According to a report on Businessweek.com, interim commissioner Joe Bailey told a public gathering that the Big East Conference has commissioned a study to consider outright name changes or "tweaks" to the conference's name in light of the latest round of expansion. The report states:
The Big East has commissioned a study to consider alternative names, Bailey said today at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit hosted by Bloomberg Link in New York. He wouldn’t say when the names would be presented to conference presidents for their consideration.
"The unintended consequences of adding new schools is that all of a sudden the Big East is a national conference," Bailey said. "It extends to four time zones in major markets. In one sense, it almost represents the United States in that diversity."
My opinion has never counted for much, but this seems like a gigantic mistake. First, geographical descriptors, even basic numbers, in conference names don't matter in the least. Colorado and Utah aren't anywhere near the Pacific Ocean. Missouri is neither south nor east. There aren't ten teams in the Big Ten and there aren't twelve teams in the Big 12. Why the Big East would feel compelled to change it's name when no other conference seems to care is beyond me.
Second, while football is indeed the king of college sports and is the tail that wags the dog, there's still value in the Big East name when it comes to both men's and women's basketball. The Big East Tournament in Madison Square Garden is a spectacle. One of the great events in sports. To change the conference name and lose references to what has been a fantastic basketball league for 40 years just to accommodate new football playing members who have hopped conferences a number of times themselves seems shortsighted.
Stay the Big East, screw the critics, and don't make me change the name of my blog.