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Article about FAU and Big East

http://www.fanblogs.com/big_east/007587.php




Big East's commish to retire, conference split coming?


I think it goes without saying that there won't be a dry eye in the room when Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese announces his retirement today, effective in June 2009, after the end of the 2008-2009 seasons.

Granted, some will be tears of JOY… but I digress.

Saying it was simply time to do something else, Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese will announce his retirement later today, ending a reign of 19 years in which Tranghese guided development of the Big East basketball conference into a 16-team super league and oversaw the creation of the Big East football conference into a competitive 8-team league, which took a full body blow five years ago when three of its members – Boston College, Miami and Virginia Tech – jumped to the Atlantic Coast Conference, but has still managed to survive, if not thrive.

"It was just the right time for me,'' said Tranghese, who has been with the Big East since it was created in 1979 as a seven-team basketball league. "The league has never been stronger in basketball. Everyone seems happy.''


The immediate question – other than who will replace Tranghese – is what will become of the Big East? There is a strong contingent of football schools who have clamored for football expansion and a distinct set of basketball only schools that are generally well-served by the conference's status quo.

I can definitely see the Big East dissolving into two new conferences - one for the Catholic basketball programs and one for the football-centric schools. Such a schism would have a substantial upside for the new football conference - as the eight member schools could quickly develop into a bonafied 12-team league and potentially retain the Big East's status within the BCS.

So… what would be the makeup of a new Big East?

The first goal should be to add teams that maintain/enrich the rivalries within the confernece. In my opinion, that means giving significant deference to the geographic mix, even if it means (potentially) passing on slightly more established football programs. The rivalries will serve to keep the conference intact. Without solid geographic rivalries, the conference tend to falter (ie the old WAC/MWC).

In evaluating the existing teams (West Virginia, Connecticut, Cincinnati, USF, Rutgers, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Syracuse) geographically, the biggest exception is South Florida. Given the huge upside for increased television exposure & recruiting in Florida, adding a team in the Sunshine State is a no-brainer. The only question is… who??

Pick #1: Florida Atlantic
I would look long and hard at Florida Atlantic - an up & coming Sun Belt program - as it would give the new conference some much needed exposure in the Miami area. That's already a recruiting hot spot for Rutgers, but it would expose the entire South Florida area to the entire Big East.

Pick #2: Central Florida
The other option for a geographic rival for USF is Conference USA's Central Florida. The Knights have an established program at/near the top of C-USA. The school is passionate about the football team, boasts a new stadium, and is located within 90 minutes of the Bulls. While the Orlando TV market is much smaller than Miami, it would be hard to argue against picking UCF as a new member.

Pick #3: Memphis Tigers
As rumored last month, Memphis may be ripe for the picking and would be a great addition to the new Big East. While the Tigers don't bring a substantial TV market to the fold, it does offer some exposure deep in SEC territory. Memphis would bring instant mens & womens basketball credibility to the conference and would likely be a significant player in many of the conference's sports.

Pick #4: Southern Miss
If you're going to bring Memphis into the fold, then you're potentially leaving the Tigers without a natural geographic rival. Sure you have Louisville, but that's a six hour drive between the two. However, if you go just south, you can pick up one of C-USA's other dominant teams within 300 miles - the Southern Miss Golden Eagles. Southern Miss has a great football tradition and brings a little more balance into the "southern" division of the new Big East.


So… let's look at that in total, with some potential divisional alignments:

BLUE:
West Virginia, Connecticut, Cincinnati, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Syracuse

GRAY:
USF, Central Florida, Florida Atlantic, Memphis, Southern Miss, Louisville


So.. is this pie in the sky, or will the Big East splinter without Tranghese at the helm?


HT: Robert with the tip to Fanblogs!

Posted by Kevin Donahue



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PermalinkPorcine 3 hours ago 1 point
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I think the Big East should do something different by adding UCF and FAU, then change the college football landscape by adding 2 of the 3 schools TCU or SMU and Houston. The reason why b/c the Big East could boast in having the largest TV Market within college football then they could blind side the SEC, ACC, and Big 12 by recruiting in their fertile territory.

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PermalinkPorcine 3 hours ago 1 point
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FAU is barely making the attendance requirements to stay 1-A. I would take UCF, and ECU Three Florida schools is a lot of Florida. Memphis probably in. UAB and Troy are further into SEC country and Troy is quite the rising program. USM has a longer resume. Does Marshall offer enough to turn down a new market? Would they go to 14? Unlikley since 12 would meet the requirements.
Gray-USF, UCF, ECU, Memphis, USM, Louisville (Troy)
Blue-Syracuse, Rutgers, UConn, Cincy, Pitt, WV, (Marshall)

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ParentPermalinkKevin @ Fanblogs  2 hours ago 1 point
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I don't see a 14 team conference, honestly, because it really doesn't do much to develop intra-conference rivalries. Granted, it's only one extra game, but I could be wrong.

I agree that FAU needs more development, however, there's no other school out there that guarnatees you the market metrics for the television network. By adding FAU, you get the #16-ish television market in the country. There only other school out that is a) generally available and b) fits the georgraphic profile is Temple (Philidelphia, PA – #4 TV market). The drawback with bringing in Temple, however, is that defacto mix for travel purposes becomes a little lopsided within the more southern division.

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PermalinkFootball Picks 2 hours ago 1 point
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If enough people think a split will bring more revenue, a split will happen. Make no mistake - like most decisions in college football it will be determined by dollars and cents.

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ParentPermalinkhricane23 2 hours ago 1 point
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Hey! I know that bird! You in Lawrence? Good to see a 'Hawk on here. I'm a Cane fan, but also a KU alum.

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ParentPermalinkFootball Picks 2 hours ago 1 point
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Get to Lawrence often as a season ticket holder in both hoops and FB, class of '92

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Permalinkhricane23 2 hours ago 1 point
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I think UCF would be a better fit than FAU. They have "big" conference experience.

Marshall also sounds like a good fit.

What about dissolving C-USA into the Mega-Big East, drop UAB, UTEP, Rice, and SMU, and roll with 2 8-team divisions? Move Marshall to the blue side, and USF to the grey? The Big East isn't afraid of having too many teams.

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FAU - THE REAL SLEEPING GIANT
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Re: Article about FAU and Big East

Some good point mentioned in the replies…

To add:

I just don't see how it can be us given our basketball program at present…that will undoubtidly play into the mix if and when they ever consider a new member…TBE is a HUGE hoops conference…unless they onyl took us in football, as they mentioned, just to get TV exposure…

Memphis would be a definite in that area, for obvious reasons…

and UCF would trump us as well at this point in time…

Would, as he mentions, geography simply be enough?

Where would the money come from to compete in that conference…

i mean we could do it, but our facilities would HAVE to improve drastically for hoops and the diamond…

The stadium could get us by, IMO, with regards to football…
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Re: Article about FAU and Big East

I believe it will come down to:

1. Academics: no BCS school (AFAIK) is "Tier 4" in US News. We are (and always have been) Tier 4. The Big East has a mix of Tier 1 and Tier 3 schools.

2. Media market: we are fine here, perhaps only FIU is ahead of us (Miami)

3. Facilities: essentially, we need completely new facilities to compete (football stadium, a true basketball arena, and a new baseball field)

4. Institutional control and commitment: we have been OK with the NCAA

Currently, we fit in very well with the SBC schools (Tier 4, similar athletic budgets, barely making the attendance minimum). CUSA is a more lucrative conference because of its much higher profile (more TV, more bowl games). Still, the current CUSA geography would still leave us relatively isolated in the east with UCF, ECU, and Marshall – it's a nice, but not ideal fit.

UCF, ECU, and Memphis have all been rumored to want out of CUSA, which has shifted quite a bit towards Texas.

BTW, no school is going directly from the SBC to the Big East. The only way I can see that happening is if we build our new stadium and join for football only (and UCF and ECU hold out for all-sports memberships).

If the Big East splits and goes to 9, Memphis will be the premier program to add due to their amazing basketball program. It is very unlikely they will go to 12 because the revenue will have to be divided between more institutions. If they do go to 12 (won't happen), then the 12th team could be anyone… FAU, FIU, WKU, USA, etc.
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Re: Article about FAU and Big East

i think the basketball arena is fine, as well as the new track (dont forget that)

we need serious updates on the baseball field, and that empty lot where the stadium should be…..
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Re: Article about FAU and Big East

I don't think attendance would be an issue with the teams that are in the Big East.

Would you rather go see Louisville or Western Kentucky?  WVU or ULL?  USF or FIU?
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Re: Article about FAU and Big East

i believe everything would improve if for some reason FAU jumped into a new conference such as the Big East. I mean would an upgrade such as that not push the school to improve all of its atheletics rather than this ongoing debate that we have nothing at our school to offer? Either way....GO Owls!
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Re: Article about FAU and Big East

From the great mind of Orson Swindle from EDSBS:

"Kevin thinks this leads to conference expansion and a split. UCF is huge and willing to drop coin on football–it’s the logical choice. Memphis seems a bit far afield, and loaded with liabilities like being Memphis, and therefore eternally sketchy; USM is a bit incongruous geographically, too. Picking up FAU is a gamble, especially once/if Sexy Suspendered Schnellenberger retires."

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Re: Article about FAU and Big East

It's not about what a new conference can bring to FAU, it's about what FAU can bring to a new conference. Until we can make a solid case that we can generate money for a conference, we will not be attractive.

By the way, while football has reached the top in the SBC, we still have plenty of growth left to do in this conference in other sports. It's a good place to be right now.
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Re: Article about FAU and Big East

Besides the weak bowl tie-ins, the SunBelt is perfect for us right now and will be until that stadium is built.  As for basketball, lets remember that we had a pretty decent team for the SunBelt standards and got 100 points put on us by the only Big East basketball team we played (USF) and they were terrible for their conference….we will need to make HUGE strides to get there.

Teambeer is the most knowledgeable FAU sports fan I know, way smarter than me.
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Re: Article about FAU and Big East

Does anyone do their homework any more?!

FAU is in the West Palm Beach-Boca Raton TV market (No. 38?), not Miami.

Is that too much of a secret to get out?
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