How Does Implosion of Big East Basketball Impact the Big Ten?

By Alex Dale
Evan Habeeb- USA TODAY Sports

I dare you to name all of the teams in the big six BCS conferences. Go.

That’s right, it is not so easy any more.  Conference realignment has become blind suits from universities desperately chasing TV money, wherever it may be.  The Big Ten has added two east coast teams, in Maryland and Rutgers from the ACC and Big East respectively.  The ACC has added Pittsburgh and Syracuse, as well as basketball only member Notre Dame, all from the Big East.

If you are noticing a pattern, it is that everyone is leaving the Big East.  The demise of the strong basketball, and mediocre football conference has been on the horizon for a while.  It was only a matter of time, as their strong football members were poached away in droves.

That day has come.  As was reported the last couple of days, the seven Catholic basketball only members of the Big East will apparently be leaving and starting their own conference.  The schools included are Georgetown, Marquette, Villanova, St. John’s, Providence, Seton Hall, and DePaul.

Now, there are seven schools, with very impressive basketball pedigree, out on their own.  The timeline and details of these schools’ future is not clear yet.  The departure  has not been officially announced, yet.  Details will come out in the next few days.

But, one thing is clear.  These seven schools will be creating their own basketball conference.  This completely changes the landscape of college basketball as four out of the seven schools have very strong basketball programs, in Georgetown, Marquette, Villanova and St. Johns.  DePaul still has great potential for a revival, and is very valuable in the big Chicago basketball market.

The new conference will surely need to add more teams.  They will likely add three or five school, to get to a total of ten or twelve teams.  Candidates to join this new basketball conference will likely be smaller private schools, in mid-major conferences.  More importantly, in terms of a Big Ten perspective, is that they will be from the Midwest and east coast for the most part.  That is Big Ten country we are talking about.

This will have a huge impact on the Big Ten basketball, as another power basketball conference is moving in to their domain.  Regional recruiting is about to become a lot more crowded.  It used to be that Big Ten schools owned the Midwest.    The big state schools that make up the Big Ten have always been able to get the players they wanted in their own state’s, for the most part.

The schools that are will be joining the new conference will not be coming out of nowhere.  However, they will be further legitimized by joining a major conference.  Possible candidates could include Butler, Creighton, Dayton and Xavier, according to the New York Daily News.  Butler, and DePaul could form a formidable force in the Indiana/Illinois recruiting scene.  A school like Dayton would also be interesting dilemma for the Big Ten.  The state of Ohio is a huge battleground for Michigan, Ohio State and Michigan State.  Players like Trey Burke, Aaron Craft and Adreian Paine all have come from Ohio in the last few years.

Recruiting is becoming more and more difficult.  The presence of more major conference teams in the Midwest will not make it any easier for Big Ten schools.  The college sports world is changing drastically, and the most recent developments could have long lasting ramifications for Big Ten basketball.  The entire situation is fluid, as there have been many surprises in the game of conference realignment over the past few years.  But in terms of college basketball, this has to be the biggest developement yet.


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