New Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco recently spoke with reporters in Houston about the future of the conference. Realignment, specifically how it pertains to the new Big East football landscape, was part of that conversation.
According to Aresco, the concept of East and West divisions makes sense considering the geography of the league next season. In addition, the new Commish believes in keeping natural rivalries a part of the league fabric.
Here’s what the commissioner had to say when asked about what will factor into the decision making process after geography and travel:
“I think natural rivalries. The geography works out actually very well if that’s the way we go. We’ve got teams obviously on the Eastern Seaboard and then a couple of teams (Cincinnati and Louisville) that are more Midwest. You could do a western alignment and minimize travel. Regardless of what we do, we want to minimize travel. It will be good for SMU, Houston, San Diego State and Boise State to come east from time-to-time because they’ll get some great media attention and it will be fun to play in a new area. Schools like Rutgers, Connecticut, Cincinnati, Louisville and the Florida schools (South Florida and UCF) would like to have them in their stadiums. The template of a national conference will work, but you have to be careful about travel.”
Seems like a logical vantage point to take, especially early on in the new league format. It’s clear that Boise State will headline the “”Western” division, making any “Eastern” team that travels to Idaho or hosts them a marquee game for the league.
While Areso is correct about the media attention on the East Coast, the problem is the lack of high-profile teams. This is where losing a team like West Virginia hurts the league. Boise State traveling to West Virginia is the type of game that would put the Big East on center stage across the nation.
While Boise at Rutgers is technically bringing in the New York market, the attention will be minimal.