College Conference Shaken

James Evans

Things have been shaken up in college sports. We have a team from the north traveling to a southern conference, teams from the midwest and the south going to an eastern conference and a conference become depleted entirely of all its football teams, but at the same time become the toughest basketball conference in the league.

After threats of lawsuits it seems as if the Big East and Atlantic Coast Conference have settled their disagreements.

The trouble all started this summer when talk started to float about that Miami and possibly other teams would leave the Big East and join the ACC and turn it into a powerful football conference. After promises and broken promises, it was finally determined that Miami and Virginia Tech would leave the Big East in 2005 and become part of the ACC. This move left teams from the Big East in shell shock over the thought of losing these perennial powerhouses. Then, as if to rub salt in the wound, Boston College, who was originally promised to go along with Miami and Virginia Tech, this fall started talking with ACC officials and eventually was able to work it out where they would be the coveted 12th team in the ACC. This action now allows the conference to have their much-desired championship game.

However, though the Big East is losing teams that have gone to bowl games the last five years, they are losing the dreads of their basketball conference. Replacing the traitors will be Louisville, Marquette, Cincinnati, DePaul and South Florida. The first three are permanent contenders come March and DePaul and South Florida are upcoming teams.

Adding teams like Louisville, Marquette and Cincinnati will add to the depth of talented teams in the Big East. Combined with Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Connecticut and national champion Syracuse there is no doubt that the Big East will be far and away the strongest basketball conference.

The sad part to all these moves is that they will not take place until the 2005-06 season. Why do they tell us now? Wouldn’t everyone be much happier if they announced it half a year before or even a year before? Everyone does the same thing when they see the new realignment. Come up with the games of the years.

How about these possible dream match-ups that will soon become a possibility: a Florida State vs. Miami football game on the last week of the season with a possible BCS berth on the line. The idea of a Syracuse vs. Cincinnati game with legendary coaches Jim Boeheim and Bob Huggins pacing up and down the sidelines, gives me chills. A Louisville vs. Providence basketball game, with head coach Rick Pitino going back to Providence, where it all started for him. A Virginia Tech vs. Virginia football game, with the winner taking home more than just state pride. Any game where a former Big East team goes back to play against an old rival, who will likely be still peeved.

With this all being said, we will still have to wait until 2005 season to see any of these match-ups take place on the field on court. Who knows, though; by then all these teams might be sub-par and bringing down the conference, but probably not.

On a final note, the Big East preseason standing recently came out. The three teams escaping to the south in 2005, Boston College, Miami and Virginia Tech, are ranked eighth, 11th and 14th.