Big East expansion is coming for 2013. What about the basketball side?

Big East Commissioner John Marinatto will announce the new Big East members this afternoon. Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images via Zimbio

Realignment will mean big changes for Big East basketball.

If you haven't kept up with conference realignment, today is the day the Big East officially announces a quintet of new teams to the conference: Central Florida, Houston, and Southern Methodist for all-sports, and Boise State and San Diego State for football-only.

The Naval Academy (aka Navy) and the Air Force Academy are candidates on the football side, with Navy expected to say yes and the Air Force undecided.

Temple is a possible addition if Air Force decides this conference looks ridiculous.

What does this mean for Big East basketball?

1- There is still a Big East. It just won't be very east.

Despite the loss of a basketball power that helped define the Big East (Syracuse) and two programs that have become top-half squads in the last 15 years (Pittsburgh and West Virginia), there is still a Big East. Connecticut and Rutgers haven't found warmer football climes yet, and a chunk of the Big East that fans have come to know is still around... a hybrid conference with multiple histories:

  • the Rutgers/ Connecticut remnant that has expressed strong desires to leave for the ACC;
  • the Conference USA football additions from 6 years ago - Cincinnati, South Florida, Louisville who are just hoping to be in a conference better than CUSA or the Sun Belt;
  • the longtime basketball-only members, including Big East founders Providence, Seton Hall, Georgetown, St. John's, along with the early adopter Villanova, all who are hoping not to get shut out of television money because of the muscle-flexing of the Bowl Championship System and sports' networks desire for football "inventory" aka games;
  • the Conference USA basketball-only squads Marquette and DePaul, who are in the same boat as the basketball-only members of the Big East;
  • and Notre Dame, which fits with the basketball-only schools, but could find a home in any conference if it gives up its independent status in football.

2- Some good basketball teams are coming. No, that's a gross exaggeration.

Posted without comment, the past 5 years of basketball for the Central Florida Golden Knights, the Houston Cougars, and the Southern Methodist Mustangs, by year, with the coach, season schedule, conference schedule, conference finish, what Tournament the team went to, and how many weeks said team was ranked:

Houston
Yr
Coach
Season
Conf
Conf. Finish
Tourney?
Wks Ranked
06-07
Tom Penders
18-15
10-6
3
07-08
Tom Penders
24-10
11-5
3
CBI
08-09
Tom Penders
21-12
10-6
5
CBI
09-10
Tom Penders
19-16
7-9
7
NCAA
10-11
James Dickey
12-18
4-12
11
Totals
94-71
42-38
Averages
19-14
8-8
5.8
Southern Methodist
Yr
Coach
Season
Overall
Conf. Finish
Tourney?
Wks Ranked
06-07
Matt Doherty
14-17
3-13
11
07-08
Matt Doherty
10-20
4-12
11
08-09
Matt Doherty
9-21
3-13
12
09-10
Matt Doherty
14-17
7-9
8
10-11
Matt Doherty
20-15
8-8
8
CIT
Totals
67-90
25-55
Averages
13-18
5-11
10
Central Florida
Yr
Coach
Season
Overall
Conf. Finish
Tourney?
Wks Ranked
06-07
Kirk Speraw
22-9
11-5
2
07-08
Kirk Speraw
16-15
9-7
4
08-09
Kirk Speraw
17-14
7-9
6
09-10
Donnie Jones
15-17
6-10
9
10-11
Donnie Jones
21-12
6-10
9
CBI
4
Totals
91-67
39-41
Averages
18-13
8-8
6

Not a trio of hoops luminaries.

3- Quality-wise, there will be less of a downgrade than some think.

No, the three programs coming on the hoops side won't necessarily get better. But Houston is a hoops hotbed, and James Dickey has pulled a pair of top-100 recruits already in Danuel House and Danrad "Chicken" Knowles. Central Florida can recruit. And Southern Methodist can't really be worse (and they have a better basketball program at basketball than Texas Christian's).

But the weaker programs in the current Big East have been the basketball-only schools. And St. John's is making strides in recruiting. Providence is making a splash this year. Rutgers is stepping their game up. Marquette has a possible top-10 team this year. DePaul is rising. Louisville is dedicated to hoops, Connecticut has grown into a power, and Georgetown continues to compete. Pitt and Syracuse will be losses, but there are many excellent basketball programs in the league.

4- New size and new tradition.

South Florida has only been around since 1967. But outside of that school, the only institution older than a Big East remnant conference's member is Southern Methodist, established in 1911 and older than Providence (1917). And these are giant schools coming in - Houston reports 38,752 students on their website. Central Florida claims 58,587. Southern Methodist is the small private one, at 10,938.

5- No program will be happy.

The Big East is now a nationwide amalgam of collegiate athletic program bonded by their inability to find a better home. If the ACC comes calling, many of the Big East schools would answer the phone. The basketball schools will always catch the stink-eye for their influence in the league's decisions while not participating in its biggest money sport. And the football schools will catch a side-eye for their influence in the league's decisions while playing an exceedingly mediocre level of the big money sport, while making decisions that hurt the highest-quality sport, basketball.

This is a match made for a divorce lawyer, but conferences have no mediators.

The one winner? Eastern Texas fans of Big East basketball will get to see many of their squads on a regular basis.

Your thoughts? Will this move maintain the Big East's conference status or hurt the league?

Follow the Rumble on Facebook | Follow on Twitter: Rumble In The Garden | Quinn | Tim | Pico

SB Nation Featured Video
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Rumble In The Garden

You must be a member of Rumble In The Garden to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Rumble In The Garden. You should read them.

Join Rumble In The Garden

You must be a member of Rumble In The Garden to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Rumble In The Garden. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker