Contrary to what many disgruntled fans and talking heads tell you, Big East basketball is not dead.
By parting from the football schools and adding three like minded institutions, "The Catholic Seven" did the best thing possible for a sport that had previously been powerless to the forces of the ever-changing college football landscape.
One of those three institution/teams added to the "New Big East" is Creighton.
As a guy who grew up on the East Coast, I'm fully aware of the perceptions and opinions of the Midwest. Nothing but cows and cornfields, right? Well, yeah...for the most part.
In the year 2000, my career choice brought me to Omaha, Nebraska. Thirteen years later, I call the city my permanent home and defend her honor like a soldier defends a flag. Omaha is a great city. One of the things that makes it a great city is Creighton University.
You could argue that Creighton University boasts the best athletic department in the nation without a football team. Men's soccer, Women's basketball, baseball and Men's basketball are consistently among the top two or three teams in their conference. In the case of soccer, they are often among the top five in the nation.
Omahans (600,000-plus in the metro area) show up to support Creighton University's sports team in masses. The men's basketball team is the flagship program, selling over 13,000 season tickets for the 2012-2013 season and consistently packing over 17,000 into the CenturyLink Center for home games against the likes of Northern Iowa and Wichita State.
The City, the University, and the fanbase welcome the move to the new conference and the chance to give the East Coast an up close and personal look at Omaha. When you come here, you are going to be surprised if you've never been. You'll find no cows or corn, no barns or tractors. What you'll find is a thriving city full of proud midwestern people who believe in hard work, hustle, and handshakes.
Our house will be loud and as intimidating as any you've seen in the old Big East. Our fans will be confident, yet pleasant. We'll root against you one minute and give you directions to the best steakhouse in town the next.
Don't get us wrong. None of us expect to walk into the new conference and start dominating. We know better. We know who we are. We know our role, however, it may not be the one you expect us to play. Creighton will compete. They'll win some and they'll lose some. And yes, every once in a while, the Bluejays will win a conference title.
What we won't do is kick down the door and pick fights. There won't be a lot of smack talk. We'll pride ourselves on what happens on the playing fields. We won't poke and prod to start false rivalries, as Creighton and Marquette already have some history. We feel like we have that covered.
We are Omaha and we are Creighton. Moreover, we are excited for the opportunity and anxious to prove to the rest of you that we can fit in to a conference that is not the end, but the beginning of something great.
We'll see ya soon.