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What does Dayton, or anyone else, have to do to get into the BE?
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bill dazzle Online
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Post: #141
RE: What does Dayton, or anyone else, have to do to get into the BE?
(02-20-2020 03:17 PM)The Cutter of Bish Wrote:  
(02-20-2020 12:41 PM)bill dazzle Wrote:  One key reason for the Big East to invite SLU is that it's a Catholic university. Notwithstanding Butler (which has a Methodist history) and UConn, the BE is a Catholic league. And that is one of the main reasons I like it. I strongly favor the BE adding SLU, Dayton and, for example, Duquesne.

For the Big East, I simply prefer 12 over 11 and 14 over 12. But 14 would/should be the max. And I strongly favor future additions being Catholic schools. UConn (for obvious reasons) was an exception, and I understand the Butler add (tremendous history, arena and fan base in a very underrated city with a "basketball culture").

They've opened their doors to non-Catholic schools. To me, the "Catholic" affiliation thing doesn't mean much.

I mean, if you want to go into other "unclaimed" cities by way of the Catholic school, you have them in Detroit, Pittsburgh, and soon to be in Louisville. The territory mustn't be that important to reach into those cities for such "similar" programs; the programs themselves don't add much to the conference.

Conversely, I think the affiliation with UConn will be the one-time-only thing the conference will do with a public school. Or, it's going to take more than a UMass, VCU, or Wichita State to move that needle any.


The Catholic affiliation means a good bit to me but I might be in the minority. If I were to list my three "favorite" things about the Big East, they would be 1. DePaul 2. the Catholic factor and 3. the locations of BE universities in large U.S. cities.

But, and to your point, there might be a decent number of BE fans that don't put much stock in the Catholic element related to future expansion.
(This post was last modified: 02-21-2020 09:01 AM by bill dazzle.)
02-20-2020 10:07 PM
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The Cutter of Bish Offline
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Post: #142
RE: What does Dayton, or anyone else, have to do to get into the BE?
(02-20-2020 03:37 PM)GoldenWarrior11 Wrote:  In this regard, UConn is very much a peer institution, despite not being a Private school, to the Big East. If you have had historical success in basketball, continue to make the investments and commit resources to it, and have fans/alumni that can fill your arena up and travel well (especially to the BET), you can be considered an expansion candidate for the BE.

Location and legacy go far with UConn and this version of the Big East. I just don't know who else would fit the criteria that UConn does for the Big East. I mean, if it seems like I'm ragging on SLU, UMass would be getting it worse. I think the "prestige" component, academically, would be held against both VCU and Wichita State.

Quote:But, and to your point, there might be a decent number of BE fans that don't put much stock in the Catholic element related to future expansion.

I think it matters some, though. From what's been out there, we're still talking about UD and SLU...they were the runners-up for Creighton's spot. We know the BE was looking for a type.
02-20-2020 11:06 PM
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bill dazzle Online
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Post: #143
RE: What does Dayton, or anyone else, have to do to get into the BE?
(02-20-2020 11:06 PM)The Cutter of Bish Wrote:  
(02-20-2020 03:37 PM)GoldenWarrior11 Wrote:  In this regard, UConn is very much a peer institution, despite not being a Private school, to the Big East. If you have had historical success in basketball, continue to make the investments and commit resources to it, and have fans/alumni that can fill your arena up and travel well (especially to the BET), you can be considered an expansion candidate for the BE.

Location and legacy go far with UConn and this version of the Big East. I just don't know who else would fit the criteria that UConn does for the Big East. I mean, if it seems like I'm ragging on SLU, UMass would be getting it worse. I think the "prestige" component, academically, would be held against both VCU and Wichita State.

Quote:But, and to your point, there might be a decent number of BE fans that don't put much stock in the Catholic element related to future expansion.

I think it matters some, though. From what's been out there, we're still talking about UD and SLU...they were the runners-up for Creighton's spot. We know the BE was looking for a type.


Good point. And I believe both Dayton and SLU eventually will be offered BE invites. I hope they are.
02-21-2020 09:03 AM
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schmolik Online
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Post: #144
RE: What does Dayton, or anyone else, have to do to get into the BE?
(02-21-2020 09:03 AM)bill dazzle Wrote:  
(02-20-2020 11:06 PM)The Cutter of Bish Wrote:  
(02-20-2020 03:37 PM)GoldenWarrior11 Wrote:  In this regard, UConn is very much a peer institution, despite not being a Private school, to the Big East. If you have had historical success in basketball, continue to make the investments and commit resources to it, and have fans/alumni that can fill your arena up and travel well (especially to the BET), you can be considered an expansion candidate for the BE.

Location and legacy go far with UConn and this version of the Big East. I just don't know who else would fit the criteria that UConn does for the Big East. I mean, if it seems like I'm ragging on SLU, UMass would be getting it worse. I think the "prestige" component, academically, would be held against both VCU and Wichita State.

Quote:But, and to your point, there might be a decent number of BE fans that don't put much stock in the Catholic element related to future expansion.

I think it matters some, though. From what's been out there, we're still talking about UD and SLU...they were the runners-up for Creighton's spot. We know the BE was looking for a type.


Good point. And I believe both Dayton and SLU eventually will be offered BE invites. I hope they are.

That would mean a conference of 13. I highly doubt they will stop at 13. Maybe they go to 14 but who's 14? 12 seems more likely if they go to 12 at all. Right now they can stay double round robin in men's and women's basketball. I don't know if they will do a 22 game conference season. Are you sure we can't kick Creighton out? Too damn far west. Should have never been added in the first place.
(This post was last modified: 02-21-2020 10:03 AM by schmolik.)
02-21-2020 09:53 AM
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Post: #145
RE: What does Dayton, or anyone else, have to do to get into the BE?
(02-20-2020 03:17 PM)The Cutter of Bish Wrote:  
(02-20-2020 12:41 PM)bill dazzle Wrote:  One key reason for the Big East to invite SLU is that it's a Catholic university. Notwithstanding Butler (which has a Methodist history) and UConn, the BE is a Catholic league. And that is one of the main reasons I like it. I strongly favor the BE adding SLU, Dayton and, for example, Duquesne.

For the Big East, I simply prefer 12 over 11 and 14 over 12. But 14 would/should be the max. And I strongly favor future additions being Catholic schools. UConn (for obvious reasons) was an exception, and I understand the Butler add (tremendous history, arena and fan base in a very underrated city with a "basketball culture").

They've opened their doors to non-Catholic schools. To me, the "Catholic" affiliation thing doesn't mean much.

I mean, if you want to go into other "unclaimed" cities by way of the Catholic school, you have them in Detroit, Pittsburgh, and soon to be in Louisville. The territory mustn't be that important to reach into those cities for such "similar" programs; the programs themselves don't add much to the conference.

Conversely, I think the affiliation with UConn will be the one-time-only thing the conference will do with a public school. Or, it's going to take more than a UMass, VCU, or Wichita State to move that needle any.

I believe that the Catholic affiliation is important, but not outcome determinative. It's similar to how the Big Ten prefers huge flagship public schools, but it still loves its association with Northwestern and would take Notre Dame in a heartbeat.

SLU is specifically on the radar for the Big East because it's not that huge of a leap to see that they *could* be a consistently upper tier basketball program... and a consistently upper tier basketball program is probably good enough when combined with their market and institutional profile. Like I've said before, if there was a school with Dayton's performance in SLU's location, then that school would be in the Big East already.

It's not so much that the St. Louis market is more important than Detroit, Pittsburgh or Boston. Believe me - if any of the available options in those markets that are conceivably institutional fits with the Big East (e.g. Detroit Mercy, Duquesne, Boston University, Northeastern, etc.) had even a SLU-level of performance (much less Dayton-level), they'd be on the radar, too. It's just that those schools are sooooo far off the mark in terms of on-the-court performance that they're not reasonable additions to even think about as of now.

UMass is an interesting case because I think that they could be in that SLU-type category. While they're not a clear institutional fit with the Big East outside of incoming UConn, it's definitely academically desirable as a flagship school in a wealthy high population state. If they could just get consistent solid (not even great) on-the-court performance, it would do wonders for the value of UMass for conference realignment purposes. You can squint your eyes and see the potential that they *could* be like another UConn (and would be great to have them paired in a conference like the Big East), but there's no reason why the Big East or AAC would take them *before* they actually show sustained success in the A-10.

From my understanding, VCU is getting blocked by Georgetown for consideration to the Big East. Georgetown superficially seems to be basing it on academics, but it's just as likely that they actually see the entire state of Virginia as their market that they want to protect (as the largest portion of the DC metro area is Northern Virginia). It's sort of akin to the Xavier-Dayton dynamic - Cincinnati and Dayton (the market) might technically be different TV markets, but the Big East and Xavier look at that entire region in Ohio as one market. People may disagree with Georgetown's viewpoint here, but the fact of the matter is that Georgetown probably has more power in the Big East than any other school.

I've long said that Davidson is my sleeper pick for a future Big East invite. I know that some posters have brought up Davidson's small enrollment size, but I honestly don't believe that's a large consideration for the Big East. This is a league made up of mostly private schools that was literally created back in the 1970s for TV market purposes, so TV value is more important than attendance or enrollment size. Davidson is in the Charlotte market and, while that's a very competitive market for college basketball (with the 4 North Carolina-based schools in the ACC), it's also a *great* college basketball market and recruiting region. I'd compare it to Butler: it might be the #3 school in the Indianapolis market after Indiana and Purdue (and maybe even #4 after Notre Dame), but that belies the fact that Indianapolis is a top tier college basketball market... and it's a legitimately valuable TV market that isn't just a college town.

Also, Davidson is an *elite* academic institution. It's not just merely good academically - it's legitimately one of the toughest schools to get into in the country. That's the type of school that university presidents definitely want to associate themselves with in a conference. Finally, Davidson actually does have a history of good-to-great on-the-court performance. There aren't the same performance concerns about Davidson that you see with even SLU (much less Duquesne or UMass).
(This post was last modified: 02-21-2020 10:01 AM by Frank the Tank.)
02-21-2020 09:54 AM
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schmolik Online
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Post: #146
RE: What does Dayton, or anyone else, have to do to get into the BE?
(02-21-2020 09:54 AM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  I've long said that Davidson is my sleeper pick for a future Big East invite. I know that some posters have brought up Davidson's small enrollment size, but I honestly don't believe that's a large consideration for the Big East. This is a league made up of mostly private schools that was literally created back in the 1970s for TV market purposes, so TV value is more important than attendance or enrollment size. Davidson is in the Charlotte market and, while that's a very competitive market for college basketball (with the 4 North Carolina-based schools in the ACC), it's also a *great* college basketball market and recruiting region. I'd compare it to Butler: it might be the #3 school in the Indianapolis market after Indiana and Purdue (and maybe even #4 after Notre Dame), but that belies the fact that Indianapolis is a top tier college basketball market... and it's a legitimately valuable TV market that isn't just a college town.

Also, Davidson is an *elite* academic institution. It's not just merely good academically - it's legitimately one of the toughest schools to get into in the country. That's the type of school that university presidents definitely want to associate themselves with in a conference. Finally, Davidson actually does have a history of good-to-great on-the-court performance. There aren't the same performance concerns about Davidson that you see with even SLU (much less Duquesne or UMass).

Big difference between Butler and Davidson is Butler was just coming off back to back national championship appearances. If we were back in the Steph Curry era, maybe. Davidson hasn't won an NCAA Tournament game since 2008. I'm not saying the academics don't matter but there's a big reason the Big East was willing to make an exception for Butler as a non Catholic university.
02-21-2020 10:28 AM
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Steve1981 Offline
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Post: #147
RE: What does Dayton, or anyone else, have to do to get into the BE?
Davidson coach McKillop has been there a very long time and will be 70 this summer. Think they are wait in see what happens post McKillop.
02-21-2020 10:29 AM
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Post: #148
RE: What does Dayton, or anyone else, have to do to get into the BE?
(02-21-2020 10:28 AM)schmolik Wrote:  
(02-21-2020 09:54 AM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  I've long said that Davidson is my sleeper pick for a future Big East invite. I know that some posters have brought up Davidson's small enrollment size, but I honestly don't believe that's a large consideration for the Big East. This is a league made up of mostly private schools that was literally created back in the 1970s for TV market purposes, so TV value is more important than attendance or enrollment size. Davidson is in the Charlotte market and, while that's a very competitive market for college basketball (with the 4 North Carolina-based schools in the ACC), it's also a *great* college basketball market and recruiting region. I'd compare it to Butler: it might be the #3 school in the Indianapolis market after Indiana and Purdue (and maybe even #4 after Notre Dame), but that belies the fact that Indianapolis is a top tier college basketball market... and it's a legitimately valuable TV market that isn't just a college town.

Also, Davidson is an *elite* academic institution. It's not just merely good academically - it's legitimately one of the toughest schools to get into in the country. That's the type of school that university presidents definitely want to associate themselves with in a conference. Finally, Davidson actually does have a history of good-to-great on-the-court performance. There aren't the same performance concerns about Davidson that you see with even SLU (much less Duquesne or UMass).

Big difference between Butler and Davidson is Butler was just coming off back to back national championship appearances. If we were back in the Steph Curry era, maybe. Davidson hasn't won an NCAA Tournament game since 2008. I'm not saying the academics don't matter but there's a big reason the Big East was willing to make an exception for Butler as a non Catholic university.

There are some substantial barriers on Davidson.

Firstly, they have a small arena (only just over 5k). Every single BE program has access to a large arena (near 10k). While St. John's plays some games at Carnesecca (5k), or Villanova plays some games at the Pavillion (6k), they still play games at MSG and Wells Fargo (both near 20k). Butler has the smallest full-time arena in the BE at 9k, but it is one of the greatest and most historical basketball arenas around (and they sell out a majority of the games).

Secondly, also on attendance, Davidson does not sell out its own home games. Davidson, last year, averaged 3,800 per game. That would, too, be the lowest in the Big East.

Davidson is selective as a college, but it still doesn't change its very small enrollment (1,800) or its lack in status as a national university (which a majority of the BE is; Creighton just got elevated to national status this year). The fact that there is not another liberal arts institution in the BE that can support or vouch for Davidson, IMO, is a significant barrier.

To the comparison's to Butler, the obvious difference is that they were coming off back-to-back national championship appearances. Even with Stevens, they had reached a point of sustained success between coaches (Stevens, Lickliter, Matta, Collier), and had 11 NCAA Tournament appearances in the prior 15 years, along with 4 Sweet 16s, through multiple leagues (MCC, Horizon, A10). Davidson has not returned to the Sweet 16 in the A10, and has made the NCAA Tournament less than half the time while in the A10 (unlikely this year). Davidson, unfairly or fairly, has only had one coach in the past 30 years. One of the many "draws" of Butler, Creighton and Xavier was that each program had sustained success through multiple coaching changes, showing that they can remain competitive through cycles. Davidson, unfortunately, cannot claim that.

Davidson, like any of the A10 candidates, needs to develop into a consistent top-program in the conference to show its basketball strength before it can be seriously considered an expansion candidate to the Big East, IMO. Unlike SLU and UD, it does not have the arena or fan support that can be included in their pitch. It would have to go on a Wichita State-like or VCU-like sustained run to leap frog either of those candidates, IMO.
02-21-2020 11:13 AM
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Post: #149
RE: What does Dayton, or anyone else, have to do to get into the BE?
(02-21-2020 09:54 AM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  UMass is an interesting case because I think that they could be in that SLU-type category. While they're not a clear institutional fit with the Big East outside of incoming UConn, it's definitely academically desirable as a flagship school in a wealthy high population state. If they could just get consistent solid (not even great) on-the-court performance, it would do wonders for the value of UMass for conference realignment purposes. You can squint your eyes and see the potential that they *could* be like another UConn (and would be great to have them paired in a conference like the Big East), but there's no reason why the Big East or AAC would take them *before* they actually show sustained success in the A-10.

After SLU/UD, I very much like UMass, personally, as a long-term candidate for #14 to eventually "pair" with UConn.

They are a top-65 national university, with a strong enrollment (30k) and is a flagship land grant institution (not unlike UConn). They have a near-10k arena on campus arena (which was getting filled during the Calipari/early Flint days), and would see a tremendous boost in support under the BE banner and resources. They would also be another strong presence in the NE market that further cements NYC as the conference's home.

Those three additions over a long(er) period of time would eventually put the league in a perfect 7/7 (East/West) split/set-up that would provide the perfect number of sessions for the BET at MSG, and ideal travel scenarios for Olympic sports. The BE would remain a non-football league, but allow two schools that play football (UConn/UMass) to have an alliance as FBS Independents.
02-21-2020 01:59 PM
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Post: #150
RE: What does Dayton, or anyone else, have to do to get into the BE?
(02-20-2020 03:37 PM)GoldenWarrior11 Wrote:  
(02-20-2020 03:17 PM)The Cutter of Bish Wrote:  
(02-20-2020 12:41 PM)bill dazzle Wrote:  One key reason for the Big East to invite SLU is that it's a Catholic university. Notwithstanding Butler (which has a Methodist history) and UConn, the BE is a Catholic league. And that is one of the main reasons I like it. I strongly favor the BE adding SLU, Dayton and, for example, Duquesne.

For the Big East, I simply prefer 12 over 11 and 14 over 12. But 14 would/should be the max. And I strongly favor future additions being Catholic schools. UConn (for obvious reasons) was an exception, and I understand the Butler add (tremendous history, arena and fan base in a very underrated city with a "basketball culture").

They've opened their doors to non-Catholic schools. To me, the "Catholic" affiliation thing doesn't mean much.

I mean, if you want to go into other "unclaimed" cities by way of the Catholic school, you have them in Detroit, Pittsburgh, and soon to be in Louisville. The territory mustn't be that important to reach into those cities for such "similar" programs; the programs themselves don't add much to the conference.

Conversely, I think the affiliation with UConn will be the one-time-only thing the conference will do with a public school. Or, it's going to take more than a UMass, VCU, or Wichita State to move that needle any.

UConn's return highlighted this important criteria for Big East moving forward: it is a collection of like-minded schools (basketball-first, no football), with a history of on-court success, that play in large arenas, that is rooted very much in NYC. In this regard, UConn is very much a peer institution, despite not being a Private school, to the Big East. If you have had historical success in basketball, continue to make the investments and commit resources to it, and have fans/alumni that can fill your arena up and travel well (especially to the BET), you can be considered an expansion candidate for the BE.

UConn got to bypass the traditional BE roadblocks because they have the sweat equity of having been longtime members and because of the institutional relationships they have with the old-line schools there. UConn was a special case and not replicable for VCU, Wichita State or any public schools with BE ambitions, even if they ban all footballs from campus.

My guess is the Big East would take Boston College over VCU without thinking twice. Institutional congruity > lack of football every day.
02-21-2020 02:28 PM
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bill dazzle Online
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Post: #151
RE: What does Dayton, or anyone else, have to do to get into the BE?
(02-21-2020 09:53 AM)schmolik Wrote:  
(02-21-2020 09:03 AM)bill dazzle Wrote:  
(02-20-2020 11:06 PM)The Cutter of Bish Wrote:  
(02-20-2020 03:37 PM)GoldenWarrior11 Wrote:  In this regard, UConn is very much a peer institution, despite not being a Private school, to the Big East. If you have had historical success in basketball, continue to make the investments and commit resources to it, and have fans/alumni that can fill your arena up and travel well (especially to the BET), you can be considered an expansion candidate for the BE.

Location and legacy go far with UConn and this version of the Big East. I just don't know who else would fit the criteria that UConn does for the Big East. I mean, if it seems like I'm ragging on SLU, UMass would be getting it worse. I think the "prestige" component, academically, would be held against both VCU and Wichita State.

Quote:But, and to your point, there might be a decent number of BE fans that don't put much stock in the Catholic element related to future expansion.

I think it matters some, though. From what's been out there, we're still talking about UD and SLU...they were the runners-up for Creighton's spot. We know the BE was looking for a type.


Good point. And I believe both Dayton and SLU eventually will be offered BE invites. I hope they are.

That would mean a conference of 13. I highly doubt they will stop at 13. Maybe they go to 14 but who's 14? 12 seems more likely if they go to 12 at all. Right now they can stay double round robin in men's and women's basketball. I don't know if they will do a 22 game conference season. Are you sure we can't kick Creighton out? Too damn far west. Should have never been added in the first place.


I didn't mean to suggest the BE would want 13 instead of 14. I want it to eventually have 14, with SLU and Dayton clearly my top two. For No. 14, I continue to like Duquesne, but don't see that happening. I also like UMass. Frank the Tank notes Davidson as an option in this thread. I would be so-so on that one but could come around perhaps. And don't rule out Richmond or VCU. There will be options for the BE.
02-21-2020 02:48 PM
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Post: #152
RE: What does Dayton, or anyone else, have to do to get into the BE?
I don't know...I would think UConn getting in would slam the door on UMass' chances.

A lot of what is said about SLU is also appropriate for UMass in terms of "what might have been." You talk about a program that fell asleep at the wheel, went so off the road, and never really came back...in all of this time when UMass could have been making a better case for themselves for the Big East or AAC, they did nothing. I mean, at least Saint Louis had their Majerus era during this realignment craze. If anything bugged me about SLU being considered for the C7-NBE, it was feeling cheated as an A10 fan for the years of bad performance in the conference. UMass, imo, is just the fumes of Calipari era at this point, and far worse than SLU. Not vitriol...just extreme disappointment.

Two programs really threw it away when they got too involved with football, imo...UMass was one, and Charlotte was the other. Two places that couldn't serve two masters. Honestly, if either "stayed in their lane," and didn't commit to FBS to focus on basketball...much higher ceilings, no doubt. Of course, it's easier to say that now as we're seeing basketball schools having more of a spot at the table, but, both of those programs are cautionary tales of what should have been avoided?
(This post was last modified: 02-21-2020 03:12 PM by The Cutter of Bish.)
02-21-2020 03:06 PM
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Post: #153
RE: What does Dayton, or anyone else, have to do to get into the BE?
(02-21-2020 03:06 PM)The Cutter of Bish Wrote:  I don't know...I would think UConn getting in would slam the door on UMass' chances.

A lot of what is said about SLU is also appropriate for UMass in terms of "what might have been." You talk about a program that fell asleep at the wheel, went so off the road, and never really came back...in all of this time when UMass could have been making a better case for themselves for the Big East or AAC, they did nothing. I mean, at least Saint Louis had their Majerus era during this realignment craze. If anything bugged me about SLU being considered for the C7-NBE, it was feeling cheated as an A10 fan for the years of bad performance in the conference. UMass, imo, is just the fumes of Calipari era at this point, and far worse than SLU. Not vitriol...just extreme disappointment.

Two programs really threw it away when they got too involved with football, imo...UMass was one, and Charlotte was the other. Two places that couldn't serve two masters. Honestly, if either "stayed in their lane," and didn't commit to FBS to focus on basketball...much higher ceilings, no doubt. Of course, it's easier to say that now as we're seeing basketball schools having more of a spot at the table, but, both of those programs are cautionary tales of what should have been avoided?

UMass had already dropped from being an elite basketball program for about ten years or so by the time they moved up in football.

I can’t see UConn slamming anything on UMass when the Minutemen scheduled the Huskies with open arms on the football field.

Funny thing I came across: Kraft offered up Foxboro to UMass in the mid-nineties for 1-A football. I think the top division of football has always been a target for UMass.
02-21-2020 03:39 PM
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Post: #154
RE: What does Dayton, or anyone else, have to do to get into the BE?
we could sit tight for a few years and invite St Thomas and ots Minneapolis market 02-13-banana
02-21-2020 05:17 PM
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Post: #155
RE: What does Dayton, or anyone else, have to do to get into the BE?
(02-21-2020 05:17 PM)gosports1 Wrote:  we could sit tight for a few years and invite St Thomas and ots Minneapolis market 02-13-banana

LOL - what's funny is that I was thinking about major cities in the Midwest and catholic schools that the Big East could add, and MSP came to mind.

If they had gone DI 40 years ago, they would be a prime spot, likely.
02-21-2020 05:21 PM
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RE: What does Dayton, or anyone else, have to do to get into the BE?
(02-21-2020 03:39 PM)esayem Wrote:  I can’t see UConn slamming anything on UMass when the Minutemen scheduled the Huskies with open arms on the football field.

But it’s always been about basketball being on the same line. And if replacing a Mass school had any value to the Big East, it’s not like UMass wasn’t available after BC left for the ACC.

I don’t disagree that the two could be good together. UMass really let themselves go, though, and UConn just doesn’t want to give them glances in hoops.

Not unlike what’s supposedly there between Missouri and Illinois. Football mow and then is fine, but not in the same place.
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RE: What does Dayton, or anyone else, have to do to get into the BE?
(02-21-2020 01:59 PM)GoldenWarrior11 Wrote:  
(02-21-2020 09:54 AM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  UMass is an interesting case because I think that they could be in that SLU-type category. While they're not a clear institutional fit with the Big East outside of incoming UConn, it's definitely academically desirable as a flagship school in a wealthy high population state. If they could just get consistent solid (not even great) on-the-court performance, it would do wonders for the value of UMass for conference realignment purposes. You can squint your eyes and see the potential that they *could* be like another UConn (and would be great to have them paired in a conference like the Big East), but there's no reason why the Big East or AAC would take them *before* they actually show sustained success in the A-10.

After SLU/UD, I very much like UMass, personally, as a long-term candidate for #14 to eventually "pair" with UConn.

They are a top-65 national university, with a strong enrollment (30k) and is a flagship land grant institution (not unlike UConn). They have a near-10k arena on campus arena (which was getting filled during the Calipari/early Flint days), and would see a tremendous boost in support under the BE banner and resources. They would also be another strong presence in the NE market that further cements NYC as the conference's home.

Those three additions over a long(er) period of time would eventually put the league in a perfect 7/7 (East/West) split/set-up that would provide the perfect number of sessions for the BET at MSG, and ideal travel scenarios for Olympic sports. The BE would remain a non-football league, but allow two schools that play football (UConn/UMass) to have an alliance as FBS Independents.

If the NBE would take UMass then both UMass and UConn could pair up and go to the MAC for FB only equaling the UMass / Temple eastern market they once sought. 07-coffee3
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