I've been doing a lot a thinking regarding the future of Boise State and the Big East; namely if Boise State ultimately stays with the Big East. If that is to be our future, then here are some ideas for the conference that could help get Air Force, BYU, SDSU, and UNLV on board in football AND in basketball. Confused? Read on.
With the impending addition of Temple University to the Big East, the conference will have eighteen schools playing basketball and thirteen schools playing football. Thirteen is an odd number and theoretically leaves open three more spots for football playing schools. Here's the rub. Eighteen basketball teams is a lot, almost unmanageable; and if eighteen to pushing the limit, then twenty-one is downright over the line. So what is the Big East to do? Add more eastern schools such as ECU and Southern Miss schools in football only? Seriously who's left in the east in football
I have a better plan.
And it is very simple.
Add more western schools in football only and create a true western division.
Then form an affiliate western basketball conference for the non-football sports of the western schools: Boise State, SDSU, Houston, and SMU, plus whatever additional western schools the Big East adds in football. Imagine the Big East being able get the media market of San Diego in football and basketball.
Now, of course, all of us out here in the west (eg Boise State and SDSU fans) know that the best thing for the conference would be the additions of Air Force and BYU in football. The problem is that for the moment those two schools haven't been properly convinced that the Big East is the place for them, but maybe they would change their mind if they were able to join a basketball conference with SDSU. Now I know they had that in the Mountain West, but SDSU and BYU left for football, not basketball.
Another good western addition would be UNLV. Sure they may not be great at football, but neither is Memphis. But like Memphis, Las Vegas is a large media market, and UNLV has a top ranked basketball program.
Imagine a western "Big East" conference with SDSU, UNLV, Air Force, BYU, Houston, SMU, and Boise State. Add in the three WAC basketball only schools with large media markets: Seattle, Denver, and UTA. Then round it out with three basketball only schools which are looking for a new conference: Utah Valley, UC San Diego, and Cal State Bakersfield, plus one more and you have a great well rounded fourteen school basketball conference.
Now here is the icing on top of the cake. The media contracts between the two conference could be in the billions., especially with inter-conference scheduling. Now I know that the eastern schools won't get a cut of the UNLV vs. SDSU game, and neither would the western schools get a piece of the Louisville vs. UConn money; but a deal could be worked out so that when BYU plays Villanova both schools get a higher media payout. Think about it. The money could be huge.
Boise State, SDSU, Houston, SMU, Air Force, BYU, UNLV, Cinci, Louisville, Memphis, Temple, USF, UCF, Navy, UConn, and Rutgers.
(East): UConn, Rutgers, Louisville, Cinci, USF, UCF, Temple, Memphis, Marquette, Seton Hall, St.Johns, Villanova, Providence, Georgetown, DePaul, Notre Dame
(West): UNLV, SDSU, Air Force, BYU, Houston, SMU, Boise State, Seattle, Denver, UTA, Utah Valley, UC San Diego, Cal State Bakersfield, plus one more.
What do you think? Would it work? Is the Big East smart enough to conjure this up if somebody stuck it in their mailbox? Thoughts.