Talking Big East Realignment

Because he can, and because he, for some reason, has his own website with a blog, Rick Pitino proposed re-aligning the Big East last week into two divisions.

Pitino is understandably upset at the Cardinal's hard-luck schedule for the 2011-2012 season which includes two meetings against pre-season favorite Syracuse and two games against Pitt in addition to a third straight year traveling to West Virginia and a second-straight year traveling to rival Cincinnati. Clearly Louisville drew the scheduling short stick.

So in order to avoid scheduling inequities like his team is experiencing, Pitino hypothetically split the league along football lines. Under this proposal, instead of playing one top-tier team twice, one middle-tier team twice and one bottom-tier team twice each season, every Big East team would simply play each team in its division twice during the season to determine seeding for the Big East tournament which would be inter-divisional.

Under Pitino's system, instead of playing Seton Hall, St. John's and Pitino himself twice this season, DePaul would be a part of a division which would include Villanova, Georgetown, St. John's, Marquette, Seton Hall, Providence and Notre Dame. That means no more trips to USF (or Texas), but it also means losing a lot of big name opponents and the revenue that their fans bring to Allstate Arena -- not that the league would necessarily be split along football lines anyway. It does, however, keep any Marquette and Notre Dame rivalries intact.

Some other arbitrary ways to split the league?

How about pre- and post-1990 Big East teams.

Pre Division

  • Georgetown
  • Providence
  • St. John's
  • Seton Hall
  • Syracuse
  • UConn
  • Villanova
  • Pitt

Post Division

  • Rutgers
  • West Virginia
  • Notre Dame
  • DePaul
  • Marquette
  • Cincinnati
  • Louisville
  • USF
  • TCU

Animal, non-animal mascots?

Animal Division

  • Cincinnati
  • Uconn
  • Georgetown (I think)
  • Louisville
  • Marquette
  • Pitt
  • USF
  • Villanova
  • TCU

Non-Animal Division

  • DePaul
  • Providence
  • St. John's
  • Seton Hall
  • Rutgers
  • West Virginia
  • Syracuse
  • Notre Dame

That worked out surprisingly well in both cases. Also, I discovered that dividing the schools along Catholic/Non-Catholic lines brings the same result when dividing along football lines

Also, the league really needs one more member to bring the total to a nice, even 18. That shouldn't take long though, as the league seems to be actively pursuing another football school (Central Florida and Eastern Carolina among the possibilities).

Hoops are still king in the Big East, but the league is beginning to focus on its success on the gridiron.

While this is all purely hypothetical for the time being, as the league continues to grow, and the schedule more cramped, talks are sure to be brought to the league's attention.

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Tags: DePaul

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