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Big East expansion coming?


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15 minutes ago, cgeldmacher said:

Wild speculation here, with a little bit of hope mixed in.  How about an on campus hockey arena is being constructed to be followed by a D-1 hockey program?

Why not just do football and join the AAC?

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2 hours ago, slufan13 said:

I'm always somewhat in the minority here in that I think the A10 is actually a pretty good conference. That being said, the Big East is obviously the dream and it seems achievable now. I'd love having Gonzaga in the league but a 12 team league might actually be my preference.

Villanova is obviously king of the league. DePaul is like Fordham, Vanderbilt, Boston College, etc in the sense that you can pretty much always count on them to finish last in their conference. St. John's, Marquette, Georgetown have a rich history but seem stuck in a cycle of mediocrity. The rest of the conference is pretty jumbled with teams like Providence and Seton Hall making recent runs while Butler has been a little down lately. I know there is always some concern that we could join this conference and struggle but it seems like the ideal time to join. We have momentum and there are a ton of programs in a transition period. Add in the new facilities and we could easily be a Xavier level program in the Big East pretty quickly.

SLU “could” do well in the Big East. It has to continue to increase its basketball commitment on and off of the floor. There’s no reason SLU couldn’t do welp and be competitive in the Big East. 

Some of the team examples show how fast things can and do change positively and negatively. For example, Boston College was very competitive for 13 years in two leagues under Al Skinner once he got things going. They were not competitive for 6 plus years under Jim Christian. Vandy was an every other year NCAA team for 3 decades prior to the last two seasons of Bryce Drew and first two under Stackhouse. They do have practice facility upgrades, as well as a brand new building being built next door. $$$ And they have a top 15 recruiting class for 2022 (4 players). Xavier and Butler have fared better when changing coaching hires over the years. Most of the teams in the Big East are competitive. SLU will need to step it up to get to the upper tiers. There’s no reason they can’t, but it isn’t a guarantee or given. 

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1 hour ago, slufan13 said:

I'm always somewhat in the minority here in that I think the A10 is actually a pretty good conference. That being said, the Big East is obviously the dream and it seems achievable now. I'd love having Gonzaga in the league but a 12 team league might actually be my preference.

Villanova is obviously king of the league. DePaul is like Fordham, Vanderbilt, Boston College, etc in the sense that you can pretty much always count on them to finish last in their conference. St. John's, Marquette, Georgetown have a rich history but seem stuck in a cycle of mediocrity. The rest of the conference is pretty jumbled with teams like Providence and Seton Hall making recent runs while Butler has been a little down lately. I know there is always some concern that we could join this conference and struggle but it seems like the ideal time to join. We have momentum and there are a ton of programs in a transition period. Add in the new facilities and we could easily be a Xavier level program in the Big East pretty quickly.

I also have reservations about joining the Big East unless we are going to spend the money to play at the top level. 

Take Xavier. Went to the Big East in 2013. They've been to the tourney 5 times and 1 of those was a play in game since. They were in the tourney 11 of 12 years. The Big East hasn't really gotten them better results when they were in either. 

Butler is the same. Their tourney appearances and results are worse since joining the Big East. 

Makes me leery. 

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34 minutes ago, slufanskip said:

I also have reservations about joining the Big East unless we are going to spend the money to play at the top level. 

Take Xavier. Went to the Big East in 2013. They've been to the tourney 5 times and 1 of those was a play in game since. They were in the tourney 11 of 12 years. The Big East hasn't really gotten them better results when they were in either. 

Butler is the same. Their tourney appearances and results are worse since joining the Big East. 

Makes me leery. 

Going to the Big East has always been about money and status.  Is there really any advantage to finishing 4th, our best finish in the A10 under Coach Ford, over finishing 9th in the Big East?

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18 minutes ago, slufanskip said:

I also have reservations about joining the Big East unless we are going to spend the money to play at the top level. 

Take Xavier. Went to the Big East in 2013. They've been to the tourney 5 times and 1 of those was a play in game since. They were in the tourney 11 of 12 years. The Big East hasn't really gotten them better results when they were in either. 

Butler is the same. Their tourney appearances and results are worse since joining the Big East. 

Makes me leery. 

That leeriness makes sense, but

  • Better strength of schedule (creating more tourney opportunities)
  • Higher ceiling (BE gets 1 and 2 seeds, which the A10 doesn't)
  • Higher floor (DePaul recruits guys that Fordham and La Salle's don't bother with)
  • More broadcast revenue (to support the athletics program overall)

Some programs may not take advantage of the increased opportunities the Big East presents, but they'd be foolish to avoid having them. 

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1 hour ago, kshoe said:

Totally agree with this. If this is a facilities upgrade only, no matter how big it is, I think the Athletic Department should think long and hard about how they went about this announcement, given the context of the Big East commish comments only a week prior.

All they needed to do was say "A Major Announcement regarding facilities" and it would have been received well. As it stands now, people are likely going to be disappointed with an announcement that otherwise should have been an unequivocal positive!

I don't know if it was intentional and planned, but it turned out to be smart how SLU worded that tweet.  That night people around the country were tweeting about SLU to the Big East.  Leaving the tweet open to to wild speculation created a buzz about SLU as a candidate to the Big East that didn't exist outside SLU's fandom prior.

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22 minutes ago, slufanskip said:

I also have reservations about joining the Big East unless we are going to spend the money to play at the top level. 

Take Xavier. Went to the Big East in 2013. They've been to the tourney 5 times and 1 of those was a play in game since. They were in the tourney 11 of 12 years. The Big East hasn't really gotten them better results when they were in either. 

Butler is the same. Their tourney appearances and results are worse since joining the Big East. 

Makes me leery. 

This brings up another subtopic.

Chris Mack left Xavier for Louisville. Chris Holtmann left Butler for Ohio St. Both were successful at Xavier and Butler. Buzz Williams left Marquette for Virginia Tech and Texas A&M. (Circumstances are more individually specific.) Coaches matter. Coaching hires matter. Coaching stability matters. Jay Wright of course is on the other end of that spectrum at Villanova. 

I’m all for SLU trying to get into the Big East, and, getting into the Big East. But if they want to be successful in it, they will have to step it up on and off of the field/court in several areas, and, maintain it over time. I’m all for doing that. But that is part of what it takes.

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Like many fans, I have long pined for the Big East. That said, I don't really think the difference in basketball quality is as big as I once thought. Look back to 2018-2019, when SLU beat both Seton Hall and Butler yet still finished 6th in the A10. SLU has had Big East caliber talent throughout Ford's era and we still only have one tourney to show for it.

I think the real reasons why the Big East is so attractive from a SLU perspective are (1) re-introduction of regionalish rivalries against DePaul, Creighton, Butler, Marquette and Xavier, and (2) in the perpetual struggle for conference re-alignment, the Big East is positioned in a much safer spot than the Atlantic 10. Imagine if Dayton and VCU were to leave the A10 and how precarious that position would be for SLU. We wouldn't have those same concerns in the Big East.

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Lots of talk on here about the athletic pros and cons of joining the Big East, but if I'm the President of a university, there are several other variables that need to be factored in as well (and that arguably are more important than the athletic considerations):  (a) how would this affect the university's ability to recruit the type of student we want; (b) how will alums react to our being in this conference; and (c) how would the university's donors react to this development.

Seems like a pretty easy decision for SLU if the opportunity arises.

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As posted earlier in this thread, SLU currently spends $7.4 million a year on the basketball program with a conference TV deal that pays them under a $1 million dollars a year.  SLU and Dayton are tied for the highest basketball budget in the A10.  SLU is willing to spend big on basketball. 

The Big East pays $4.6 million per member.  Does anyone really think that SLU won't roll the vast majority of almost an extra $4 million back into the basketball program?  Getting the basketball budget just above $11 million would give SLU the 4th highest basketball budget in the Big East.

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Looking at it a different way than most of the above, the conference affects me by providing an exciting or not exciting match up. Even if we are bad, I can get fired up to head to midtown to watch SLU play DePaul over Fordham. There are baked in rivals already, so it is a good fit in my most important category. I am a fan of SLU in the A10 or a smaller pond in general, but this would be pretty sweet.

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2 hours ago, Billiken Rich said:

Why not just do football and join the AAC?

To answer the question, SLU could have men's and women's Division 1 hockey teams, thus balancing out any Title 9 implications.  To have a football team, we would have to add five women's teams in sports we don't already have. 

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1 hour ago, slufanskip said:

I also have reservations about joining the Big East unless we are going to spend the money to play at the top level. 

Take Xavier. Went to the Big East in 2013. They've been to the tourney 5 times and 1 of those was a play in game since. They were in the tourney 11 of 12 years. The Big East hasn't really gotten them better results when they were in either. 

Butler is the same. Their tourney appearances and results are worse since joining the Big East. 

Makes me leery. 

I have zero reservations about joining the Big East.  Ford already recruits well to our A-10 program.  If we were in the Big East, we could be viewed as landing spots for guys like Beal and Tatum that come along in the future.

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1 hour ago, 3star_recruit said:

Going to the Big East has always been about money and status.  Is there really any advantage to finishing 4th, our best finish in the A10 under Coach Ford, over finishing 9th in the Big East?

I'm not saying I wouldn't go, just that if we aren't going to spend to play, I'm not sure it's a good move as results on the basketball court are concerned.

I get the average 4th place A10 finish, but i truly feel going forward we have a program where will we consistently finish higher than that. 

I'd rather compete for A10 championships than be a middling Big East program. So, if we go to the Big East we need to go with the budget and mindset to win it. And if that's the case ... what are we waiting for? 

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19 minutes ago, cgeldmacher said:

I have zero reservations about joining the Big East.  Ford already recruits well to our A-10 program.  If we were in the Big East, we could be viewed as landing spots for guys like Beal and Tatum that come along in the future.

On a year to year basis, I think it's more important that we would be considered the default choice for any top 100 local player.  A frontcourt of Perkins, EJ Liddell and Hasahn French would be formidable, even in the Big East.  And returning Perkins and EJ Liddell would have us in the preseason top 25.  One and done players don't usually stay home, despite their rhetoric.

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Everyone knows - if you have read this entire thread - that the announcement is about facilities and not joining another conference.  Some of these reservations that are being posted start to sound like cold feet to me.  If you take an objective view of the "should we join the BE" this is not a difficult decision - the money and prestige easily tells you to do it.  Now if you are afraid to be in the BE then that is a whole different story.  The locations of the teams we would play against are natural recruiting for athletes and students for us.  We already have a presence in the East so all this would do is make us more enticing.  We will have to step up funding of BB and we will have to be ready to move on from Ford if he can't get it done.  

I know we have not played as well as we had hoped in the A10 after RM but we always seem to hit some lull in the middle of the year and it always seems to come in conference play.  All you have to do is drop a couple of games you should have won during this lull and you are looking eking out a 4th place finish.  Ford and the team just have to stop these lulls against the Dukes and Explorers types.

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6 minutes ago, slufanskip said:

I'm not saying I wouldn't go, just that if we aren't going to spend to play, I'm not sure it's a good move as results on the basketball court are concerned.

I get the average 4th place A10 finish, but i truly feel going forward we have a program where will we consistently finish higher than that. 

I'd rather compete for A10 championships than be a middling Big East program. So, if we go to the Big East we need to go with the budget and mindset to win it. And if that's the case ... what are we waiting for? 

A middling BE team makes the Dance in most years.

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40 minutes ago, cgeldmacher said:

To answer the question, SLU could have men's and women's Division 1 hockey teams, thus balancing out any Title 9 implications.  To have a football team, we would have to add five women's teams in sports we don't already have. 

Sorry, a separate on campus hockey facility is less realistic than the 5 woman's teams and football....

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-wow, I realize there are two sides to every coin but I am shocked folks on here are thinking the BEast wouldn't be a GREAT spot for us, if you want to be the best you play the best and while the BEast may not be the #1 conf it is wwaayy above the A10 in prestige, real or imagined

-perhaps New Years Eve is a huge deal to them and they don't want to go to a SLU game that day/evening/night

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