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09/29/2010 - 4:49pm Another very realistic option

Another very realistic option would be Memphis joining the Big East. Temple is actually a little doubtful to me, as they were already in the BE and then dropped.

09/29/2010 - 4:46pm Perhaps this is a case of

Perhaps this is a case of miscommunication between the source and the writer. Maybe the source said ECU as in East Carolina (which already had been the rumor along with UCF, Memphis, Temple, Notre Dame and Villanova)?

As far as the distance factor, the Big East already has teams in Wisconsin (Marquette), Chicago (Depaul), Florida (USF) and used to be home to Miami, Virginia Tech, Temple and BC (obviously as you know). Suggesting that they couldn't land some solid programs is a big statement.

I'd be willing to bet that ECU, Temple, Villanova and UCF will be joining the Big East before long, with Marquette and Depaul being dropped and Temple just playing football in the Big East.

12/21/2009 - 4:45pm Eh

Simply put, like I said before, Pitt doesn't care about their football program as much as you all think. The Big East is looking to add 2 to 4 teams for football in the future. Those would most likely include ECU, UCF, Memphis and/or bringing Temple back. But what's most important to the Big East is basketball. Always has been, always will be. Pitt has HUGE matchups with Syracuse, UConn, Villanova, Georgetown, West Virginia, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, and Marquette in basketball.

The Big East could theoretically add ECU and UCF (or Memphis, or Temple) to get to 10 teams in football, and 18 for basketball. If they wanted to get championship status in football, they would have to dump Depaul and Marquette in basketball in order to make room for the other basketball AND football schools (ECU, UCF, Memphis, Temple or others). An obvious choice would be Memphis which would fit right in with the long list of dominant college basketball teams in the Big East.

12/14/2009 - 3:52pm Who cares about endowment?

Who cares about endowment? That has nothing to do with moving to a different conference for sports. Your endowment is based on how much money, property and other general income you have generated from alumni, boosters and general supporters.

Pittsburgh will stay in the Big East for basketball. They are already establishing themselves as a draw for football, and their basketball program is steadily on the rise in the best conference for college basketball, with rivalries among colleges like Georgetown, Louisville, Villanova, Connecticut, Syracuse and others. I think Pittsburgh can see the opportunity they have if they stay in the Big East, figuring the BE adds Notre Dame or two other schools (East Carolina, Temple, Virginia) to the conference for football. I think Pittsburgh also realizes that they have a tough enough time getting fans to their football games, without playing an even more difficult schedule. I think the Cincy-Pitt game was the first time I ever saw Heinz Field soldout for a Pitt football game.

Rutgers is the more likely option, which isn't that much of an upgrade or addition for the Big Ten. All Rutgers brings to the table is a larger interest in the conference from the NYC area, although even that is a serious stretch.

I say stick with tradition, the Big Ten is fine the way it is. If you really feel the need to add a team, go after a former perennial powerhouse full of tradition like Nebraska.

12/14/2009 - 2:43pm Very true

That's very true, but with the amount of success the conference has enjoyed (one of the best records vs one of the most difficult non-conference schedules in all of college football) I think the chances of that happening are slim to none. The biggest lack of respect for the conference (in football) is in regards to the small number of teams in the conference. Dropping them as a BCS conference would result, essentially, in the Big East's demise (in football). So yes, you are correct, but I really doubt they do this, especially after how well the conference has responded and grown even after losing Miami, Boston College and Virginia Tech a few years back.

12/14/2009 - 2:29pm Not going to happen..

I really don't see the Big East losing Rutgers, Pitt or any other school for that matter. If anything, the Big East may pick up a full-commitment from Notre Dame, as they are already in the Big East for everything except football. Pittsburgh has carved a real identity in football, and has a strong basketball program in (arguably) the best basketball conference in the nation. Adding Notre Dame would bring the Big East to 9 teams (for football), possibly 10 if they choose to go after East Carolina or Temple.

(*As a side note: If Villanova could secure a larger stadium for football (perhaps sharing Lincoln Financial Field with Temple...very doubtful) they could find their way into D-1 football in the Big East. They have dominated in the subdivision.) This of course I HIGHLY doubt.

Anyway, Outside of Buffalo or another MAC school, Rutgers seems to be the only team that MIGHT join the Big Ten. Their basketball program is respectable at best(they have no real rivals in basketball, except women's bb vs UConn and the football team vs. UConn) and they seem to be making a push towards becoming a football school...Although I can't see the Big East losing another school for football without getting Notre Dame to commit fully (which as you all know would require NBC to let ND go, or have some contract with the Big East for football, which is possible but not probable). This arrangement would bring more credibility to the conference, would give Notre Dame a BCS tie-in (without being an at large) and wouldn't hamper the rest of the athletic program arrangement.

**Another side note: If the Big East were to team up with NBC for football (currently the BE has an arrangement with the "Big East Network", basically just updated ESPN local coverage, and with ESPN for Thursday night football and ABC/ESPN/ESPN2 for bigger games) it could be quite interesting. I would imagine Notre Dame would be shown each week (when they weren't on ABC, ESPN or CBS), with a second game featuring the Big East Saturday Game of the Week (the Thursday night Big East Game of the Week being placed on ESPN).

Sorry for the long ramble, interesting discussion though

08/14/2009 - 3:28pm A little off...

Hey guys, I'm a recent UConn grad and have attended a number of games at the Rent. Look, I'm excited to see Michigan in person as I always wanted to go to UM but didn't have the money to do so. My family is from Detroit so understand that I love Michigan and will be rooting for them from my seats in the alumni section haha. But here's the deal, don't underestimate the program or the stadium. It gets loud and despite some wrongful assertions, the students pack the place, especially for big games. For instance, the student section is sold out this year, and has been for virtually every year since the Rent opened.

With that said, over the first years while interest was high, Rentschler Field was sold out, every game. I believe the first 12 games there were sold out. Unfortunately, most fans are somewhat new to the whole college football experience. They don't leave their tailgating parties until usually kickoff. Hence when the game starts, its usually only the student section and a smattering of fans.

From my time working with the marketing department and with the team to a smaller extent, there are plans to increase capacity. These next couple years will probably play a big role in whether or not the stadium holds 50,000 by 2013. Also, UConn is now a Nike-exclusive school, which could play a smaller role in that. The Rent holds 40,000, is grass, and believe it or not, gets loud. The location was selected as it was already mentioned, as a precursor to the Patriots coming to town, which when that fell through, they focused on UConn. Some other assumptions made that were false include the area population and the media market. The Hartford MSA has a little over 1.3 million people. When coupled with Springfield, it represents the 21st largest media market in the US, the largest without a pro sports team.

So basically, you wont be playing in front of no one. If I'm not mistaken, the basketball team will travel to Michigan this year, which you could argue is like Michigan traveling to Connecticut for football. At any rate, the program is slowly on the rise. They also signed a deal to play Tennessee in 2014 and 2015 in a home and home so don't think that Michigan is the only school making the trek to CT. Either way, the media will be all over this game, and the fans will pack the place, you can trust in that. By that time, theres a chance UConn could be a perenially Big East power ala West Virginia. Don't feel so bad.

Oh, and for the record, the Yale Bowl is in absolute shambles. It is a complete dump, so no, it is not a viable site for a game of two division one football teams.

With all of that said, Go Blue! (and UConn too!) haha