The ACC football Conference
As much as I hate to admit it, the ACC Football Conference is now a gem. Miami, Florida State and Virginia Tech. Those folks are powerhouses. Add the fact that you now have rivalries like Virginia Tech-Virgnia; Florida State-Miami; NC State-North Carolina along with major entry into Florida media and recruiting market and this league is off to a great start.
It makes me want to vomit.
The Big East Basketball Conference
The Big East was already so good you couldn't snub them if you tried. Last year the NCAA selection committee tried and failed. Only four Big East teams were chosen for the "Big Dance".
Not hardly. All four made it to the Sweet Sixteen and Syracuse won the national championship.
Now the Big East is even better. The BE is now a national conference and the first of its kind in America. Stretching from New York City past Chicago the media power of the league will remake college basketball and may even challenge the NCAA for supremacy in ruling the sport.
Yes, it could be unwieldy but if Mike Tranghese and the conference members are smart (no comment), the league will be broken into divisions which maximize local rivalries but still maintain the national flavor of this potential powerhouse.
If they do this right, Big East basketball will rule the game for decades to come.
Louisville basketball is
already strong and has a great tradition. They also have the best college coach
in the world as their mentor.
Now, on top of all that, the Cardinals will get even more national exposure and unlimited media entry into the hot recruiting grounds of the east coast.
The result will be scary.
Louisville will become so strong they'll eat NBA teams for lunch.
You can take that to the bank.
The Big East Football Conference
Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, West Virginia, Connecticut, Louisville, Cincinnati and South Florida.
That is the new league. You'll excuse me if I am not knocked out by that lineup. I saw Cincinnati and South Florida play on TV last week and made a video of the game. I'll never need Sominex again.
The crowd wasn't thrilling either and if this is the future of the Big East Football Conference, we are all in trouble.
The only consolation I take in all of this is the fact that twice before the Big East has risen from nothing to a powerhouse. With Big East Basketball Conference and the Big East Football Conference, the Big East has gone from "Big Least" to powerhouse in a relatively short period of time. Fans in the east want a league. The demand is there and the giant eastern media market could spawn yet another great conference.
If it does, fine. If not, all us eastern fans are in deep doo-doo.
The ACC Basketball Conference
ACC and basketball have long been synonymous.
The basketball schools gave
up voting power when they admitted Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College.
Football now has the votes to rule the roost and it will.
New division lineups will dilute classic ACC rivalries and competition from the new Big East Basketball Conference will be murderous. The glory days of ACC basketball will become a thing of the past.
Much like in the Big 10, basketball in the ACC will become a postscript to football.
The best that Boston College can hope for is that the new Big East Football conference folds. If that happens, BC will be able to grab enough talent out of the east to do exactly what they did in the Big East, that is, find themselves a notch below the conferences' top teams.
However, if the new Big East conference survives (as it probably will) BC will become a team without a recruiting ground. A total of 9 players on the BC roster came from ACC country. Most of their recruits came from the northeast and the Midwest.
Can you really see Tom O'Brien going into a home in Tuscaloosa and telling kids "come to Boston College and you'll get to play in the ACC."
BC will find that you can't play in one part of the country and recruit in another. It just doesn't fly.
Penn State found that out the hard way. Players who want to play in the Big 10 go to Michigan and Ohio State before they go to PSU. Moreover, Pennsylvania players now often chose "local hero" Pitt over the Lions.
The same fate awaits BC, who don't even have PSU's national rep to squander.
PT Barnum once said that there was a sucker born every minute. In the next few years expect BC fans to hang a picture of BC athletic director, Gene Defilippo, next to that quote.
The University of Connecticut
The athletic department at the University of Connecticut has the "golden touch". Every sport they touch turns to gold. They did it with men's basketball, then with women's basketball and now they are trying their hand at division 1A football.
Guess what? Only a few years into their development UConn is now bowl eligible and growing stronger ever day.
Sports crazed Connecticut loves their Huskies and the development of UConn Football into a powerhouse is a real possibility. Now with the vacuum left in New England by the defection of Boston College to the ACC, UConn is poised to take off. Add to that the fact that the Big East needs a powerhouse to arise to lead the conference and you have set the stage.
All that UConn has to do at this point is grab the ball and run with it.
Rutgers has long been called the "sleeping giant of the east." One pundit commented that "Rutgers has been asleep so long that it now is in a coma."
People who know me know that I am no "Greg Schiano" fan. However, I believe in giving credit where credit is due and it is beginning to look (even to skeptics like me) that Greg Schiano just may be the coach who finally awakens the somnambulant Knights.
Three years into rebuilding Schiano has skill players who could play with any team in the nation. Schiano is smart enough to know he has to add a hefty dose of "big uglies" to the mix to be successful.
He'll probably do just that.
Schiano will have to overcome the curse the haunts the Scarlet Knights but if he can there are 20 million people within 50 miles of New York City. They are a fan base who love "winners" and if RU ever starts to win, that fan base could carry the Knights a long ways. In fact, if it happens, those fans will carry RU beyond anything ever seen on the east coast before.
Mike Fasano: MikeFasano@comcast.net
Mike and the Big Dog's LLC