Big East: Becoming an All-Catholic, Basketball-Only Conference Is the Future

Jacob BornContributor IIINovember 19, 2012

CHARLESTON, SC - NOVEMBER 09:  Head coach Buzz Williams (R) of the Marquette Golden Eagles talks with Junior Cadougan #5 and Vander Blue #13 as the start of their game against the Ohio State Buckeyes  was delayed due to condensation on the court during the Walmart Carrier Classic played on the deck of the USS Yorktown on November 9, 2012 in Charleston, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

If the Big East were a professional team, the owners would be having a fire sale.

In the past two years, a total of five teams have agreed to leave the Big East (West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Notre Dame and now Rutgers). Connecticut is being tempted to leave for the ACC, and the rest of the teams in the conference are nearly left for dead. The Big East is a sinking ship, and programs are trying to find a place to go.

Rather than go through conference re-alignment, the basketball-only schools should stay in the Big East, change its name, and become a purely basketball conference consisting of entirely Catholic schools.

Those schools would be Marquette, Xavier, Dayton, St. Joseph's, St. Louis, Georgetown, St. John's, Providence, DePaul, Villanova, Seton Hall and Creighton. 

At first glance, it seems that this conference won't come to be, but every school has something to gain by joining a conference such as this. 

The conference is led by the Big East programs of Marquette and Georgetown, but takes in Atlantic-10 powerhouses Xavier, Dayton and St. Louis. Creighton would get out of the Missouri Valley Conference and face some better competition, while bottom-dwellers like Providence and DePaul get a less intense schedule. And it would give unproven teams like St. Joseph's, St. Johns, Seton Hall and Villanova a chance to become staples in college basketball. 

With seven of the twelve programs in this All-Catholic Conference coming from the Big East, it would essentially decimate the current conference. But with teams leaving for better football conference, it gives the non-football programs a chance to still be competitive and become notable names in college basketball.

Staying in conferences like the Missouri Valley Conference, Atlantic-10 or the dying Big East is not a smart move for any of these programs when an opportunity to become a major basketball conference is lying on the table. All of these teams need to take advantage of this and become pertinent, national basketball programs.