Nebraska to Big Ten: Good for the Big East?


With Nebraska rumored to be accepting an offer to the Big Ten as early as tomorrow, the selfish question is: How might this affect the Big East?

The short answer: It may save (and actually strengthen) the Big East, according to Dennis Dodd of cbssports.com.

Nebraska is said to be the pivotal piece holding together the Big 12.  The belief is, lose Nebraska, and the Big 12 is doomed.  The Pac-10 is rumored to be courting Texas, Texas A&M, Colorado and two other schools.  The Big East could end up with Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, and Baylor.  For the record, Baylor has been rumored to be headed to the Pac-10, but some believe that the school’s religious ties make it a bad fit.

Assuming these schools would be willing to join the Big East, the question is: Who leaves the Big East to make room?  The Big East is already a 16 team conference, though only half of those schools play football in the league.  So either the four Big 12 schools would be replacing teams that leave for the Big Ten, or the Big East would need to say goodbye to four teams to make room.  Personally (and with regrets), I would nominate Notre Dame, Marquette, DePaul and Seton Hall.  That would leave the Big East as a 12 team football conference and 16 team basketball (and most other sports) conference.

The worst case, if Notre Dame, Rutgers, Syracuse and Pitt leave for the Big Ten, is that the Big East would remain at 16 teams in basketball and grow to 9 teams in football.

For that matter, no one seems to know where Missouri will land, so the Big East might have their choice of schools, or be able to add another school.  The problem is, barring movement of schools to the Big Ten, every football school that gets added means that one basketball-only school needs to leave.  I do not see Georgetown, Villanova and St. John’s going anywhere, and as much as I’d hate to see Marquette, DePaul and Seton Hall leave, I really do not want to see Providence go, as a founding member, probably the founding member — not to mention that the conference is headquartered in Providence.

Let me be clear: I’m still hoping that Notre Dame comes to their senses in the next 24 hours and does the right thing, accepting the Big Ten offer and stopping all of this nonsense in its tracks.  I’d even be generous and offer to waive the exit fee, if in fact there is one that applies to Notre Dame.  Failing that, I hope that the Big East kicks them out, forcing Notre Dame to join the Big Team in football so all of their other sports can play in a competitive league.

Unfortunately, the Big East has shown no signs of being proactive, unless you consider hiring former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue as a consultant as being proactive.  So far I have not seen how this has helped.

Dodd’s story appears here:

http://dennis-dodd.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/6270202/22464516?tag=globalNav.collegefootball;headlines

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