With the Big East officially separating...
What do you anticipate happens to both sides?
The seceding schools seem to want to find some kind of basketball only conference. I wrote this in the comment section of the Yahoo sports article. I would love to see the A-10 get raided and a 16 team basketball super-conference is formed with an East division of Providence, Villanova, Georgetown, St John's, Seton Hall, Fordham, St. Joe's and LaSalle, and a West division of Marquette, St Louis, Dayton, Xavier, Butler, DePaul, Creighton and Duquesne. It would have a huge presence from the east coast to the midwest, and lots of regional rivalries. Its reported teams like Gonzaga are going to be considered, which personally makes no sense to me. I mean, it does, but the distance still makes it stupid.
The remaining football playing schools are still projected to have a 12 team conference of full time and football only members. UConn, Cincinnati, South Florida will be joined by San Diego State, Navy, Boise St, Temple, Memphis, Houston, Central Florida, Tulane, and East Carolina. This defection has no impact on what the Big East was trying to do with its additions. Rutgers and Louisville's withdrawl hurt the Big East's BCS bowl bid chances because they play football, and are pretty good.
While tragic for Big East and conference traditionalists, the Big East has always been a football conference on the cusp. Once Syracuse and Pitt decided to leave, it was only a matter of time before this happened. Thoughts?
I'm personally a big fan of the separating group as basketball schools with rich history, and I think aligning themselves in a conference with their interests at heart is a smart move.
Mkadoza, I like your idea for an Atlantic-16 (not that you suggested or implied that name). I'm not sure if every one of those schools is Catholic, but as a hypothetical/dream scenario, it'd be great if they could also pull in Temple. The conference would have four of the Philly five (I really don't think Pennsylvania would ever leave the Ivy).
I wish they could get Notre Dame to join and maybe Butler and someone else to make it a 10 team league, that would be better than tearing up the A10 too.
Notre Dame already has the sweetest deal, joining the ACC in all sports but football, but they still get to play a ACC football schedule. They can be seen as the best team in the ACC without having to compete with them, giving them a higher chance at a BCS at large bid. Notre Dame will never ever join an all Basketball league for football. Rudy dictates that the Golden Domes must be held sacred.
The 7 Catholic schools probably need to get to 12 teams so that for all the non-basketball sports they can turn them into bus-able divisions. If they have DePaul (Chicago), Marquette (Milwaukee), St. Louis, Xavier (Cincinnati), Dayton, and then either Butler (Indianapolis), Evansville, Creighton (Omaha), or possibly one of the Horizon privates Detroit Mercy, Loyola (Chicago), or Valparaiso in a West division and then Georgetown (DC), St. John's (NYC), St. Joseph's (Philadelphia), Villanova (Philadelphia), Seton Hall (South Orange), and Providence in the East, it makes for a workable league financially. With the way the Big East was headed, everything was going to be a flight. While they will lose money from being a non-football league, they will also be able to save considerably by having a conference where (for example) the women's soccer team from isn't flying multiple times across the country in a season. I do think with those television markets and the prominence of several of the programs that ESPN, CBS Sports, or NBC Sports would jump at a partnership deal. It will never be what the Big East has been the past few years, but it would probably be second to only the ACC in terms of quality and depth. They'd have to sell their souls to the networks to get the money they want and have a scheduling nightmare with games every night of the week to appease them, but that is what every league is doing.
What remains of the Big East is in trouble. The football side is negligible. Connecticut is probably going to jump at any offer it can get, and the league champ is going to jump leagues as soon as it clinches just Louisville, West Virginia, and Pittsburgh recently have. The unfortunate reality is that it went from being a basketball league with an occasionally strong football team (Miami, Va Tech, Pitt, WV, etc) to a very mediocre basketball team that might occasionally have a strong football team (Boise, Cincy, and maybe SMU or Houston). I don't think that Temple-UConn or Memphis-Cincy matchups serving as the premier games can carry a league.