Rick Pitino may have provided a solution for easing the way to what many analysts consider an inevitable breakup of the Big East Conference, in which the football schools would separate from the non-footballers to create separate entities.
In his latest blog post, the University of Louisville coach suggests dividing basketball into two divisions. One would include Louisville, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Cincinnati, TCU, Rutgers, UConn and South Florida. The other division would consist of Villanova, Georgetown, St. John’s, DePaul, Marquette, Seton Hall, Providence and Notre Dame.
The division suggestion would eliminate the abitrary nature of the current scheduling process. Someone in Providence deciding which teams will play each other twice during the season, based on some undefined criteria.
The scheduling process has never been balanced, whether a team has a good outlook or a bad one. I’ve always wondered why the conference would be making that judgement anyway.
Equally important, Pitino’s proposed new scheduling lineup acknowledges that there are major differences between the schools in their overall goals and aspirations. The existing conference will never realize its potential as long as football, the No. 1 sport in college athletics, takes a back seat to basketball.