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For Once, A Sport The Big East Can Actually Dominate

Syracuse, Georgetown, Notre Dame, Rutgers, St Johns, Providence and Villanova.

Your Big East Lacrosse Conference?

Well, not yet at least, but the grumblings are starting to grow louder.

Josh Hewitt over at CSTV has a nice piece about the possiblity of a conference forming and what the potential members think of it. When you think of men's lacrosse, you don't really think of conferences. Sure the ACC, all four teams therein, made waves this year by all being extremely good. And there's the Ivy League with Princeton and Cornell, the ECAC and the CAA as well. But as lacrosse grows and expands, wouldn't it make sense to strengthen local rivalries, especially with schools where they already exist?

For Rutgers, St. Johns, Providence and Villanova, it's a no-brainer. It adds immediate relevancy to their programs and puts some of the best teams in the country on their yearly schedule and in their stadiums.

Georgetown has apparently expressed interest. And Notre Dame, whose become a top program in recent years, is all for it as well according to coach Kevin Corrigan:

"They've involved everything from the athletic directors to coaches," he explained about the past meetings that have been held to discuss the issue. "There's a lot of compelling reasons to do it for all of us. I hope that's the sentiment that carries the day."

But a Big East lacrosse conference without Syracuse would be like, well, a Big East football conference without Notre Dame. Orange lax, much like the Irish football program, enjoy the independent status that allows them to schedule at will. That would change to an extent with the conferencing.

Coach John Desko doesn't seem to be a big fan of the idea to some extent, saying "I think the beauty of the playoffs were the best teams in the country were the ones to make it
. Now with the automatic qualifiers, I'm not so sure if some of them are the best teams in country." Still he wouldn't stand in the way.

The truth is, if lacrosse wants to start acting like a grown-up sport, it needs to conference-up. Sure, Syracuse would lose some strength-of-schedule if it had to replace some teams with Providence and Villanova, but its not like they couldn't continue yearly contests against Princeton, Hopkins, Virginia and Cornell as well. There's plenty of room on the schedule to play a murderer's row. And G'town, Notre Dame and Rutgers ain't all that bad either.

If you're worried about the "best teams not making the playoffs," I have news for you, that's already a problem. You've got a system that almost put a Syracuse team into the playoffs had they finished over .500 by one game just because they were Syracuse, rewarded the only undefeated team in the country by giving them a four seed and forced the #1 and #2 teams to play each other in the quarterfinals. Why would you want to save the integrity of a system like that?

You're an organized, televised, money-making Division 1 sport, its time to start acting like one.