The big money that keeps pouring in from TV deals into College Football is changing the national landscape when it comes to College Sports, and the broken up Big East is beginning to look more and more like an old Conference USA, and according to some sources, its new TV deal will also bring a change of name with it.
By 2014, the only schools that will be left playing football in the conference from the old regime will be Connecticut, Cincinnati and South Florida, while Louisville, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Rutgers are moving elsewhere, following the departure of West Virginia to the Big 12.
The additions of SMU, Tulane and Memphis means that there’s nothing really Eastern about the school, which was always more of a powerhouse in basketball terms, but is now broken up because of the money injected to other conferences, leading to everyone bolting the sinking ship.
As part of their negotiations with NBC Sports, the Big East also considered a name change. NBC offered around $20 million a season for the conference’s TV rights, but it is reported that ESPN matched that offer. In any case, the name Big East no longer fits the geography of the schools in it, and will be changed, probably.
And what about the old name, the Big East? Well, that most likely will be sold to the “Catholic 7” – Georgetown, DePaul, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John’s and Villanova, who have been planning to break away from the conference and form their own league, with basketball being the common grounds and will be the remaining link between some great rivalries of old.
No football team in the 10-team Big East lineup for 2014 has held membership for more than nine years, and UConn and Cincinnati are also looking to join the ACC, while the (old) Big East will also be adding Navy in 2014 and might announce the addition of Tulsa as well.