Big East Expansion: Conference Has Bright Future with 10 Teams

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IMarch 20, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20:  Joel Fisher, Executive Vice President of MSG Sports and Arena Renovation at Madison Square Garden, speaks to the media during the New Big East Conference & Fox Sports Media Group Press Event on March 20, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The Big East is going to be radically different, but it will still be in existence, and it will still be a powerful conference.

Much has been made of the disintegration of the Big East and the arrival of the Catholic 7. Yet, here we are with a new Big East and without a Catholic 7.

As reports, the new Big East will consist of Butler University, Creighton University, DePaul University, Georgetown University, Marquette University, Providence College, St. John’s University, Seton Hall University, Villanova University and Xavier University. 

The USA Today's Nicole Auerbach reports that this new Big East will keep all the records of the original Big East, and that the Madison Square Garden will continue to host the conference tournament through at least 2026. 

That's not all, either. As Fox Sports also reported, they have agreed with the conference on a "12-year multi-platform media rights agreement" that will begin next season. 

It is a healthy contract, too. The USA Today's Kelly Whiteside said the deal is estimated to be worth $500 million. The deal also includes select rights for women's basketball games and Olympic sports. 

So, this conference has a huge chunk of coin to work with, all the history, the familiar and iconic home for its tournament and quality basketball programs. 

Georgetown, Marquette and Villanova have a rich history and solid presence. Butler, Creighton and Xavier were quality adds of schools that are building a rich history, and DePaul, Providence, St. John's and Seton Hall ensure this conference is solid top to bottom. 

Seven of these ten teams are in action in the NCAA tournament or the NIT. 

This conference will have to identify a commissioner, and good leadership will be key to ensure this conference evolves and stays strong, but all the elements are there for just that to happen. 

The redesigned Big East is going to look a lot like the old Big East, and it has a bright future.