LOUISVILLE KY - JANUARY 26: Peyton Siva #3 of the Louisville Cardinals celebrates after making the game winning shot against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the big East Conference at the KFC Yum! Center on January 26 2011 in Louisville Kentucky. Louisville won 55-54. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Goodness, is this Big 12 business with West Virginia and Louisville nuts or what? Last week these two were holding hands and signing kumbaya with John Marinatto. This week they're The Two Stooges, hitting each other over the head with sledgehammers while they try to reach the Big 12 before the other one while Marinatto lies bleeding in a ditch.
What's so hilarious about the whole thing is that both West Virginia and Louisville are going to end up in the Big 12. Everyone knows this. It just goes to show how crazy conference realignment has made everyone that UNITED STATES SENATORS are getting involved just to make sure one school gets the first invite over the other.
Meanwhile, John Marinatto is on his pilgrimage to the Mountain Time Zone, meeting with Air Force and Boise State, in order to save Big East Football. While it barely made sense for the Big East to invite these schools with West Virginia and Louisville, it officially doesn't make any sense anymore. It's one bridge too far.
Assuming (and this is a big assumption) that you're left with Cincy, USF, UConn and Rutgers...adding those other six schools is a fool's attempt at saving something that can no longer be saved (and if the ACC snaps its fingers, UConn and Rutgers are gone anyway).
So. If the Big East had any balls whatsoever, they would instead do the following.
Admit two things.
1. Big East Football is done.
2. Big East Basketball lives but the ACC wants to try and overtake it and THAT is the greatest threat of all.
Knowing those two things, the Big East should then do the following:
3. Immediately stop worrying about inviting football schools and focus solely on inviting the best-available Eastern or Midwestern basketball schools. As much as its a hit money-wise, it's the right decision for the immediate and long-term future of the conference and, arguably, the sport.
4. Invites go out to Xavier, Butler, UMass, Temple and Memphis right away.
5. Think about a few more in places that surround the ACC and take advantage of mid-major programs on the rise or capable of rising (FAU, UCF, FIU, George Mason, George Washington, Hofstra, Richmond, Dayton).
6. Create a basketball mega-conference that acts as a gigantic FU to all of the other BCS conferences. Watch as you get 8-10 NCAA bids every year. Your elite programs remain elite, your midddle programs get better and DePaul remains DePaul.