If nothing else, give officials representing the Catholic 7 of the Big East their just due: these guys know when to strike.
Forget tithing; that can come later, when all the dust has settled and TV contracts have been signed. We’re talking timing, baby.
At a juncture when the NFL hits its annual late-season slowdown before the postseason and college sports hold some serious sway with basketball underway and the football bowl season and coaching carousel in play, when better to throw down the attention-grabbing gauntlet?
It was the perfect opportunity to state their “suffering,” their intent for redemption, their willingness to strike out on their own, and, thus, steal a few headlines in the process to prove they still had some pull to potential suitors in the TV industry and partners in the “forming a league” business.
Bravo, Georgetown. Bravo, Marquette. Bravo, Villanova. Bravo, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Providence and DePaul, too.
Individually and especially collectively, the soon-to-be-departing hoops-focused members of the careening-off-the-tracks Big East picked the right time to play their hand – at least the initial one.
It’s official. They’re outta here. See ya later. Sayonara.
With a sweeping stroke of self-righteous sanctimony, the seven Catholic, basketball-based schools in the Big East voted unanimously to depart the Big East as soon as possible, or whenever their football-focused brethren finish turning the conference into a pile of self-destructive rubble.
The only question is, where will they go?
Or, rather, what league of their own will they form?
Not for nothing, but these guys may be thinking a bit beyond their reality. Yeah, Georgetown and Marquette still have some national cachet. Villanova is just three seasons removed from a trip to the Final Four. However, the Wildcats seem to be fading fast as a power even with fashion plate Jay Wright still donning the finest attire a Division I basketball coach’s salary can finance.
As for the other members of the Catholic 7 – St. John’s, Seton Hall, DePaul and Providence … umm, those comments of “who” or “huh” heard resounding across the country should be a wake-up call to those receiving offers to join forces, not to mention those making the offers.
The bowl season kicks off today with games in New Mexico and Idaho. For any curious soul with no connection to Nevada, Arizona, Toledo or No. 22 Utah State, don’t worry – ESPN has you covered.
Actually, save for a few cameos by its sister stations, CBS and Fox, the network should have you smothered as it will broadcast 29 games from this afternoon through the national title contest Jan. 7 that pits Notre Dame against Alabama.
Granted, things may not be Colin Kaepernick-like exciting as his former Pack take on Rich Rodriguez’s Wildcats, but that game pits two of the country’s top runners – Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey (1,757 yards, 20 TDs rushing) and Nevada’s Stefphon Jefferson (1,703, 22) – squaring off. The nine-win Rockets going against the 10-win Aggies isn’t exactly an awful matchup, either.
Yeah, yeah … we’re all just biding time until the Irish and Tide meet up in that winner-take-all showdown. Aside from alums and the bean counters at each institution, no other bowl means that much. So what?
No reason why we can’t enjoy the ride along the way to that BCS culmination.
It seems inevitable now.
With all the defections, departures and power plays at the intercollegiate athletics level recently, it’s only a matter of time now before the Big East Conference, sadly, even in the deformed, BCS Elephant Man state that it’s currently in, will no longer exist.
Apparently, the self-loathing, guilt-ridden backbone of the religion’s beliefs only stretches so far with the seven Catholic schools who reside in the outfit. If reports are true, the likes of basketball-based Villanova, St. John’s, Georgetown, Providence, Seton Hall, DePaul and Marquette have had enough with their football-focused friends.
The whole intent of the league, from the time it was just a figment in creator Dave Gavitt’s mind until it came to official fruition in 1979, was to appease a hoops-crazy Northeast, to unite the better programs in that part of the country and, as strength in numbers philosophy would suggest, shine a spotlight on the region and the conference, bringing in some serious coin in the process. Football wasn’t even a concern. In fact, it wasn’t even an option.
Encore… Encore… Encore?
If his mind happens to drift off to such thoughts, Johnny Manziel must be wondering how in the name of Reveille he can top his initial show on college football’s grand stage.
All the Texas A&M quarterback did in 2012 was become the first freshman to ever win the Heisman Trophy, and he did so with style, with panache, with a make-something-out-of-nothing skill set the likes of which we haven’t seen since Doug Flutie was making people roll their eyes in disbelief and disgust – only with a couple caveats: Manziel earned his acclaim with foot speed the magician never even dreamed of having and posted his numbers against the best competition in the country.