Big East Football Realignment HURTING Big East Basketball

At the Chicago college basketball media day, DePaul coach Oliver Purnell made a joke at the podium about announcing a new additions to a new super-conference that was planning on adding more teams in the near future.

We in the media appreciated his jab at the chaotic landscape that is conference realignment/expansion. And again at the DePaul media luncheon, Purnell was asked about the current game of musical chairs being played. And the Big East is feeling the effects harder than anyone else.

“These are crazy times, it’s happened before it’s just happening very quickly, and now it seems there’s a race,” Purnell said.

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Big East Invites Boise State, Navy and Air Force Football to Join

boise state

I guess the Boise State Broncos are going to follow the TCU Horned Frogs around the carousel of college football expansion/realignment. You could say they’ll scoop up their “sloppy seconds.”

Today the Big East Conference invited Boise State, Navy and Air Force for football only and SMU, Houston and Central Florida for all sports, a source with knowledge of the situation told The AP.

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Big 12 Trying to Avoid Dissolution by Potentially Adding TCU

TCU_cheerleaders

Today, Big 12 Conference brass cleared the way to potentially add TCU, a maneuver that could honestly save a league that seemed ready to collapse a few weeks ago. The Big 12 fired commissioner Dan Beebe a couple weeks ago, the first step in trying to rehab the league. Instead of just dissolving, the move would counter-act the rumor that Mizzou is jumping to the SEC.

Although TCU is not meeting expectations this season, they’re still a program on the rise which has more than out-grown it’s mid-major status.

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Going Inside Big Ten Network Headquarters, Conference Expansion Rumors

Last night I was lucky enough to be at a small private reception that included Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany. Yes, I was at the same party as the most powerful man in the prestigious college basketball and college football league.

Delaney’s a University of North Carolina alum, and this was a Chicago Carolina Club gathering at Japonais, a downtown restaurant located a few floors below the Big Ten Network (BTN) studio. Yes, I infiltrated a group of Tar Heels (despite the horrors of the 2005 national title game) in order to get the story.

Before we get to the tour, we’ll go over some conference expansion rumors and innuendo. Because once you get on any topic remotely connected to this issue these days, the conversation inevitably leads there anyway.

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UConn and Rutgers in ACC: What a Monster Basketball Conference

uconn huskies cheerleader

Syracuse and Pittsburgh are on their way to the ACC, meaning they’re jumping from one abysmal college football conference (Big East) to one very mediocre college football conference. They’re also leaving the hoops super-conference (which looks like it’s about to implode) to what will be far and away the strongest hoops conference in the nation.

I’m sorry about the headline. Let me clarify.

I mentioned Rutgers as Connecticut’s partner. Every school seems to need a partner to move with; in order to keep the total number of teams in the league even.

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Texas A&M to SEC: What it Means for College Basketball

texas a&m dance team

This rash of realignment in college athletics all revolves around college footballNebraska to the Big Ten, TCU to the Big East, Colorado and Utah to the Pac-12; these moves benefit the action on the gridiron but water down the college hoops scene.  With Texas A&M moving to the SEC, there will be another domino effect in how the major conferences look and as a result, more shakeup on the hardwood.

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#20 Texas A&M Aggies: College Football 77 in 77

texas a&m

It’s very rare that the college football program which happens to be dominating media headlines also gets featured in the 77 in 77. But that’s coincidence coupled with fact that maybe I’m underrating the Texas A&M Aggies.

Ok, so here’s what we know- the SEC did not officially extend an offer to A&M. However, the University did meet and officially vote to explore leaving the Big 12. Right now they’re a decent size fish in a medium pond. But if they get what they want, they could become fish food in the ocean.

Anyways, here’s the latest:

the outcome of the meeting signaled the A&M-to-the-SEC talk will not die anytime in the near future.

According to multiple media outlets, the regents unanimously voted this afternoon to give President R. Loftin Bowen permission to “take action on conference alignment.”  Translated into English, that means Loftin has been given official permission to pursue a move from the Big 12 to the SEC.  The next step in the process — provided there are no legal obstacles that still need to be navigated — will likely be for Loftin to officially approach the SEC regarding A&M’s interest in becoming a member of the conference.

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SEC Doesn’t Extend Offer to Texas A&M

texas a&m

In 2010, the fun began. Nebraska to the Big Ten was the first domino to fall. Colorado to the Pac 10 was the second. Utah followed them. Boise Jumped to the Mountain West, TCU left the MWC for the Big East. And now it’s starting up again in 2011. Texas A&M to the SEC is actually not happening now; but still a possibility in the future.

And Mizzou, Clemson and Florida State might follow them.

June-Aug is typically the sports media dead zone; especially so if your baseball team is from Chicago, because they’re almost always out of the race early.

However college football conference recruiting season heated the news up in May 2010, and it could get going again this summer. Maybe. Just not today.

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#21 Texas Longhorns: College Football 77 in 77

texas longhorn girl

In the U.S. government,it is said that the Federal Reserve Chairman is the guy who “takes the punch bowl away, once the party gets started.” This is due to his responsibilities to raise interest rates once the economy takes off- (I guess we won’t have to worry about this any time soon) in order to keep inflation risks at bay. The Texas Longhorns were the college football version of that tremendous buzzkill last summer.

Once the fun started with teams jumping conferences, and the very realistic possibility of super-conferences forming, and therefore bringing us closer to a real postseason, UT was Captain Bringdown. Texas, which nearly left the Big 12 for the Pac-10 last year, instead stayed put and created its own television network.

The Longhorn Network (partnering with ESPN for 20 years, $300 million) ensured that Texas, the biggest/richest/most powerful Athletic Department in this scenario would keep the Big 12 alive for a little while longer. I understand why they did it, it was in their best interests, but man did that news disappoint me at the time. Texas would have been the biggest domino to fall, and it would have opened the floodgates to all sorts of conference moves/mergers. We could have had media coverage of college football all summer long, instead of boring ass baseball. Shame on you Texas!

You could have made the summer lull in sports news, a million times more interesting for all of us. I guess it’s karma that the Longhorns suffered a losing season for the first time in quite awhile.

But this year, look for them to be back in a bowl.

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Small schools must retain soul when joining BCS Conferences

college_football_playoffs

It’s easy to understand why the small schools are in favor of a college football playoff system; the BCS prohibits them from EVER playing in the championship. The big schools in the BCS conferences? (Big 12, SEC, ACC, Pac 10, Big East and Big Ten) Well, they get shafted by the computers too, but they’re still much more likely to be BCS proponent than the mid majors.  Which incites the question at hand-

If you’re a smaller school now going power conference, do you stay true to your roots? Or do you “sell out” like Metallica in the mid-90s?

Saying that I’m “sympathetic to the cause” of getting a college football playoff system going is like commenting that Lindsey Lohan might have “had a drink or two,” or maybe even “experimented with drugs a little bit.”  Therefore, this gentleman with a playoff plan was correct in including me on his email list; one targeted towards the University of Utah as they join the Pac Ten.

By Paul M. Banks

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