Conference Realignment: How the Big East Can Save the World

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Conference Realignment: How the Big East Can Save the World
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Well, it can save the world of college athletics, at least. 

The Big East needs to take a part in reshaping the NCAA landscape for its own long-term survival.

But first, the Big East needs to save itself.

Conference realignment is upon us. Again.

Syracuse and Pitt will depart for the ACC, Texas A&M joins the SEC next year, TCU will (in theory) join the Big East, and nobody knows what will happen next.

The Big East has been rocked by defections before. In 2004 and 2005, Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College departed for the ACC. In response, the Big East raided Conference USA (and two other C-USA schools joined the A-10). Conference USA then raided the MAC and the WAC. The MWC grabbed TCU. The WAC raided the Big West and Sun Belt. The Sun Belt added I-AA schools.

And the primary reason that these teams are jumping from one conference to another is college football.

The Big East's first task is to stabilize itself.  The Big East can use its possession of the “great prize” for a football conference—its status as a BCS automatic qualifier conference—to its advantage.  But it needs to act soon, or it may be too late.

If the Big East is going to make moves to save itself, it has to move decisively and fast. One of the latest rumors is that WVU, Louisville, Cincinnati and TCU are all attempting to become members of the Big 12

There are things the Big East can do in the short term, but there are other steps the conference should take for the long term, and those steps involve much more than just the Big East.  Let’s take a look.

Update: This slideshow is rather long and includes a fair bit of background information. It is good information but a long read. If you want just the basic idea, please read my newest article. It gets straight to the point.

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