The DePaul Blue Demons joined the Big East in 2005. Here's a rundown of their basketball seasons from then until now.
2005-06: 12-15 (5-11), 13th out of 16
2006-07: 18-13 (9-7), 9th out of 16
2007-08: 11-19 (6-12), 13th out of 16
2008-09: 9-24 (0-18), 16th out of 16
2009-10: 8-23 (1-17), 16th out of 16
2010-11: 7-24 (1-17), 16th out of 16
2011-12: 12-19 (3-15), 16th out of 16
2012-13: 11-18 (2-14), 16th out of 16 (to-date)
Ever since they joined the conference, the Blue Demons have been called "a sleeping giant" by some, a "program on the rise" by others and was always a couple years away from returning to glory.
In reality, they are a gigantic firebomb of a basketball program.
Over the years, college basketball reporters and pundits have tried their best to create excitement where there is none. We'll never let Pat Forde forgot the time he tried to tell us Seton Hall vs. Rutgers was a better rivalry than Syracuse vs. Georgetown. In fact, ESPN tried to make Rutgers Basketball a thing so many times, it was painful.
DePaul seems to exist in the same vortex. People are constantly tripping over themselves trying to make DePaul Basketball happen. Even with everything we know and have seen, someone referred to DePaul as a "crown jewel" as recently as this past November.
You know where I'm going with all of this, right? Of course I'm going to say that DePaul represents everything that turned the Big East in the dumpster fire it became.
Originally a throw-in on the package deal that brought Louisville, Cincinnati, Marquette and South Florida over from Conference USA, the value of DePaul was always described in that very Big East of ways. "They've got great tradition and they were really, really good thirty years ago!"
"Don't Forget How Good We Used To Be?" might as well have been DePaul's season motto every year they were in the Big East. And it might as well have been how Big East officials started every meeting with ESPN.
After losing to fellow basement-dweller South Florida last week, and with games against Syracuse and Pitt remaining, DePaul is almost certainly going to finish in dead last in the conference for the fifth-consecutive season. Pretty soon, they'll be moving on to the Catholic 7/New Big East where they'll almost certainly continue to be a basement dweller for years to come. The world will continue spinning.
People will tout their TV market (ask anyone who lives in Chicago if they care about DePaul and wait for the chuckles), talk up their potential, refer to them as a sleeping giant and keep waiting for the Great DePaul Rebirth that is always around the corner.
Maybe it will happen eventually, but we sure as hell didn't see it in our time together in the Big East. Good luck with whatever you do, DePaul. May it be better than your time here. Certainly can't get much worse.