Mixed emotions are running amuck in my skull over the abomination that the Big East Conference has become. I, like many others, am emotionally invested in a league whose roots were that of a basketball conference. Whether it was big games at Madison Square Garden, watching the best players in the country, or Big Monday on ESPN, the Big East has given us so much. Now, thanks to conference realignment and Mike Aresco’s incompetence, the foundations of the conference are all leaving for greener pastures.
The Catholic Seven are some of the schools whose successes are linked to the Big East. Where, together, the conference and the seven private schools prospered together. But the day is coming, possibly as soon as the end of this season, where these basketball only schools are going to start a brand new conference.
While I am definitely going to miss the Big East, I am equally as excited to witness the birth of a potential super-hoops league. But in order to keep it legitimate, the Catholic Seven need a brand name team. This is where the Georgetown Hoyas come in.
No disrespect to the other Catholic Seven teams. Each of whom, with the exception of the DePaul Blue Demons, can be considered a strong, national program. But Georgetown not only has a history, a solid market, and a good coach, they have a presence on the eastern seaboard which the others lack.
The closest teams that carries as much weight nationally would be either the St. John’s Red Storm or the Villanova Wildcats, but both of those teams have either struggled recently or in the midst of rebuilding. Not the Hoyas though. Georgetown has been more consistent since John Thompson III took over the program in 2004 than any other Catholic Seven team.
When the Catholic Seven reach their new TV-network deal, and they start to brand their product, it would only make sense for them to use the Hoyas as their flagship program. Consistency, history, Washington D.C., Thompson, these are all things any basketball program or conference in the country would want. Except no team has those characteristics with the exception of the Hoyas.
The Catholic Seven is going to get their money regardless. But the seven schools are bringing in their own bad baggage. DePaul, who they would never abandon because of the massive TV market they possess, is a sham of a program, will surely be the league’s bottom feeder. The conference, if it wants to be a success, needs to be considered a legitimate hoops power.
However, if they want to be considered a legit power conference, they need to rely not only on tradition but with programs that provide success every year. Georgetown is unequivocally that program.
Joe covers the Catholic Seven for Rant Sports. For the love of Sam Cassell, follow Joe on the Twitter Machine @JosephNardone