Big East: As good as gone

Slap bracelets. Bellbottoms. They're played out. Not hip. Uncool. Perhaps most importantly, they overstayed their welcome, and now they wallow away in the company of ‘not wanted'.

Such is the case for the new idea for the reformation of the Atlantic Coast Conference and the demise of the Big East. The plan for the ACC is to swoop down and add Miami to bolster their football side and Syracuse to beef up basketball. Along for the ride is Boston College to make up a 12-team conference.

The plot of the ACC is to create a super conference. Already one of the most storied basketball conferences in the history of college hoops, the lore of UNC, Maryland and Duke reign supreme against anything Georgetown, UConn and St. Johns have done.

There isn't any reason why Syracuse shouldn't join, or haven't you been watching Big East basketball for the past few years? Outside of UConn playing Syracuse, is there any reason to watch the Big East play itself?

The thought of Rutgers and Virginia Tech coming to the Carrier Dome to get dismantled doesn't sound nearly as appealing as Duke and UNC matching baskets with the Orangemen.

With Duke and Maryland two constants to make the tournament along with Wake Forest, UNC and the occasional Georgia Tech in the mix, the ACC would cement itself as the best conference in the country.

The Big East has no answer to this. They're a played-out conference with two teams that have any legitimate shot of winning the title from year to year. Jumping to the ACC would help recruiting and continue the momentum founded by winning the national championship.

On the football side, Syracuse has nothing to lose. Its recruiting class is subpar. It's coming off one of its worst seasons in over a decade. And besides, no one in the Big East really has a chance to win the conference anyway. Miami has produced more pro football players than the Orangemen have current players. Outside of Virginia Tech, the Big East only has two decent chances at a BCS game.

For the ACC, with 12 teams, they can split the conference into two leagues with a championship game that will add up to about $1 million more for the ACC.

Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese will try to throw in a last-ditch effort to keep the three teams in the Big East. He'll beg. He'll plead. But despite any efforts, the Big East as we know it is as good as dead.

More than likely, without Miami, Syracuse and BC, the Big East will have to add teams from other conferences – most likely basketball-rich schools. St. Joseph's and candidates from the Atlantic-10 and Conference USA are the primary targets.

Virginia Tech, which has always been a football-driven school, could find itself as an independent. Pittsburgh and West Virginia find itself in a similar situation. St. Johns has already cut its Division I-AA football program. Georgetown, Providence and UConn have nothing to show for football.

So put the Big East on the same list as 8-track tapes and disco. Get used to rooting for the newest rivalry in college hoops: Syracuse-Duke. It doesn't get any better than this, baby.

Wesley Cheng is the site editor at He can be contacted at:

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