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So... is this it?

After losing Louisville, is there any chance that the western additions decide to join anyways, or will they go back to the Mountain West and Conference USA? Is there even enough room in those conferences anymore to take them back? Let's say BSU, SDSU, SMU, and Houston all change their minds about the Big East. That leaves us with Connecticut, South Florida, Cincinnati, Temple, Memphis, Central Florida, Tulane, and East Carolina for football. A weak football conference, yes, but a viable one.

Now, will the basketball schools change their minds and decide to dissolve the league after the loss of Louisville? Probably, but it still would be foolish. Breaking away or joining the A-10 would likely mean a large pay-cut for the basketball schools. Plus, the A-10 is pretty well maxed out as far as size goes. They'll be losing Temple (in basketball) soon, so they might have one open spot (correct me if I'm wrong). Maybe someone like Villanova or Georgetown makes their escape, but what makes the Big East basketball schools, on their own, worth more than the A-10 schools? The reason schools like St. John's make so much money in the Big East are the Big East brand name (there's a reason Aresco doesn't want to change it) and the connection to the football schools. The Big East football schools will be fine, regardless of what the basketball schools do. Even if the football schools are forced to go it alone, they still comprise a viable 8-team conference that will get paid more than any basketball conference.

At the same time, the Big East television contract is up in the air, so there's no way to know what the football schools would get paid should they stay in the Big East and/or lose the basketball schools. Ultimately, the basketball and football schools are all worth more by sticking together, but that might not stop the basketball schools from leaving anyways. Ultimately, if the Big East does break up, everyone loses, but I think the football schools will still command a decent contract (maybe 1 million per school? I don't know). Literally anything could happen with the Big East right now. IMHO, and maybe I'm totally off-base here, the ACC will be devoured by other conferences and the Big East (or whatever the BE football schools become) will get the leftovers (Boston College, Syracuse, Wake Forest).

Even with all this garbage going on right now, I STILL think the Big East is more likely to be around for the long haul than the ACC, even if it does become essentially a mid-major conference. The ACC might lose 10 schools, even more if the Pac-12 creates an eastern pod with Notre Dame. The ACC will not survive that sort of loss. For the Big East, just about everyone worthwhile in football is gone... the league already is enduring its worst-case scenario, and it still exists. For how much longer depends on the basketball schools, but money talks, and if Aresco can sign a decent contract, one which is worth more than the Mountain West's or Conference-USA's, then the Big East stands a fighting chance.


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