17 September 2011

The Big East is Now in Big Trouble With Pittsburgh & Syracuse Leaving for the ACC

The big news of the day today in the world of college football has not been any games but rather a couple of schools switching conferences with the one they are leaving on the verge of death. Pittsburgh and Syracuse, both long time Big East schools, have applied for membership in the ACC. While this puts the ACC in a position of strength as they will now have 14 schools and may even add a couple more (they are also raising the exit fee to $20 million in a clear attempt to get schools to refrain from bailing to the SEC(, the Big East took a serious hit that could end up causing the conference to fold.
As we all know, the realignment talk is all being driven by football (basketball is really getting the shaft). Both Pitt and 'Cuse have been strong contenders in football (although Syracuse is climbing back after a recent stretch of mediocrity) but now their departures leave the conference in serious flux. These were two of the flagship Big East schools and once again the ACC has the Big East at its knees, similar to when they added Miami, Virginia Tech, and Boston College back in 2004.
The Big East will look at adding schools like Villanova for football and Central Florida as a full-time member due to its rising football program as well as Baylor and Iowa State should the Big XII dissolve but this development will lead to other schools in the conference that have been preyed upon to really consider departure. West Virginia has been rumored as a candidate for the ACC and the SEC. TCU may be on the Big XII radar to try and prevent that conference's dissolution. Rutgers' proximity to New York City makes them valuable to either the Big Ten or the ACC.
There have been many rumors that the Big East has not been proactive in trying to prevent their demise and have lost pretty much all the momentum they had from adding TCU. Now it is hard to see the conference survive this poaching.

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