Atlantic 10 and Big 12 Are Two Very Different Conferences

By Mike Gillmeister
Charles LeClaire – US Presswire

Nine one-time Division I multi-sport athletic conferences are no more. The Big 12 Conference  could very well be on its way to the same fate, at least as far as men’s basketball is concerned.

This post isn’t to report another colossal conference realignment, or to fuel the fire of any existing rumors. It’s to talk about two different conferences; one on the rise and the other loses members by the year.

The conference  in good standing is the Atlantic 10, which has six schools more than the Big 12.

Both conferences have national championships (the La Salle Explorers for the A-10 in 1953 and the Kansas Jayhawks for the Big 12 in 2008).

The Big 12 even has 214 tournament bids to the A-10’s 187. However, the Big 12 has also lost out on four basketball programs with a combined 54 all-time bids due to schools moving to different conferences.

While the Texas A&M Aggies had a legitimate gripe in leaving the conference, fearing the Texas Longhorns would have an unfair advantage in recruiting and revenue with the Longhorn Network. With so many other schools realigning with the hopes of finding greener pastures,  the Big 12 looks mighty weak.

The fact that at least seven other conferences have more members doesn’t help the Big 12, either.

The A-10 has 16 members and three of the four schools that made last season’s NCAA Tournament advanced to at least the Sweet 16.

With the addition of the VCU Rams and the No.18 Butler Bulldogs, who upset the preseason No.1 Indiana Hoosiers the Big 12’s addition of the West Virginia Mountaineers and the TCU Bullfrogs doesn’t exactly seem so impressive anymore.

The A-10’s newbies are a combined 16-5 this season, while the Mountaineers and Bullfrogs combined for a 12-9 mark to start the season.

While Butler took down the top team in the country, West Virginia couldn’t even put away the Butler Wildcats.

Wait until they start playing games that matter.


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