The BIG EAST is like Taylor Swift.
Sure, the BIG EAST was cute once, but it can’t keep a partner for more than a few months because once in a committed relationship — or, for this analogy, when a school agrees to become a partial or full member subject to an exit fee — that significant other realizes the BIG EAST is insane and wants to spend every waking moment together and get married and have babies but wait it doesn’t have a lucrative TV deal and oh God what have I done I think we should see other people, maybe?
So, the BIG EAST writes a radio-friendly lament (re: lawsuit) and moves on to someone else because it has the attention span of SHINY THINGS!
(Also, it needs inventory. Like, real bad.)
In this case, BIG EAST commissioner Mike Aresco has “reached out” to Fresno State and UNLV, according to a report from CBSSports‘ Dennis Dodd. There have also reportedly been “informal conversations” between the BIG EAST and BYU, a second-year football Independent. Because the Big East is losing a sizable chunk of its basketball programs that are actually worth anything, the need to beef up its football brand is even more pressing. From Dodd’s report:
“Aresco is aggressively trying to assemble a group of football-playing schools to keep under the Big East banner. The problem: Uncertainty on all fronts. The Big East doesn’t how – or even if – it will proceed in football. The 10-team Mountain West hasn’t made a move to expand because of its uncertainty in its TV contract with CBS. The 10-year contract runs through the 2015 season, paying what is believed to be $8-$12 million per year. However one source said conference schools are hoping to gain control of some second- and third-rights (or games).
The BIG EAST has put an extra emphasis on combining programs in sizable markets (Houston, San Diego, etc) and with solid reputations (Boise State, ECU), hoping and praying the glue holds long enough for the product to be packaged with a giant red bow.
Right now, BIG EAST football isn’t a real desirable gift because of all the uncertainty. But, dammit, they’re trying.