Sad Emoticon for UConn
The Confidential, candidly, is disturbed by this whole conference realignment thing. There are many schools–think Wake Forest and Iowa State–that are extremely vulnerable if the 5 major conferences turn into 4. There is something inherently “wrong” in dispatching a “have” team into the “have not” category. Even worse, there are schools that have already been relegated to this status. Think of the University of Connecticut Huskies.
Unfortunately for UConn, they do not have the market or history to belong in the Big 10. They do not have the football prowess–notwithstanding one BCS bowl appearance–to generate much interest. But the UConn basketball teams–men and women–have been very very good for quite a while.
Despite all that, the UConn Huskies are currently relegated to the AAC. The American. Whatever.
Even worse, ESPN had this article about the UConn athletic director, Warde Manuel, essentially throwing in the towel on trying to find a new conference home for the Huskies:
Are the Huskies done looking for a landing spot in one of the so-called five power conferences, or is the school a member of the new American Athletic Conference just until something better comes along?
“I’ve been done,” Manuel said. “If my focus is always looking outside this organization and what we’re doing, we’re not going to maintain the success that we’ve had.”
So that is it for now, presumably. UConn is part of the American for the foreseeable future.
To a certain extent, there is a political correctness in Manuel’s comments. What else is there to say? “I loathe this American conference thing and cannot wait until the day that we end up in a real conference or are otherwise put out of our misery?” Of course not. He has to speak somewhat positively about the current situation.
But the comments go one step further–suggesting that there is really nothing more that can be done. To be sure, the ACC’s grant of rights has cemented the current college landscape for at least a few years. As the ACC and Big XII head towards the end of their respective grants of rights, there may be a battle royale to see who is left standing. That day will come.
For now, UConn and its fans have to just accept the status quo. It does not look like it will change any time soon.