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Conference realignment


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Below is an interesting article I found on the Charlotte Board this morning from August 6. I have copied and posted one part of the article that I think is interesting - that the 5 BB only BE schools don't bring that much to the table anymore. Why would Marquette and Xavier (or any other midwest private school) want to join up with the BB only BE schools?


Tranghese understands the difficulty those five basketball schools will have. Simply put, they're not that attractive any more. Georgetown's days of glory are over. St. John's, my favorite source reports, is in disarray. Providence and Seton Hall are mere blips on the national radar. More about Villanova in a moment.

"Nothing left but a glorified MAAC," that same hoops expert says.

Talk of Marquette or even Xavier joining them seems crazy. What have those schools to gain from taking on such travel? More likely, they'll settle for a St. Joseph's, for a Holy Cross.

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east coast thinking Georgetown, St. Johns etc because they associate with midwest schools would not be able to recruit well. I think that is very biased thinking. In all honesty if the Big East splits up Tranghese should step down once the duist has settled, because he is clearly not a visionary.

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I agree with this reporter's take on the five remaining BE bb only schools. That said, I believe the formation of a BB only conference with east and west divisions would go a long way to restoring the faded luster of the GU's, St.JHNS, and Providences. By forming this conference travel expenses could be minimized by having each school play out of it's division for only 3-4 games a year. My fear is that since Marquette has suddenly regained it's preeminent status, will the FB schools of the BE who will likely take UC and UL and ND for hoops only form another hybrid conference of FB and BB by taking the cream of the hoops teams, i.e. MU and XU? If this happens we are looking at a MAAC type conference.

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When the divorce finally comes between the BE football and B-ball schools, as long as Marquette holds tight and does not immediately move to join the 5 orphan b-ball schools of the former BE, then I think (as this article agrees), the 5 BE b-ball schools do not have that strong of a bargaining position. They will not be able to dictate terms to the likes of Marquette or Xavier. I really think any new b-ball league, whether it is called the Big East or not, shall have to have an east and west division of at least 5 teams and probably 6. In such a senario, I don't see how SLU gets left out of the west division. Marquette and DePaul (and Xavier if it wants to be part of the west division rather than the east) will have the greatest pull. If Marquette and DePaul are arranging the party, SLU will get an invite.

Rather than going west for playmates--i.e., Marquette and DePaul--another move I can see the orphan 5 BE b-ball schools making is raiding the A-10. Xavier, Dayton, and St. Joe's would get them to 8 and they have a tight conference. Charlotte would jump out of their shoes to join with the orphan 5 (it makes geograhic sense for them). Villinova would fight the addition of St. Joe's (same city) but the other members might have to out vote them to get the numbers they need for a conference. The article pooh-whos the idea that Xavier would jump to such a new league; however, it would be a step up over the A-10. If this happens, I'm not sure where that leaves Marquette, DePaul, and SLU.

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Hmph! I spent all morning searching for and bookmarking Big East schools' major city newspapers with the intent of providing some informative links for the billikens.com community only to find that davidlee (of all people) beat me to the punch! (Not only that, but he provided a link to a column I did not see -- thank you, davidlee.)

Well, here are some other links folks may find interesting.




I really recommend the last link, because the Washington Post article goes into great depth regarding the Big East's history as a conference.

To sum things up a bit, there has been no real news this week. About eight to ten representative from the Big East met on Wednesday to discuss options because made no decisions. The two options on the table are spliting the conference into two conferences (one for the football schools and one for the non-football schools) or sticking together and expanding to 16 or 18 teams. None of the rumored expansion plans include Saint Louis U., but most (probably all) include Marquette, Cincinnati, and Louisville, and some include DePaul. Further meetings are expected, but none has been scheduled.

slu72, you called Yavender a reporter, but I think he's more of a columnist.

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Interesting comments on whether the five bball-only Big East schools have lost some of their luster in recent years. While many are rightly concerned with SLU's declining per game attendance over the last four or five seasons, I was somewhat surprised as to how we compared attendance wise to the five bball-only Big East schools for the 2002-2003 season.

SLU (16-14) 9232

Georgetown (19-15) 8796

Providence (18-14) 8777

Villanova (15-16) 8584

St. John's (20-13) 8087

Seton Hall (17-13) 7632

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