What to do if I’m Big East Commish. Being from the Great State of North Carolina, simply cutting off the non-football schools is a non-starter, I have to keep them happy, as well as increase my football obligations.
My first order of business is getting my institutions in order. They have to understand that there is a TON of money in athletics and the only way to compete is to stand as one. As much as LSU, Bama, Florida and Georgia hate each other, they know that they have to stand together to survive. That is why Texas crushed the Big12 by teaming up with ESPN, and USC is going to damage the Pac-12 more than Reggie Bush did. College athletics, in the revenue sports is about recruits. The more I can get in front of the kids that can outrun a cheetah and out jump a kangaroo, the more chances I have of filling my stadiums. I’m going to require a long term commitment from my member schools, with a heavy buyout after 4 years. I’m going to also sign a 4 year deal, with a rollover every 4 years. With that in mind, here is the process to save the Big East.
I. Media + Basics
A) Create a Big East Network. ESPN is going to have first pick of the games for our league, but after that, almost every divisional game will be on the Network. I’m going to use the same format as the NFL network during the football season, so I can replay almost every game during the week, showing off my teams. During basketball season, I want a daily “Sportcenteresque” show highlighting the games, and the NCAA brackets. Right now I can go team for team with the ACC for best NCAAB conference, and I want to put my foot on their throat.
I’m going to price the Network on the mid-sports tier, at about the NBCsports/FX level. I should get about .75 cents per person, true, I will be losing a bit from the ESPN Gameday PPV, but screw’em, they have Texas to show.
B) Non-Revenue sports.
Either you are Big East or you are Not Big East. Just makes life easier. So far, not a problem, as all schools play all sports, other than football. The additional schools, I’ll be looking to add, will have to toe this line as well.
II. Revenue Sports + Schools
A) Notre Dame
I am going to ask them to give me a long term commitment to either stay independent or join the Big East, until the end of the media contract we will sign next year. (So 6 years min) I will also ask they play no less than 4 Big East schools yearly, who they play is between them and the member schools, and if they end a contract with a school, give a Big East school priority as a new rival, for example, if they stop playing Navy, instead of adding Nebraska as a long term commitment, look at WVA or Houston.
B) Basketball-Only Schools.
I have 8 Basketball schools, Marquette, Notre Dame (assuming they decline to join football), DePaul,Georgetown,St. Johns, Seton Hall, Providence, Villanova. That gives me an easy setup for 8 schools in that division.
Much as I love them on the court, I hate them on the gridiron. They have a tiny recruiting base, and they want to join the ACC, I’m not going to stand in their way. With only a 40K stadium, they are not exactly a squad that go toe-to-toe with major BCS schools. Rutgers has a capacity over 53K, a sizable difference with a larger recruiting base.
2. Pittsburgh and Syracuse also can leave, as intended. Enjoy the ACC, people.
3. Temple and SMU will have their invitations rescinded. Sorry.
So that leaves me with Cincinnati, USF, Rutgers, Louisville and West Virginia as remaining football schools.
I am also going to rescind the Navy academy, Boise St, and San Deigo State’s invitations.
I am going to continue to add Memphis (61K stadium) and UCF.
The Big East, at one time was looking for a football-only merge with the Mountain West. I am going to aim a bit higher.
The Big 12.
I am looking to add the Big 12,
Well, not all of it.
In addition to keeping West Virginia in the fold, I am going to add Iowa State to the “East” of the Big East.
The Western half is going to consist of:
I will be looking to add these teams
Notice I did not add Texas to my list, again, I believe that ESPN has already destroyed the Big 12, and I don’t need to try and build a network and keep ESPNTexas happy too. Better to let my schools recruit with the 4 schools I have there.
So to sum up, after everything falls into place:
III Putting it into action.
I can have each team play its division squads twice a year, and another other division twice- leaving the third unplayed- or fallow, to use the term. Say Notre Dame will play each team in the Blue twice, and in even-year season, will play every Red squad twice, but not any White teams. (At least, that count in the standings)
This does bring into the fact that this gives Big East teams 30 divisional games, but the tradeoff is scheduling is going to be very easy, handled at the league office, and finding 3 non-conference foes to start the season should not be an issue.
One bonus that will present itself is you have schools in the NW, Florida and Texas- so if you are Iowa St, and looking at a kid from Florida- you can assure him he will be home his sophmore/senior year (or freshmen/junior) season, and on opposite years, playing in major media markets.
I do lose a ton of non-conference games, but my powerranking should be second only to the ACC at worst, considering I have replaced UConn with Kansas. I think the Big East can live with that.
Another advantage is I can schedule almost the entire season for the teams. Play your division, either go to the NW, South, or Texas for 2 weeks, then comeback to play your division.
The Big East Network is going to love this. I can have 2 games all start in the afternoon locally, and not have a tipoff at noon OR ten at night.
Nova/G-town then KU/OK, next night ND/Memphis then OSU/UL? Yes please.
Play as normal. 7 games in your div, then a title game. If you want to set up a series with another div, that’s fine, it will be just like evhttp://sportsnickel.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=22759&action=edit#eryone else. It will not count in conference standings. This way I avoid everyone either wanting to play in Texas or Florida, and avoiding Iowa State and Memphis. (Or Vice-Versa- think teams in the SEC- West love “having” to play Florida/UGA?) Of course, the title game can be shopped around- I have a dozen stadiums that can host the title game. Built-in advantage you have to consider. Quite a few teams play a I-AA school. I have a few of those in the Big East, and can make that work for you.
Don’t forget I still have Notre Dame who might be able to play 4-5 games a year in conference.
ND has 5 rivals they almost have to play yearly (Mich, Mich St, USC, Navy, Purdue) I can add 2 teams from each div, and ND can still have 2 to play with (Neb, Hou, Cincy and USF/UCF would be my choices) on ND home games are contracted to NBC, so I can get the Irish road games on Big East Network, vs 3-4 Big East schools
Given a Big East lineup of Cincy/UL, ND@Hou, and KSU/Neb, only ESPN with SEC schools, can touch that.
C) Everything Else.
I have a dominant Womens BBall conference, even losing UConn. Baseball is better than most, and fertile recruiting grounds in Florida, Texas and across the East Coast gives me advantages in recruiting few can match. Imagine going to a top swimmer or Track star and being able to promote trips to Houston, Dallas, Orlando, Miami, and every major city in the Northeast.
Is it bulky? Maybe, but I have my 16 teams in football, I’ve checked ND nearly permanently, I have a HUGE footprint for the Big East Network, plus games to sell to ESPN.
I would have 4 top 10 in the final Basketball poll. 6 teams in the top 25 in football. Cincy vs Baylor would be a sellable game for a Big East title, on par with the ACC. I will take Oklahoma vs West Virginia over any conf championship outside of the SEC most years. I also would have 2 teams in the top 25 in baseball, but considering the Big East’s top team right now is ranked 43rd, that’s an improvement.
This policy increases my footprint past the mississippi, while allowing a certain feeling of regionalism. I have a Big East Network that will pull in subscribers from across the nation, with both the subway allumni and the excellence of Big East Basketball. Bringing in recruiting grounds of both Florida and Texas in the same conference, something only the SEC can claim on a BCS level.
|Red Division||Football Stadium||Capacity|
|Cincinnati Bearcats||Paul Brown Stadium||65,790|
|Louisville Cardinals||Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium||57,000|
|Rutgers Scarlet Knights||High Point Solutions Stadium||52,454|
|University of South Florida||Raymond James Stadium||65,000|
|West Virginia Mountaineers||Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium||60,000|
|University of Memphis||Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium||61,008|
|University of Central Florida||Bright House Networks Stadium||45,301|
|Iowa State University||Jack Trice Stadium||55,000|
|White Division||Football Stadium||Capacity|
|Baylor||Floyd Casey Stadium||50,000|
|University of Houston||Robertson Stadium||40,000|
|Oklahoma||Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium||82,112|
|Oklahoma State||T Boone Pickens Stadium||60,218|
|Texas Tech||Amon G. Carter Stadium||44,358|
|TCU||Jones AT&T Stadium||60,454|
Thank you for reading… comments and your vote can be left [HERE].