The Big 12 is looking to expand, and ECU's name has been thrown into the hat. The real question is; is moving to a power 5 conference more beneficial or detrimental for ECU athletics?
ECU is a land that is home to a prideful and optimistic fan base. Whether it is Pirate football, baseball, or basketball, the fans amass a lively and abundant audience. Is it time for the fans take a step back and rationalize if switching conferences is the best move.
We'll break down each of the big three sports, football, baseball, and basketball and see how each sport would fair in the Big 12, then based on those conclusions, determine if ECU should be considered for the expansion.
Let's begin with football. It is clear that the football program has been on the rise over the past five years. With consistent bowl appearances (apart from last year) and big time wins against teams in the ACC, it is understandable to make a case that ECU belongs in the Big 12 from a football perspective.
However, is ECU really ready to take on the big boys of college football?
The Big 12 is stacked with storied college football programs. Texas, Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas Tech, and TCU are a few of the powerhouse teams that ECU would have to face. Especially during a time of rebuilding, the move to a new conference could prove to hurt ECU more than it could help them.
From a baseball perspective, ECU has a strong case to join the Big 12. ECU baseball beat Texas Tech during a Cinderella-esque run in the post season that ended three outs short of a trip to Omaha. Texas Tech, of course, is apart of the Big 12. Baseball at ECU is a also a sustainable program, and one that is poised to be successful in years to come.
Lastly, Basketball. There is no way ECU basketball is ready for Big 12 basketball. Kansas, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State, would make ECU basketball look like JV. This may sound harsh, but it is true. The Jayhawks and Sooners are directly associated with college basketball folk-lure and will shred an AAC team.
So what's the move? It seems to be one of the situations where the heart says yes but the head knows better. We would all love to be apart of a power five conference and believe we are on the same level as the other teams in the Big 12, but it just does not seem like a realistic ending for this tale.
In reality, ECU is holding their own in a conference that seems perfectly built for a team like the Pirates have. Until we start running over the Temples' and the Cincinnati's and such, we should stay put in a conference that has treated us well for years.