The Big East is Now the Big Mid-Major

By Joseph Nardone

In one day the Big East Conference went from one of the better conferences in the country to one that is just trying to survive. The Big East itself has always had delusional thoughts of what kind of conference they actually are. Granted, you can’t expect Mike Aresco, new Big East Commissioner, to just throw in the towel but, “This is a resilient conference,” Big East commissioner Mike Aresco told The Associated Press. “Our football conference is stronger than ever. We lose Notre Dame in basketball, but we remain top to bottom the strongest basketball conference in the country.”

Obviously their football conference is not stronger than ever. The idea that they are even considered a “BCS Conference” going forward is down right laughable. As for the basketball statement, being top to bottom the best hoops conference, sadly no longer a fact. But you can’t blame Aresco for trying, he can’t let us know what he’s really thinking, “I should have stayed in TV”.

Big East apologist will tell you that they’re going to be fine. That the conference is replacing the schools they are losing with quality universities. No, no they are not. If you take into consideration that the Big East looked like this last year:

Cincinnati BearcatsConnecticut HuskiesDePaul Blue Demons(CBB), Georgetown Hoyas(CBB), Louisville CardinalsMarquette Golden Eagles(CBB), Notre Dame Fighting Irish(CBB), Pittsburgh PanthersProvidence Friars(CBB), Rutgers Scarlet KnightsSeton Hall Pirates(CBB), South Florida Bulls, St. John’s Red Storm(CBB), Syracuse Orange, and Villanova Wildcats.

But after all the dust settles and conference realignement is finished, the Big East will lose Notre Dame, Pitt, Syracuse, and they will be replaced by the Boise State Broncos, Temple Owls, University of Central Florida Knights, Houston CougarsMemphis Tigers, SMU Mustangs, San Diego State Aztecs, and the Naval Academy.

If you think, for one second, that losing those 3 teams(recently they’ve lost more than that) and replacing them with what they plan to, is helping the conference, you sir, are out of your mind.

Just think about it like this, if this conference wasn’t called “The Big East“, you wouldn’t consider the lineup of programs going forward a power conference lineup. The Big East looks more like the MAAC and getting further away from the SEC.

The idea that the Big East is okay is a bad one. They are on the verge of irrelevance. The once (semi) respectable football conference is now only enjoyable to watch if you want a laugh. The glorious basketball division is losing 2 national powers and 1 respectable program. Yet, Aresco and the Big East expect us to believe replacing Syracuse with something called the San Diego State Aztecs is a fair trade.

Not that I blame Aresco. When he was hired, these “realignments” were already in motion. For Aresco, he has little time to adjust to his new job, the conference is already losing the battle of national respectability. The one-line jokes will be aimed at his new employers until the league improves or vanishes from the spotlight. Sadly, the latter might be the more likely scenario.

The SEC is what it is, the best football conference in the country with an above average basketball lineup. The Big 12 has the Texas Longhorns, which is enough, for now. The PAC 12 has a new TV deal, an improving football league, and a more than respectable hoops division. The Big 10 has a good football lineup and have an okay basketball league. And the ACC has just stabilized its conference and is humrously solid in basketball and improving in football. Those are 4 of those fancy “BCS” conferences. The Big East is supposed to be the fifth.

The Big East has Houston, Navy, Memphis…Wait, are you sure this isn’t Conference USA?

Now I don’t want to overstate the situation the Big East is in. Aresco has picture box ties(former CBS Sports exec) and is probably the best man to fix this debacle they’re currently in. You see the Big East Conference isn’t dead, it’s just on sick leave with Billy Gillispie.

Follow Joe on the Twitter machine if you dare @JosephNardone

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