Notre Dame, The Big East, and the ACC
Well, it looks like the “Catholic 7” that are leaving the Big East are going to be taking the name–The Big East–with them. As Frank the Tank points out, the Big East name still has value to those schools. Indeed, Georgetown, Villanova, St. Johns, Providence, and Seton Hall have been part of the Big East for a long time. In contrast, only Connecticut has a comparatively long history. In the end, it certainly seems like this is a fair result.
Frank notes that Fox is paying for this move. So it is yet another defeat for ESPN in the “war” between the two sports programming giants.
The interesting part is what happens with Notre Dame. If the “Catholic 7” leaves before the 2013-2014 basketball season, what happens to the Fighting Irish? Do they stay as a part of the diminished Former Big East, with games against UConn, Temple, and the C-USA teams? Do they go with the Catholic 7 for one year while waiting for the ACC to create a spot? Will the ACC create a spot for the Fighting Irish? There are a lot of moving parts here. In any event, the unlikely event of Notre Dame being in the ACC for the 2013-2014 basketball season is no longer quite as unlikely.
Oh, and let’s not feel TOO sorry for Connecticut, Cincinnati, and South Florida yet. With all the defections, as well as the desperation for the Catholic 7 to leave and take the naming rights to the Big East, they might be left holding all the NCAA tournament credits and the exit fee fund left behind. There is talk that this funding will be in the neighborhood of $68 million. That is better than a sharp stick in the eye, anyway.
In any event, the main thing to keep an eye on is what happens to Notre Dame. That will have to get resolved pretty quickly.