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Proposed addition of Big East Catholic schools to A-10 Conference would be first win for college hoops in expansion madness

By now, we all get it. Everything in college sports is about football.

Leagues splinter, expand, contract and disintegrate based on what appears to make financial sense for their football members.

What stinks as much as anything in all of this, is the realization of how little the other major college sport, basketball, matters.

Albion has as almost much pull as Kansas. Heck, the Britons play better football.

For those of us who are college hoops junkies and enjoy its tradition, it’s disheartening.

If the Big Ten basketball regular season championship loses its luster as the league expands, eventually to 16 teams, something significant has been lost. And the conference title — likely awarded through the Big Ten tournament — will never again mean as much.

The salvation of college basketball, in my opinion, is in the hands of the schools that either don’t play football or don’t play it at the BCS level. That would be many of the teams in the Big East and Atlantic 10 conferences, for example.

So today’s news that the Big East’s seven Catholic and non-football schools might join the 16-team A-10 to form a 21-team league (Temple and Charlotte are leaving the A-10) sounds like a promising step toward a better hoops world.

I’ve thought for years that there ought to be a religious school league or possibly two of them:

DePaul, Xavier, Dayton, Marquette, St. Louis, Duquesne, Notre Dame, Valparaiso (Lutheran) and Butler (though no longer any religious affiliation) in one.

St. John’s, Georgetown, St. Joseph’s, Providence, Seton Hall, Villanova, La Salle, St. Bonaventure, Fordham and perhaps Davidson (if the Presbyterians are welcome) in another.

They’d be a solid basketball league — or leagues — with sound geographic principle and programs steeped in tradition.

And, instead of BCS money, they’d be chasing NCAA tournament shares, which is still where the real money is for the majority of Division I college athletic programs in this country.

Such a vision is idealistic in a college athletics landscape that crushes idealism. But if the A-10 becomes a basketball power, there will be at least one good league that thinks hoops-first.

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7 Responses to Proposed addition of Big East Catholic schools to A-10 Conference would be first win for college hoops in expansion madness

  1. avatar Westside Spartan says:

    Graham,
    Do you know what prompted the creation of college conferences in the first place? Was it for athletic or academic reasons?
    It appears that it is purely athletics driven now.

  2. avatar MLM89 says:

    University of Detroit (I can’t say Detroit Mercy) has to be included in this group. It would be great to get that program even close to the Vitale hey days.

  3. avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

    Not a bad gig unless the pay is commensurate. One post to the blog a week, a column every 5 days about things other than B1G and the Green and White. Sure I lonely in this here big empty blog.

  4. avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

    I wonder if South Dakota State is available for B1G membership. B1G could transform into an 8 division State University Conference with a 3 game playoff played on Fox with Nike sponsoring. Conference would cover the entire nation and have about 96 members The State of Illinois could give Northwestern a few hundred thousand a year to establish status as a State University..

    • avatar A very anti Couch poster says:

      To get the flag, you have to want the flag and nobody wants Cheese-it’s upside down* tidy whities with the stains.

      *anybody – flag upside down reference?

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