Blog Entry

Big East won't wait on Villanova

Posted on: January 26, 2011 12:35 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli

With TCU leaving the Mountain West for the Big East in 2012, it gives the Big East conference an uneven number of teams in its football conference. Which is manageable, but it's no secret that having an even number of teams makes scheduling easier and that the Big East is looking to add a tenth member. One of the favorites has been Villanova, which is already a member of the Big East in basketball, and has undertaken a study to see if the football program is ready to move up to the FBS level.

The study won't be concluded until April, but if Villanova thinks that the Big East is going to sit around and wait on Nova's decision before it makes a move, then Villanova would be wrong. At least, that's what commissioner John Marinatto told ESPN.

"We're not waiting for Villanova," Marinatto said. "It's their institutional decision to make, and they have a process set up to make it. They've got to determine what's in their best interest, and we've got to determine what's in our best interest.

"If the right situation developed in between, we would move on it. That's a very real possibility. We're not going to make a decision or not make a decision based on Villanova's study."

Which is the right approach for the Big East to take. Personally, I think the Big East would be better looking elsewhere. The conference's reputation in football has already taken its fair share of shots from critics, as among the BCS conferences, its easy to see that the Big East is the weak link. The conference didn't have a single team finish the season ranked in either poll. So I'm not sure that adding another team to the league that hasn't even played on an FBS level would be best for the level of play.

In my opinion, UCF or East Carolina would be better choices. Neither is a college football powerhouse, but both of those programs are a lot further along than Villanova will be for a few seasons. Of course, it's not just quality of team that matters in college football, and Villanova is more attractive than either UCF or ECU due to the fact it's located in Philadelphia. Were the Big East to look towards starting its own network like the Big Ten or Pac-12, that Philadelphia market would come in handy.

Since: Jan 26, 2011
Posted on: January 26, 2011 3:11 pm

Big East won't wait on Villanova

also, then create a joint venture into a REAL "BIG EAST (Nat'l) NETWORK" TV channel to increase revenue and profits for all, carrying the games the network TV doesn't, so fans can still watch (with day and night games avail), and ALSO follow the Big Ten's lead in creating some kind of institutional education/reserach sharing, like their CIC partnership amongst universities, to further save $ make $ and enhance all students educational experience and opportunities...

Since: Jan 26, 2011
Posted on: January 26, 2011 2:59 pm

Big East won't wait on Villanova

Dear Mr. Marinatto - please consider; Big East's foundation has been basketball for quite some time, i know; but FOOTBALL is where the money is at today... "IF" the 8 football members broke from the others to be the "new Big East", adding TCU, + SMU a once national power who's coming back since they're days of their "NCAA death penalty", with all their great alumni incl. Eric Dickerson, devoted to building the program back up to a national power again, and they're on their way, (double dipping the mega-dallas market), + Houston (triple dipping texas, controlling the north east TX market and two biggest cities), creates a great 3 way rivalry, to be second in TX only to the big12(ten, whatever) who are looking like a collapse waiting to happen, (shoot, grab up Missou if possible, instead of smu or houston), + UCF to double dip FL and become a serious competitor in that market, that would be a real legitimate 12 team FOOTBALL conference, while still retaining the "elite" factor of POWER basketball...
then with the new conference, and all the big east big dogs, invite Villanova and N.D. to still be a memeber of the "new Big East (Nat'l) conference in all other sports; not only to retain their elite basketball presence, but also as potential "future" football members (e/w), as insurance if others go bigger then 12, if N.D. is ever forced to conform, or if someone else is snatched up or isn't working out... then invite St. John's and Marquette to remain members for all other sports, retaining more marquee basketball, with SJU keeping that added hold on NYC, and marquette giving solid western balance... the only "power" team you lose is G-Town; providence hasn't done anything save for win their first conf. game in forever, and offers little in market/marketability, (Uconn is in the "regional" market anyways), SHU is scrappy, but hasn't done much but create occasional upsets, and RU coming up fast and strong controls that NJ market by far, and DePaul, "really", they were a bad addition to begin with... so there's still a 16 team basketball schedule, ELITE in the nation... but 12 teams now (incl. the "weaker" schools come in to replace the "weaker" schools) at least offer solid competitive football and the AQ status is 100% secured; w/ 2 teams having future football potential... and the Nat'l Market Reach, and inter conference rivalry (interest) is GREATLY improved exponentially... New conference voids old media contract, and DEMANDS WAY more money covering NYC to Dallas by way of florida... Conf. Championship game could rotate, NYC, Dallas, FL, (major markets)... everyones travel costs are offset for not just football, but in other smaller sports by divisional match-ups, it's a Win-Win for everyone in; and  for the 4 getting booted, while money will be lost for them, they're not bringing much in in terms of holding their weight, just hungry mouths to feed from the coffers, but even they win some in the long run, as they all can compete better elsewhere else against other "small" basketball only programs...
Big Nat'l Conf.
east - Pitt, Uconn, Syracuse, Rutgers, USF, UCF, ('Nova, St. John's)
west - L'ville, Cinci, WVU, TCU, SMU, Houston, (N.D., Marquette)
Big Markets, HUGE marketability, hugely expanded fanbase, MUCH ADDED national interest and exposure, equals MUCH more money in a new media deal... Basketball strength is still awesome, big east core is still retained, football is solidified, catholic ties are met with protestant additions, making for less discrimination encouraging acceptance and openmindedness which is great for american instituations to promote, (but catholic ties are not altogether lost), move the HQ from Prov. to Rutgers, closer to NYC where the big corps and $ are... TaDa!!! ALL problems are fixed... and overall money, markets, and national interest is greatly improved... without losing any major players...  

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