The debate has been quiet for a while over a split in the Big East between the football and basketball schools to help resolve the pressing scheduling issues in football. That doesn’t mean the issue has gone away or that the football schools aren’t hungry for a resolution. The most comprehensive and reasoned analysis I’ve seen is over at College Sports Info.
Among the conclusions is the undeniable:
“Six years after the ACC defection one thing is clear: the football schools now hold the power, even without football. This year has made that obvious to the world as (3) of the (4) #1 NCAA Basketball Tournament seeds went to Big East football schools with (2) other big East football schools Syracuse, getting a #3 seed and WVU getting a #6 seed. Basketball member Villanova had a #3 seed as well.
“In a 2007 Forbes valuation of college basketball programs, only 2 Big East programs ranked in the top 20â€¦and both were football schools: 3rd ranked Louisville and 18th ranked Syracuse.
So the quick math: For the 2009 tournament, 5 out of 8 Big east schools sponsoring football will be in the NCAA Basketball tournament (with Cincinnati likely to the NIT) while only 2 of 8 non-football schools were invited.
“With the success the football members have had in basketball in recent years, it seems logical that in 2013, ESPN would provide an all inclusive television contract for both football and basketball for a new conference.”
A renewal of the debate is inevitable, and in the not too distant future.