Since we’re on top of the people who are on top of things, we told you earlier this week about the likelihood of the Big East’s Catholic, non-FBS football playing schools breaking away and doing their own thing.
Now that it’s happening, it is clear that there is one school which comes away the biggest loser in the national conference realignment shuffle: Connecticut.
The Huskies’ year was off to a rough start when the basketball team was banned from the NCAA tournament this season due to its low Academic Performance Rating, and matters got worse when legendary coach Jim Calhoun finally walked away from the game as he dealt with too many health issues to stay on the sideline for a full season.
Now UConn, which traditionally has two of the strongest national programs in men’s and women’s basketball, is left holding the Big East bag after all the money fell out.
You can tell the worries were beginning in Storrs when Syracuse and Pittsburgh decided to bolt for the ACC. UConn angled to be next in line for the ACC’s next expansion, but instead that honor was given to Louisville when Maryland decided to join the Big Ten. Even more insulting, Rutgers — Rutgers! — got an invite to the Big Ten despite not holding a candle to UConn’s overall athletic excellence. Rutgers just happens to be closer to New York City and its many millions of eyeballs that don’t give a damn about college football.
Now UConn is stuck in the Son of Conference USA with Cincinnati and South Florida, although the anguish felt by both of those schools doesn’t hold a candle to the Huskies since they were originally C-USA members. Connecticut is now the only charter member of the Big East which will remain, unable to glom onto the Catholic departure because they made the move up to Division I-A football some 15 years back.
That’s why, for this week at least, UConn is indisputably the biggest loser in conference realignment. Well, besides common sense.