So the Catholic Schools are breaking away from the Big East now…

Where does a major college football program go to disappear off the BCS radar?  The Big East.  I figured as long as the Big East was going to turn itself into a punch line, I might as well be the first one to make use of it.  And, as long as we’re making jokes, who gets the last laugh?  That list is a long one, with more than one prominent name on it, Randy Edsall and Skip Holtz immediately coming to mind, and it now includes the seven institutions who’s presence alone led to the devaluation of Big East football, and who now get to drive the final nail.  Yesterday the seven non FBS schools, including Big East charter members Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Georgetown, decided it was time to leave the league, because their presence had devalued Big East football so much their cut of football T-V revenues wouldn’t be worth sticking around for. The tail is wagging the dog.  The Big East has become the counter culture to the one that has ruled college athletics for nearly two decades.  In college sports, in the conferences that legislate all matters that carry any value, football is the driving force.  The Big East never seemed to embrace that concept, though they did, at one point, attempt to address their hybrid situation, only to have second thoughts at the last minute, triggering the first round of defections.  When the dog wagged the tail the Big East had the power to eject those seven schools and save itself as a viable football entity.  Yesterday the tail got the last wag.  The defections to the ACC and Big Ten over the last ten years have left the Big East with four current football members committed beyond 2013, giving the seven non football members the legislative majority, the power to dictate.  Other questions to be asked this morning don’t need a punchline, they’re rhetorical.  How would a league that includes UConn, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, West Virginia, Memphis and Louisville be viewed in NCAA basketball circles today?  With a lineup like that, as part of an all sports league, what was so critical about staying in business with the Suddenly Surly Seven, only two of whom have brought anything at all to the table in basketball in the last quarter century, but no national championships, no final fours?  The ironies surrounding yesterday’s decision are delicious.  The seven schools that should have been ejected to save the Big East are now themselves cutting the remnants of the league loose to ring it’s final death knell, the one that may very well send Boise State and San Diego state running back to the Mountain West, really sealing the deal.  One of the scenarios I feared the most, and expressed behind closed doors to school and league officials while detailing it in public forums, was one in which the Catholic schools separated from the Big East and formed their own basketball league, one that would have no desire to compete with a publicly funded state university, leaving one school with nowhere to go.  Everyone laughed.  I didn’t know what I was talking about.  Who’s laughing now?  Which local state university has nowhere to go?  How many Big East officials does it take to screw in a light bulb?  About as many as it took to screw up a once prominent league.  With a comment from the sports world, I’m Scott Gray.


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