Big East basketball will not resemble the powerhouse it has been in the past when they take the court next season. We all know that. This year, three of the four teams in the Women’s Final Four were from the Big East as well as two of the teams in the Men’s Final Four. Both tournaments were won by the Big East.
But both of the teams representing the Big East in the men’s Final Four are headed for the ACC as well as two of the three teams that made the women’s Final Four. Thia as many Big East fans understandably depressed. But, looking at the “Catholic Seven” schools that have broken off to form the new “Big East”, there is reason to believe that this may not be the worst thing ever.
When the Big East first became a basketball power, the schools in it did not play football. Schools like Miami, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Louisville and Cincinnati all came later. The only exception was Syracuse. Other than the Orange, the Big East became the power conference it has been because of the efforts of schools like St. John’s, Villanova, Seton Hall, Providence, and Georgetown. Those schools all made Final Fours in the 1980s when the Big East was getting started.
Guess what. Those are the schools forming the newest version of the Big East. Along with DePaul and Marquette, these are the schools who are forming the Big East next year. All seven of those schools have been to the Final Four. They are being joined in the new Big East by Butler, Creighton and Xavier as well. That is a pretty good ten team league.
I would suspect that we may see the new Big East go after a few more teams From the Atlantic 10 conference such as possibly Dayton, VCU, Richmond, St.Louis, St. Bonaventure or Rhode Island as well. Or perhaps they night raid the Colonial League and go after George Mason, James Madison or Old Dominion. There are several non-football playing schools that could add a bit to the Big East.
Even with the current ten team lineup, the Big East is still going to be a lot better conference than a lot of the conferences. They should be a three to four bid league even in year one. With the right TV contracts and the right coaches, this league has a lot of potential for future success.
We predict that the “New Big East” will be a lot better than the “Old Big East” otherwise known as the American Athletic Conference. Isn’t that just another name for Conference USA?