Since expansion is the trendy thing to do, the Big East is apparently looking to add a couple of football teams. TCU, Central Florida, and Villanova seem to be the front-runners, according to the ESPN article.
It’s pretty easy to make fun of the Big East for being by far the worst BCS conference, but that’s exactly why this is an intriguing development. What good team wouldn’t want to join an extremely weak league with an automatic BCS bid?
I think this means just aiming for TCU is too small. And though they play there for basketball, the Big East should stay the hell away from Notre Dame too. Here are a few teams that might be more interested than you might think:
1) Miami (FL)
They burned the Big East just a few years ago, but they’ve been an anachronism in the ACC ever since. They can’t really compete within their ACC division because Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, and Florida State are there, and they’ll never, ever be a basketball power because of North Carolina and Duke.
And remember, during Miami’s Butch Davis/Larry Coker glory days, they were a Big East squad. Now that Randy Shannon-era mediocrity may have fully set in, it might be time for a change again.
They tried like hell to get into the Big Ten last summer, but couldn’t pull it off because of the cachet that comes with Nebraska. And Mizzou has always seemed like something of an outsider in the Big XII. They really want to be a power in the football world too, and since Nebraska is leaving the Big XII, maybe they have more of a shot in the Big XII North.
They’re always going to be second banana to the Texas teams, and though it might mean a switch in basketball too, the Big East looks very, very welcoming for a team full of athletes that is looking to make a name for itself.
It would seem like they would want to stay in the Mountain West for the time being, since there’s a pretty good chance it’s going to get an automatic BCS bid in the next couple of years. Plus a Texas team in the Big East doesn’t make much sense.
Or is it just crazy enough to work?
After all, TCU wouldn’t have to beat Boise State, Fresno State, Nevada, and Air Force every year in the Big East. Traveling to New Jersey or upstate New York would be about their biggest concern.
4) Whoever loses LSU/Alabama on Saturday
Both these teams could literally win forever against the likes of the Big East. And, like TCU, they would have a massive recruiting advantage and basically get to cruise to the BCS every year. The “tradition” of the SEC isn’t nearly as important as the television money, so they would have some leverage with the Big East to negotiate a pretty sweet deal.
Besides, have you looked at the SEC West this year? Five of the six teams are ranked and, even worse, could be good for years to come as well. Playing in a division that good is more likely to cancel a team’s shot at the title game out than give them anything good.
Okay, maybe not, but the thought absolutely crossed my mind for a minute. Hell, we’d be a middle of the road team at worst in that conference. In basketball. Guh.
But that’s the point. Everyone is at least contemplating what a move to the Big East would look like. It’s the worst major conference in college football, and even if they were abandoning a pretty sweet situation in their current conference, the prospect of a hell of a lot of football wins is tantalizing for every I-A school because football is the money-making sport, after all.
So aim high, Big East. It’s not like you’re doing anything else of note this fall.