With West Virginia already gone and Syracuse and Pittsburgh set to leave next summer, the Big East as we know it is dwindling. Now, there’s a chance there won’t even be a Big East as conference realignment changes the conference’s landscape, according to Bloomberg News.
It appears that the league is looking into changing its name.
The Big East’s former interim commissioner Joe Bailey touched on the subject with Bloomberg News:
“The unintended consequences of adding new schools is that all of a sudden the Big East is a national conference. It extends to four time zones in major markets. In one sense, it almost represents the United States in that diversity.”
The league, which absorbed Temple’s football program this season, is prepared to welcome the Owls’ basketball team as well as Memphis, Southern Methodist, Central Florida and Houston in all sports next year. Boise State and San Diego State football will join the conference next year as well, and Navy will follow in 2015.
With teams already spread beyond the confines of what is generally considered east — South Florida, DePaul, Marquette, etc. — the “Big East” is already somewhat of a misnomer. But next year, “Big East” would be a ludicrous, laughable title for the conference, considering there are 3,036 miles between Providence and San Diego State and 2,618 miles between South Florida and Boise State.
And those are just the extreme travel distances. Should Southern Methodist and UConn share a conference called the Big East? Even more absurd, Houston and Boise State, two teams west of the Mississippi River? San Diego State couldn’t even be much farther west.
It really makes no sense, and as classic as the Big East is, at least taking the step to “think” about changing the conference’s name — whether or not they’re serious — is a step in the right direction.
Maybe they’ll buy the rights to the name Conference USA? (Half kidding, but that’s probably the most fitting conference name.)
Please share your ideas for a new name with me on Twitter.