Of all the conference expansion scenarios being tossed around, the one University of Louisville fans would have to favor is the Big East’s Nuclear Option suggested by Matt Keagan:

Pronounced dead when Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College bolted for the ACC, the Big East has rebounded by adding Louisville, Cincinnati and South Florida. Don’t be surprised if the Big East does some poaching of its own as the conference recently hired former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue as its special adviser for strategic planning.

That means Tagliabue is looking at firing the first shot, something that could be announced in the coming weeks or month with the Big East announcing that Villanova has agreed to abandon the FCS for the FBS and with Notre Dame signing on for football. But Tagliabue won’t stop there: he may raid Conference USA for two or more schools, too.

Take that and shove it, Big Ten Conference. Let Notre Dame move to the Big East Conference, grabbing all the Eastern media markets, and watch how quickly Pittsburgh, Rutgers and others quit sucking up to the Big Ten.

Keagan may be dreaming, or he just may be on to something.

Tagliabue is no stranger to football expansion efforts, overseeing the NFL’s expanson from 28 teams to 32 during the Nineties. New franchises  included Charlotte, Jacksonville, Baltimore and Houston.  He has taken on some enormous challenges and been successful. He may have a few more moves up his sleeve.

Read more of Keagan’s analysis here.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

7 thoughts on “Nuke Option For Big East Expansion”
  1. Notre Dame as a kingpin in the Big East makes a hell of a lot more sense than being just another rung in the Big Ten. Glad somebody is finally thinking creative about this issue rather than just waiting for the Big Ten to make the first move. I really don’t think Rutgers vs. Nebraska, Rutgers vs. Michigan, Rutgers vs. Iowa, Rutgers vs. Iowa State will ever being much of a TV attraction. Somebody doesn’t have their heads on straight if they’re going after Rutgers.

  2. I’ll say it before anyone else does: Notre Dame will never join a conference.

    With that out of the way, I will add that Notre Dame would only be impeding its own future by not joining a conference. They play as an independent so the only people with a stake in what they do in a game is of interest to only Notre Dame fans and the team they’re playing against. Watching a Notre Dame game is like watching paint dry; there’s usually nothing at stake.

  3. Notre Dame join the Big East for Football?!?!?!?!?! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH…….. you must be joking. Unless you mean the Big East will be willing to cut them a $10-15 million dollar check out of their bowl/tv revenue just for the pleasure of letting ND not actually play any Big East teams each year (okay, they’ll agree to play 1 or 2, but it would have to be at a neutral site).

    Big East has NO LEVERAGE WHATSOEVER to convince ND to join. I doubt Tagliabue is stupid enough to do it – and if he does – ND will call that bluff and call some other midmajor conference to abuse in their non-revenue sports.

  4. The days of Notre Dame superiority in football have been over for a long time, in case you’ve just recently awakened from a coma or been on an alien spacecraft. The impending reign of Kelly’s heroes won’t come in and change that overnight, either.

    They are a middle of the pack men’s basketball threat and their stock is dropping now that Luke “Hair and goatee” is gone.(soon to be a bouncer in an Irish pub near you). Women’s hoops graduated all their talent but Skylar Diggins and Muffet McGraw will be viewing life in BE women’s hoops from the boiler room instead of the captain’s table.

    They even cheat at women’s golf.

    The Irish are as irrelevant as yesterday’s corn flakes. Who cares if they join the Big 10, 12, MAC, Big East football or Mrs. Murphy’s Cub Scout pack?

    I’d rather have East Carolina and Memphis. Hungry program that has rabid fan support in Greenville and a long time rival of the Cards in Elvis Town.

    Don’t let the door hit you in the backside on the way out, Irish…if you decide to leave. You want to see Irish glory days? Go rent “Rudy.”

  5. Don’t make me laugh by including baltimore among the teams Tags brought in. He was influenced by Jack Kent Cooke in doing everything he could to keep Baltimore out of the NFL. Cleveland was the 4th expansion franchise.

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