When all is said and done more is said than done.
As for the Big East, they are the premiere basketball conference, but football is the horse that drives the carriage in all of college sports. The conference has shown to be historically behind compared to other conferences and the last poaching by the ACC is living proof of that. They added TCU in all sports just so they could keep their automatic bid.
And there have been rumors that the Big 10 has indeed looked at UNC. I don't see it happening, but why wouldn't the Big 10 love to get a foothold in a growing state in the South, especially a state of nine million people? UNC would bring the Big Ten Network into about four times the amount of homes than Nebraska is going to bring. But as long as there is an ACC, Carolina will be in it.
If FSU is truly peeved at Tobacco Road Mafia and a quote from a Raliegh Radio station is true (basketball is what the next expansion will be about)....
Split from the bball with an agreement that they play each other in the other sports since its easy trips for the non revenue teams for most of the teams and great for tv spots in the non-conference basketball.
Football Side is at 9. Let Notre Dame decide what they want to do. If they join fine, if not fine stay with the catholic schools (I'm assuming they stay with the basketball side).
With the TV contract about to be negotiated after 2012 I think:
12 Va Tech (if not gobbled up by the SEC)/ NC State if Tech goes SEC
13 BC (who has been the real loser of the last realignment)
Leave 14 open if FSU wants to bring Miami, NC State, or someone else.
FSU wants to be respected as a football school and the split allows us to show them and the rest that we understand its about FOOTBALL not protecting our buddies.
2 Cincinnati/ Va Tech
2 Florida State
4 Va Tech or NC State/Cincinnati
7 (insert 14th team here)
Basketball now has 8 schools: 1 ND (good/great bball program), 2 Georgetown (likewise), 3 Villanova (best of the bunch IMO), 4 St John's (improving), 5 Marquette (one of the bigger winners of the last round of reallignment), 6 Seton Hall (bleh), 7 Providence (garbage), 8 Depaul (likewise but at least in Chicago).
That is a real solid core to build from. Add some combination of the following schools: Butler
Xavier (makes it easy in the cross conference games as they play Cincy anyways)
and other Midmajors that could add real value to the Big East they go as big as they feel is neccessary and would still remain easily the top bball conference. Have a big east vs new conference made for tv games (see if NBC wants the rights to it too).
Here's the next shoe:
Would have thought those two would have garnered B10 attention.
If that's their driving force I would be on the phone tomorrow. Everyone knows Basketball is Robin in this... except the ACC apparently.
If Pitt does leave, I think it puts more pressure for WVU to bolt for another conference. I don't think the schools leaving hurt so much from a football standpoint, but I imagine it would hurt enough to cost the Big East an automatic bid.
Sounds like they're trying to do exactly what I said a couple days ago. Eerie.I think you're right about the ACC and Big East merging but, IMO, you would see the ACC remain almost entirely intact and taking only the "upper crust" of the Big East to fill in the holes created by expansion and members poached by one of the other "superconferences."
Here's my East USA Conference breakdown, based mainly on geography:
EUSA North (10 teams):
EUSA South (10 teams):
EUSA Non-Football (10 teams):
"In our sundown perambulations of late, through the outer parts of Brooklyn, we have observed several parties of youngsters playing 'base', a certain game of ball. Let us go forth awhile, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our close rooms, the game of ball is glorious"