so, before we even get there it looks like the terrapins have left the station. other than knocking heads with our former BE brethren, they were probably the only non-Carolina school I gave a crap about playing (and that probably b/c I went to school in DC and spent more than a few nights partying that side of the beltway).
this leaves a hole in our new home, having just 14.5 schools aligned. the current scuttlebutt says UCONN will be the easy replacement, but IMHO that doesn't go far enough. we have an opportunity to carve a new league with a grander vision....one that assures our Orange spot in the pantheon of the business of college athletics.
first, a few base assumptions:
1- the merry-go-round will continue and there are many many schools in play
2- we are heading towards the inevitable larger superconferences. My theory: lets get there first.
3- this is all about money, particularly football money. forget academia or other like-minded thinking, this is just about sports (mainly F-Ball & Hoops)
4- Basketball only schools should have no place at the table. (GTown, St,J, 'Nova, Prov, DePaul, et al should form a Catholic hoops league, recruit an Xavier and a St. Joes or two (and frankly ND) and go on to a very successful & stable future)
So my expanded vision goes sorta like this:
Add 4 teams and get to 19 (18.5) total. Football will have 2 divisions of 9 w/0.0 crossover. 8 conf (divisional) games and a championship between the 2 divisional leaders. Hoops would have a balanced schedule of 18 league games rotating home & away each year.
If schools like Duke & UNC want to play 2 each year, fine. One just wont be a conf game. In fact, they should do this, just like we should still schedule Nova, the Johnnies & those hoya assclowns after we split.
As for the 4 schools, I want them to be representative in both major sports, or at least have the ability to get there.
With Rutgers off to greener pastures, I'd grab the last 3 BE schools with any degree of juice, UCONN, LVille & Cincy. The 4th choice is more interesting. Temple, or a Nova football upgrade, would deliver the Philly market but neither is my choice. While it has fallen on hard times athletically Tulane has a decent history and would be a nice market expansion. A Cuse road game is as good a reason to hit up N'awlins as any. Hell, if Florida State or G-Tech bolts for the B12+, the pick up both a philly school & the wave.
That's what I'd do (actually I'd rather kick ND to the curb, do the above and keep WVU, MD & Rutgers, add a few more easternish schools to get to 24....but that's a whole other post)
How bout you?