Big East basketball just another relic
by Mike Lopresti, USA TODAY Sports
Here lies the saddest victim of all in the realignment epidemic of Pigskinitis.
The Big East, RIP.
Football is a fine game, but it shouldn’t be claiming such casualties.
The true Big East will soon be the Roman Empire of college sport. Once majestic and all-powerful, now history and dust. Seven survivors – Catholic schools all — huddle together against the cold, trying to find a future.
They aim to leave, by all accounts, which would be the final countdown to a total Big East implosion. Probably the wise thing to do, but heaven help them in their quest, because modern reality won’t.
They speak basketball. The money people speak football.
One sport signs most of the checks, makes most of the decisions and rules most of the world. This is not ideal, and can even be dangerous. Look what it has done to the conference landscape, turning it into the last frantic minutes of a shipwreck, where the lifeboats are leaving and it’s every athletic director for himself.
Loyalty? Allegiance? Those went out with rotary dial phones. To survive, everyone knows you need air to breathe, water to drink and football money to spend.
Look what it has done to the Big East. The Syracuses and Pittsburghs fled for football dough. Left behind were the Vatican Seven.
Georgetown and Villanova. Marquette and St. John’s. DePaul, Providence, Seton Hall. You’ve seen them all in March, but you’re never going to see any of them in the Orange Bowl.
So they’re on their own, with two choices to maintain unity, neither risk-free.
One is to remain in a degraded league, which has turned into a refugee camp for far-flung football schools. The Big East once gave us Big Monday, and now plans to give us UCF vs. Tulane. What good will that do the league’s basketball RPI? What good will that do a Georgetown? Just a little bit of money from someone else’s mediocre football.
It seems a marriage of inconvenience, between mismatched partners. In the end, divorce is usually more sensible.
The other choice is to strike out into the great unknown together, hoping a … [For more on Lopresti: Big East basketball just another relic, click here.]