The time has come to merge with the MWC. Basketball schools go their separate way and the football schools form the Coast-to-Coast conference.
The problem with a full MWC merger is that there's way too many schools involved and you don't "need" half of the MWC.
New Mexico, Wyoming are both small markets and terrible at football.
Colorado State and Air Force can bring a decent market put together, but aren't that great on the field.
Fresno and Nevada are pretty good, and in decent markets, but not big markets and not good enough to offset that.
And of course, the Big East would need to walk away from the name in order to make it happen, because the basketball schools won't leave on their own accord. They'd have to form a brand new conference:
NEW CONF (E): Cincy, Louisville, USF, UCF, Temple, Memphis, Charlotte/UMass/Tulsa
NEW CONF (W): Boise, Nevada, Fresno, San Diego St, Houston, SMU, UNLV
Left behind in the MWC: New Mexico, Wyoming, UNLV, Air Force, Colorado State, Hawaii, Utah St, San Jose State
The Big East would become:
Big East (W): Marquette, DePaul, Xavier, Dayton, Saint Louis, Butler
Big East (E): Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall, Villanova, Georgetown, Richmond
(with Navy quickly revoking their acceptance).
fighting muskie wrote:
I too am a huge advocate of ending the hybrid. The bb and fb schools at this point are more of a hindrance than an asset to one another. The Almighty Catholic League would be incredibly sexy for NBC or anyone serious about airing basketball in big Midwestern and Eastern markets but doesn't have the cash to land the Big Ten or ACC. To simplify things a little travel wise you could throw in Butler in the West and Richmond in the East and go to division play.
Regarding the football schools, I think we are going to see the Big 12 finally act on Louisville so they don't lose them to the ACC. Perhaps Cincinnati will get to tag along. As for the rest, I think we will either A) see them build a new league from the upper echelon of C-USA or B ) the MWC will find a way to seduce the Texas schools and the rest will simply get reabsorbed into C-USA.
Regarding Army and Navy, independence and their own contract with NBC Sports is the way to go. Army and Navy will both be able to continue to play national schedules, particularly because they can schedule H&A's with MAC/SBC/C-USA/MWC schools.
I think everyone is an advocate of ending it except the basketball schools, who are clinging to football.
The Almighty Catholic Conference will not happen unless FOOTBALL leaves the Big East, OR the ACC basically takes the hybrid by adding Georgetown, Nova and St. John's to go with Notre Dame; and UConn for #14.
While it's an attractive conference for basketball TV, basketball doesn't get the ratings football does; it's a downgrade in dollars for the BE Hoops schools. So they ain't leaving. They don't wanna be the A-10 to Football's Big East. Even if the Big East is CUSA 2.0.
And of course, that "new conference" above is probably getting raided. The Big 12 could strike at any time, and if the Big Ten expands again, the ACC will replenish from it.