The Big East Conference is on the brink of extinction. Â The reek of desperation coming from the Providence, RI headquarters is overwhelming at this point. Â The same week the conference, which was started by schools located in the Eastern Timezone, went and invited Boise State in Idaho to join the conference. Â By Friday morning, the conference filed a lawsuit against West Virginia University to prevent them from leaving the conference at the end of the school year.
Let’s quickly rewind. Â The Big East has been under attack since 2003 when the ACC came after two of the key football members in Virginia Tech and Miami to leave the Big East. Â This upheaval caused the conference to add inferior teams and put in place rules that said if any other team were to leave the conference they would have to pay $5M to exit the conference and wait 27 months before departing.
Fast forward to 8 weeks ago, and Syracuse and Pitt decided they wanted out because they were concerned they would be left without a seat at the table of big conference football. Â I said at the time this was a brilliant move, and 4 weeks later I still think it was an awesome move. Â The league said Syracuse and Pitt had to wait 27 months to leave, which they made no comment on, and they did so purposely I am sure. Â Now West Virginia wants out to move to the Big 12, again great move by West Virginia, but this time, both West Virginia and the Big 12 say WVU starts play in the league next year. Â WVU immediately sues the Big East to get out of the 27 month waiting period, and that brings us to today.
Here is what Mountaineers do. Â As soon as they can, work with the Big 12 to put together the football schedule for 2012 and release it publicly. Â West Virginia sets the dates, announces ticket sales, start scheduling TV coverage. Â I can see it now, next September, lowly UConn shows up in Morgantown and finds their locker room occupied by Iowa State.
Syracuse, Pitt and fans of each team are just sitting back with a bowl full of popcorn watching how all of this is going to play out. Â Talking with a friend who is in the know at Syracuse believes that there is a 50/50 chance that they will be in the ACC starting in 2012, thanks to West Virginia though he believes the odds have dropped. Â The league is going to get injunctions and prevent all 3 from leaving until 2013. Â The Big East should just move on, they are starting to look like Glen Close in Fatal Attraction. Â Give up!