The "New" Big East | The Boneyard

The "New" Big East

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pap49cba

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Adding Houston, SMU and Central Florida in all sports and Boise and SDST in football only.

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wire chief

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America has long been a nation without central planning.
 

Vowelguy

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Anyone really think this is going to add stability for any meaningful length of time?

Depends on what you mean by "meaningful."

The alternative is that the conference falls apart in 2013. By holding things together for a little while longer, it gives more time for the FB program to improve (and thus become more desireable), and for UConn to find a longer-term solution.

In that sense, even 3-4 years under this new format would be a 'meaningful' amount of time for UConn.
 

speedoo

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Depends on what you mean by "meaningful."

The alternative is that the conference falls apart in 2013. By holding things together for a little while longer, it gives more time for the FB program to improve (and thus become more desireable), and for UConn to find a longer-term solution.

In that sense, even 3-4 years under this new format would be a 'meaningful' amount of time for UConn.
Sorry, but I think the football program will need more than 3-4 years. A new coaching staff is needed IMO, and finding and hiring a new coach, and then waiting for recruiting and the team to improve will take longer than that.
 

Vowelguy

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Sorry, but I think the football program will need more than 3-4 years. A new coaching staff is needed IMO, and finding and hiring a new coach, and then waiting for recruiting and the team to improve will take longer than that.

I wasnt referring to just FB; also just giving the school more time to find an alternative.
 

fleudslipcon

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Anyone really think this is going to add stability for any meaningful length of time?
If it can limp along until the media contract comes up next fall it can survive for a number of years. The big question is what other conferences will do between now and next November. If they don't take any other BE teams then yes the conference will probably go another five to ten years. But that is a big If.
 

cohenzone

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Depends a lot on what kind of exit fee structure is put in place. As much as I dislike what the ACC has done, it is now the destination of choice for UConn mainly because it is now the only major conference that makes geographic and competitive sense. But if the cost of leaving is great enough, the stability might be more likely than not in the new league. I just can't get excited about this crazy quilt of a conference, even given the safety net it seems to give UConn for now. The hoops should be divided into divisions. The FB could even add another program so that each year there would be 5 conference home games.
 

fleudslipcon

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Depends a lot on what kind of exit fee structure is put in place. As much as I dislike what the ACC has done, it is now the destination of choice for UConn mainly because it is now the only major conference that makes geographic and competitive sense. But if the cost of leaving is great enough, the stability might be more likely than not in the new league. I just can't get excited about this crazy quilt of a conference, even given the safety net it seems to give UConn for now. The hoops should be divided into divisions. The FB could even add another program so that each year there would be 5 conference home games.
I agree with you. A few things have to happen. The newly configured conference has to stay in current form, it has to get a substantial media contract, and it has to make it extremely difficult and unlikely universities will leave. I omitted this last point.
 

Fishy

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It's in UConn's best interest to make sure the 'new' conference is very easy to leave.

A fire pole or a trap door would be perfect.
 
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It seems to me that the answer is to join conferences that make the most sense for each program. If that means basketball in one conference and football in another, so be it. For instance, UConn hockey plays in a different conference than the other teams, and it seems to work out. My problem with all these re-alignments is having teams spread all over the map playing in the same conference. It's like gerrymandering...maybe the Big East should become the Big Gerrymandering Conference!
 

Icebear

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I agree with you. A few things have to happen. The newly configured conference has to stay in current form, it has to get a substantial media contract, and it has to make it extremely difficult and unlikely universities will leave. I omitted this last point.
I think that a major media contract is a huge assumption for this conference. I am not sure it will happen. Most of the match ups I see are completely non compelling.
 

meyers7

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Having guaranteed games in TX and CA every other year can't hurt our recruiting. And a trip to Idaho every other year......well anyway.

(although I did live in ID for awhile and it was gorgeous)
 

cohenzone

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"Fishy, post: 102450"]It's in UConn's best interest to make sure the 'new' conference is very easy to leave.
A fire pole or a trap door would be perfect."

Maybe they can shoot their way out.

Seriously though, the "new" league has an interesting problem when it comes to the exit structure. The non-fb schools probably (?) have no great interest in leaving, so maybe they don't care how painful the exit fee is. The football schools, those being the most likely to want to bail, but who also have the larger stake in a stable conference, will have zero trust in eachother if the exit structure isn't tough enough to reasonably assure stability, not to mention assure the potential TV network of long-term stability. With the exit of SU, WV and Pitt, there are few remaining other traditional league rivals of interest to the non fb schools, all of them Catholic. While UConn and L'Ville are still attractive, if I were non-fb schools, I'd get out while the getting is good, form a new conference, and let the un-holy (pun sort of intended) fb alliance sort out their trust issues. BTW, I would hate to see that happen because if GTown, Prov and Nova go by-bye, there wouldn't be much left of interest for the UConn hoops program, which is still my UCon sport of choice even though I hold Rent season's tickets.
 

alexrgct

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Depends on what you mean by "meaningful."

The alternative is that the conference falls apart in 2013. By holding things together for a little while longer, it gives more time for the FB program to improve (and thus become more desireable), and for UConn to find a longer-term solution.

In that sense, even 3-4 years under this new format would be a 'meaningful' amount of time for UConn.
The problem with that is that UConn could win the Big East for the next four years and still not be an especially attractive program from a football perspective. There's a reason Colorado and Mizzou were attractive football programs despite being pretty useless on the field and Boise is not despite being very successful. UConn doesn't deliver significant media markets. It's in a region of the country that doesn't especially care about college football, and especially doesn't care about any specific college program.
 

speedoo

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The problem with that is that UConn could win the Big East for the next four years and still not be an especially attractive program from a football perspective. There's a reason Colorado and Mizzou were attractive football programs despite being pretty useless on the field and Boise is not despite being very successful. UConn doesn't deliver significant media markets. It's in a region of the country that doesn't especially care about college football, and especially doesn't care about any specific college program.

Right. But there was a time when that region of the country did not care much about men's or women's CBB either, back when the Whalers were all anyone in Connecticut cared about. But Calhoun and Auriemma put quality teams on the floor and now look at what we have. I would never expect that kind of success from Connecticut football, but some degree of success would make a big difference.
 
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Choosing not to look at the 'the big picture", but just asking what do these changes mean for wbb in the BE? I know nothing at all about SMU and UCF wbb. I know Houston has had a couple of good players there in recent years, but I don't remember them ever going very far in the tournament. Without knowing much about the incomers, the exchange of teams leaving to teams joining the conference looks like a significant step down for BE wbb. Certainly doesn't seem to be any WVU level program in the newcomers.
 

fleudslipcon

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I think that a major media contract is a huge assumption for this conference. I am not sure it will happen. Most of the match ups I see are completely non compelling.
I'm not assuming anything either way. The upcoming contract could turn out to be significantly more or significantly less than the current one and I'm not sure anyone will know this until it happens. Of course there is a decent probability that the other conferences may take further steps which, as a result, could change the current proposed configuration of the BE. This in turn would most likely negatively impact the contract.

If no further changes take place there are arguments for and against a decent increase in the contract monies.

Against there being an increase are relevancy of programs from a marketing standpoint which includes the parameters of strength of programs and interest the programs generate because of history or rivalry. There are still programs and rivalries in men's and women's bb in the new BE that are relevant although the men's bb took a big hit with the loss of Syracuse, Pitt and WV. Football has arguably improved with the new configuration in strength, but there is no history or significant rivalries to suggest value and that is what most naysayers about the upcoming contract are strongly weighing in downplaying the upcoming contract.

On the positive is the dynamics of the media. There are several potential media groups that are competing against one another for content. If I understand things correctly, ESPN/ABC and Fox are the leaders in college sports content. NBC and Comcast are laggers with CBS somewhere in the middle. NBC has recently established Versus and is trying to get more involved in cable subscriptions. The significance in all of this is the action of the media players. Does Comcast and/or NBC want to try to become bigger players in college sports? Does ESPN, Fox, and/or CBS want to stop this? If this becomes a factor then it would not be unreasonable to expect a bidding battle between these groups that would be significantly greater then the perceived value of the conference. This would be a bidding battle about the strategies of the media players and not the content the BE offers.

The reason the BE is in such a "good position" regarding the media play is that most other sports contents are under contract for significant time periods. The BE is the only major sports content coming up for bid in the next ten or so years. So the next 12 months are pivotal for the BE. Unfortunately I think other conferences are going to try to sabotage the stability of the BE either from their own perceived needs or under the prodding of the invested media players.

As they say, we'll all see how events unfold. It can be very interesting.
 

alexrgct

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Right. But there was a time when that region of the country did not care much about men's or women's CBB either, back when the Whalers were all anyone in Connecticut cared about. But Calhoun and Auriemma put quality teams on the floor and now look at what we have. I would never expect that kind of success from Connecticut football, but some degree of success would make a big difference.
There are some key differences:

1. It's easier to improve in basketball simply by virtue of how few players are on a team. UConn is going to have problems contending on a national level in football simply because it does not reside in a region of the country with a ton of talent. You might get some diamonds in the rough, but building a national contender is very, very difficult that way. There is simply no way UConn is position to be in the NC picture in football like they were for basketball.

2. It's a lot easier to create a fan following for basketball because the stakes are lower. You're filling much smaller arenas. The TV rights are much cheaper, so it's easier to get your third-tier (or even second tier) games on the air somewhere. There are more games total, too, so that increases your opportunity to make new fans. On a Tuesday night? Why not watch a CBB game? On a Saturday? Lots of competition. The barriers to entry are just a lot lower.
 

speedoo

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There are some key differences:

1. It's easier to improve in basketball simply by virtue of how few players are on a team. UConn is going to have problems contending on a national level in football simply because it does not reside in a region of the country with a ton of talent. You might get some diamonds in the rough, but building a national contender is very, very difficult that way. There is simply no way UConn is position to be in the NC picture in football like they were for basketball.

2. It's a lot easier to create a fan following for basketball because the stakes are lower. You're filling much smaller arenas. The TV rights are much cheaper, so it's easier to get your third-tier (or even second tier) games on the air somewhere. There are more games total, too, so that increases your opportunity to make new fans. On a Tuesday night? Why not watch a CBB game? On a Saturday? Lots of competition. The barriers to entry are just a lot lower.

I agree. That's why I said I would never expect the same kind of success in football, as UConn has had in basketball.

But that does not mean that putting a good product on the football field at some point won't increase viewership, maybe even in the NY metro market. I think it would. Whether or not such an increase would make a difference in improving UConn's conference affiliation is unknown, but it certainly would not hurt.
 
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