge of their own public school dominated league, the two leaders of the league tried to get into the Big East. When Pitt left, it was a tough break for the league, but it still good have recovered if it had held strong as the public school league (with GWU and Duquense to cover important markets).

Penn St
Rutgers
Temple
WVU
URI
UMass
GWU
Duquense

However, the league got desperate and added St Joe's and St. Bony who in reality did not fit in with the majority of the league's profile. After Pitt left the Eastern 8 should have only added URI and focused on getting UMass and URI to upgrade. By adding St. Joe's and St. Bony the A10 became half public and half private and really lost focus which made Penn St and prime target to leave. If UMass and URI were able to upgrade the schools would have 6 core members and could have played hardball w/ Pitt, Syracuse, and BC (i.e. join our conference or have fun w/ football scheduling). Metro conference schools with 1A football teams have also been A10 expansion targets instead of St. Bony and St Joe's (FSU, South Carolina, Louisville, Cincinnati, Va Tech, Memphis come to mind). Getting any of those schools to come on board, even as football only, could have gotten an Eastern 8 football league off the ground putting all the pressure on the Big East 3 to join or suffer. As football became even more dominant the pressure would have been more overwhelming and they would have had no choice.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:11 pm 
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thanks for the info on gwu...i thought they were public and that's why i included them in the eastern 8/a10. I would still include them in the a10 in my formation b/c of georgetown covering their market in the big east and the a10 needing a school to cover the dc market. they can be the northwestern of the conference (only public with all the privates).

I was trying to stay true to form with the reasons of forming the conferences. The Big East would have never taken GWU because of Georgetown and I don't know how they felt about Duquense so I don't even know if that was a possibility, although I always thought it was odd that the Big East did not want Duquense initially as they were the Catholic School in the Pitt market. The Eastern 8, which was formed as a basketball league, should have stayed focused on big schools, and GWU. From what I can see the Eastern 8 was made up of, no offense, inferior basketball schools. This is why Villanova left the league when the Big East formed because the Big East was where the basketball power was and that is the only thing that mattered at the time. However replacing Nova with Temple, which fit the league's profile, looked to be a smart move. Adding URI too was good.

Another Alternative

The problem was the league lost focus. Penn St and Pitt both wanted in the BIG East. Instead of taking charge of their own public school dominated league, the two leaders of the league tried to get into the Big East. When Pitt left, it was a tough break for the league, but it still good have recovered if it had held strong as the public school league (with GWU and Duquense to cover important markets).

Penn St
Rutgers
Temple
WVU
URI
UMass
GWU
Duquense

However, the league got desperate and added St Joe's and St. Bony who in reality did not fit in with the majority of the league's profile. After Pitt left the Eastern 8 should have only added URI and focused on getting UMass and URI to upgrade. By adding St. Joe's and St. Bony the A10 became half public and half private and really lost focus which made Penn St and prime target to leave. If UMass and URI were able to upgrade the schools would have 6 core members and could have played hardball w/ Pitt, Syracuse, and BC (i.e. join our conference or have fun w/ football scheduling). Metro conference schools with 1A football teams have also been A10 expansion targets instead of St. Bony and St Joe's (FSU, South Carolina, Louisville, Cincinnati, Va Tech, Memphis come to mind). Getting any of those schools to come on board, even as football only, could have gotten an Eastern 8 football league off the ground putting all the pressure on the Big East 3 to join or suffer. As football became even more dominant the pressure would have been more overwhelming and they would have had no choice.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:21 pm 
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It's St. Bona. Or Bona. "St. Bony" is a ridiculous short name.

St. Bonaventure should have gotten the nod over Duquesne in your projections.

This was 1979. Bona was coming off: 1978 NCAA Second Round, 1977 NIT Champs, 1971 NIT Third Place,
1970 NCAA Final Four. Duquesne's decade consisted of: 1977 NCAA Second Round, 1971 NCAA Second Round, 1970 NIT.

You coulda seen:

Eastern 8
Temple
Penn State
West Virginia
UMass
UConn
Pitt
Rutgers
Rhode Island
Buffalo (late addition)
Notre Dame (all sports but football)

Big East
Georgetown
Villanova
Seton Hall
Boston College
Providence
St. John's
Syracuse
St Bonaventure
Duquesne (early 80s addition once ESPN got involved)
Xavier (late 80s addition)
Dayton (late 80s addition)
Richmond? Marquette? DePaul?

Metro Football Conference
Boston College
Syracuse
Temple
West Virginia
Pitt
Rutgers
Virginia Tech
Miami
Florida State
Tulane
East Carolina
Memphis

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