1. THE INEVITABLE FUTURE--The Shadow of the Power Conferences
A. No more separation between ACC-Big East and Other Power Conferences in basketball.
Losing 3-4 annual tournament teams and adding 2 means that the Big East won’t be No. 1 in tournament bids every year. The Big East, ACC, Big 10, Big 12 and SEC will all be bunched up with 6-8 bids a year. Which takes away the Big East's main claim to supremacy.
B. Big 10, SEC, PAC-10 schools with $20M TV contracts, Big 12 $15M.
We're already seeing the impact of that money in football. Mike Leach getting $2M to coach Washington State. Sooner or later, we're going to see some of that money spent on the basketball side. The pay scale for power-conference basketball coaches will go up. Combine that with the practice abd training facilities that football will pay for, but all athletes will benefit from.
C. Big East football will continue to be a drag on the Big East brand.
Whether or not the New Big East is better in football than the old, it's clearly behind the power conferences. This matters more to recruits than to the TV audience. Teenagers care about what their friends think and say. Every time kids talk football, and a teammate says “Man, Big East is some trash,” the chances of a Big East basketball coach recruiting that kid goes down .0001. Every time sports discussion turns to whether the Big East is a mid-major, it hurts the Big East's brand.
2. THE EVITABLE FUTURE. Life in the New Hybrid Big East.
A. Association with more mediocre-to-poor basketball schools further damages Big East BB brand.
Once the Big East can no longer claim to be the premier basketball conference, a bad team in the Big East is just like a bad team in the Big 10 or SEC, just with less money and poorer practice facilities. And if the 18-team Big East is sending 7-8 teams to the tournament, that means that there are 10-11 teams not going to the tournament, while the power conferences only have 6 or 7. That makes it harder for programs in a down period to climb back up, and makes Big East coaching opportunities less attractive than power conference opportunities.
B. Temple’s access to Big East could easily push Villanova into irrelevance.
In basketball, one recruit a year is a huge difference. Say Penn State hires Jay Wright for big money, Villanova more than likely joins St Johns, DePaul, Providence, Seton Hall as drags on the conference. As the $15M-$20M TV checks roll in, does Marquette still have a financial advantage when a Big 12 or SEC school calls Buzz Williams?
C. All-sports schools notice that most of the “basketball schools” aren’t performing in basketball.
St Johns, DePaul, Providence, Seton Hall, cointinue to not make the tournament regularly, possibly joined by Villanova and/or Marquette. USF, Houston, UCF, SMU, Memphis have no longstanding ties to the basketball schools. Temple isn’t likely to be sympathetic to Villanova, or sentimental about Seton Hall, Providence, or DePaul.
So why are these schools sharing the basketball checks earned by UConn, Memphis, Temple, plus Notre Dame? Why do they get half the votes on conference governance? Sooner or later, they won’t. Next contract cycle, if only 2 or 3 of the basketball schools are making the tournament every year, the Coast-to-Coast Conference says goodbye to the ruined Big East brand.
3. THE ALTERNATE FUTURE—Taking Our Conference Back.
"The Big East is the basketball power conference where basketball matters."
Back to basics. Back to the future. Home-and-home series between Georgetown, Xavier, St Johns, Villanova, Providence, Marquette, Dayton, Seton Hall. They can’t market that in a conference that has so obviously remade itself in the name of football, while failing to be more than a football mid-major.
If a recruit picks Marquette over Wisconsin, he never has to worry about coming out of the athletic dorm and having some girl ask “So, are you on the football team?” Seton Hall’s ticket office doesn’t have to package tickets to the Georgetown game with tickets to see UCF, SMU and Providence. The conference office can focus on developing and promoting the basketball league instead of managing tensions and balancing conflicting interests.
It is time for the basketball schools to shut down the football conference before it is too late. If three Catholic schools vote with Villanova, Temple’s invitation doesn’t have the a 3 /4 majority.
The Catholic League Basketball TV package.
The current Big East has a 144-game league schedule, with at least 75 (52%) on national TV. 75 games / 16 teams = 4.7 TV checks per school. http://www.bigeast.org/News/tabid/435/Ar...edule.aspx
The “Catholic League” Big East of Georgetown, Villanova, Marquette, Seton Hall, Depaul, Providence, St Johns plus Xavier and Dayton would have 5 2011 tournament teams out of 9, for a league schedule of 72 games, with 80% having at least one tournament team. Put 50% of those games on TV, that’s 36 games. 36/9 = 4 TV checks per school. That’s less, but if you keep Notre Dame (and I don’t think Notre Dame has many options) that’s 90 games, 45 on TV, 4.5 TV checks per school.