As college football fans have come to learn over the years, it’s all about the money. Specifically, it’s about the television money. That money dictates conference realignment, scheduling, bowl games, and Notre Dame’s independence via exclusive NBC rights.
That’s why the announcement of a new Big East commissioner — CBS executive vice president Mike Aresco – should come as little surprise. His background – CBS programming since 1996, NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, and a 15-year SEC football contract – will help the Big East become relevant again through a big money television deal.
While the league has to overcome hurdles like defections and additions, the executives, now led by Aresco, will be put in charge of securing a television network, audience, and security for the future of the conference.
At times, it feels as if college football ratings and television deals sell themselves. After all, the SEC deal negotiated by Aresco for at CBS was a win-win from the start. The SEC is a great product, watched widely in the South, and almost as popular in regions far from the competing teams. Their product brought in the money.
Now, Aresco must bring in the money to feed the product. If Big East schools can sell exposure to recruits, they might grab blue-chippers. If the blue-chippers join Big East up and coming squads, BCS games could follow. If BCS games follow, facilities and coaches will see an uptick in compensation and renovation.
The cycle to becoming a big-time conference is in place for the Big East. Now it’s up to Aresco to find the network willing to back the transition.
Joe Giglio is the ACC and Big East football writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter or check out his Facebook page.
Joe is also the host of Charm City Sports Talk on WNST.net in Baltimore and member of the Society of American Baseball Research.