Category Archives: college basketball

UConn: the School of Champions

uconnStudents, alumni – and fans – have to be mighty proud to be associated with the University of Connecticut.

After all, both its men’s and women’s basketball teams won national titles this week.  The UConn men defeated the Kentucky Wildcats 60-54 Monday night for the national championship.  The UConn women hammered Notre Dame the following night for their national championship.  Not only the men and women became the second tandem to win the national title in the same season, they were also the first tandem to do so in 2004.

Both teams were impressive in different ways.  The UConn men seemingly came out of nowhere in this tournament.  The Huskies were the seventh seed in their region and were not even expected in some circles to win their opening game vs. St. Joseph’s.  Keep in mind the UConn men got their asses kicked 81-48 to conclude the regular season.  the American Athletic Conference was also devalued by the NCAA Selection Committee (Louisville was a 4-seed?  Really???).

Gotta give props to head coach Kevin Ollie for pushing the right buttons and the senior leadership of Shabazz Napier.  Without those two, UConn would have fallen to St. Joseph’s in its first NCAA Tournament game.

As for the UConn women, what else needs to be said?  40-0.  An average victory margin of over 20 points in the NCAA Tournament.  Oh, and the Lady Huskies slapped the dog piss out of the Fighting Irish in the national title game 79-58.  Oh by the way, Notre Dame was undefeated coming into that game.

And love him or hate him, head coach Geno Auriemma is the best in the business.  His career coaching record is 879–133 (that’s an .868 winning percentage for those keeping score at home), and is not slowing down.  It’s pretty much his program and everybody else in women’s college basketball.

One more thing…

Since 1999, the UConn men won four national titles – and is undefeated in the title games.  The UConn women won nine national titles, the most in the history of women’s basketball program.  Jim Calhoun built UConn men’s basketball, and Ollie is keeping that train rolling.  Auriemma is the standard in women’s basketball.

Like it or not, UConn is not going anywhere in college basketball – men or women…

2014 NCAA Tourney Is Calipari’s Best Coaching

ncaaThe college basketball world’s nightmare is on the verge of coming true: John Calipari becoming a national champion (again).

That’s right folks, the poster child of the “one and done”scenario that has fans, the NCAA, and college basketball seething is one the verge of winning another national championship.  Calipari’s 2011-2012 title team at Kentucky was led by “one and dones” Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.  And while this 2013-2014 freshman-led team is not as good as the one that won it all in 2012, the stars are aligning for Calipari to take home another national title.

Haters gonna hate, and college basketball purists are going to lose their ever-loving minds.

While Calipari is perceived as a slimy individual who could coach an all-star Mafia squad, the man can coach – and he is only taking advantage of a stupid-ass rule that was collectively bargained between the NBA and its players’ union.  Let’s not kid ourselves into thinking that Calipari is getting away with murder by recruiting these “one and done” team.  Last I checked, prominent coaches such as Syracuse’s Jim Boehiem, UNC’s Roy Williams, and (gasp!) Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski have/are recruited/recruiting “one and done” players and have had success with those players.

The bottom line is this: coaching is a bottom-line business, and the bottom-line is winning games and championships.  If these “one and done” players give coaches the best chance to win a championship, so be it.

Plus y’all have to give it up for Calipari’s coaching in this tournament.  He has taken a mentally fragile squad whose toughness was questioned throughout the season (remember that bad loss to South Carolina on ESPN way back when?) and has it on a potentially historic roll since the SEC conference tournament.  Calipari’s Wildcats when toe-to-toe with Florida in the SEC tournament final, upset top-seeded Wichita State (though I called that one), beat defending champion/hated rival Louisville, beat last year’s runner-up Michigan, and slipped by 2-seed Wisconsin in the Final Four.  Calipari is pushing the right buttons in getting his freshman-laden team to buy in and accept their roles when it matters the most.

It’s hard to believe that this year’s Wildcats are on the verge on winning its second national championship in four years.  That is due to Calipari’s outstanding coaching, whether we like it or not.

Union Ruling for College Athletes Bad for NCAA

ncaaThe Chicago district of the National Labor Relations Board ruled yesterday that Northwestern football players qualify as employees of the university and can unionize.

This has the potential of being a HUGE game-changer in collegiate athletics.

If the student-athletes are able to withstand future legal challenges from universities and the NCAA itself, then those athletes will be able to command the following: suitable working conditions, appropriate times for practices, and most of all MONEY.  The working conditions could be anything from clean training facilities (see the mess at Grambling State University), to tricked out locker rooms.  Look at the common denominator in the recruiting arms race in collegiate athletics: flashy, tricked out facilities.  Check out Oregon’s and Florida State’s facilities (newly built or planned) to get an idea.  Simply put, if a school’s facilities are not up to snuff, it’s getting left in the dust on the recruiting trail.

Remember those instances at Michigan and Ohio State when they got popped for too many practices a few years back?  Could you imagine unionized student-athletes bitching about having to practice too much, and not allowing for a life outside of athletics?  Seems far-fetched I know, but you never know.

And of course there is the issue of student-athletes getting paid.  I have been on record of being staunchly against those young people getting paid.  Student-athletes have the type of perks that average college students would give an arm and a leg for – free room and board, access to the best training facilities, better medical care, better dining hall facilities (and food), better living quarters, and – most importantly – access to the best coeds.  As a guy who had part-time jobs in college in order to pay for books and dates, I think that student-athletes get what the need – if not more – from the universities they attend.  Otherwise an inner-city kid, for example, would not be able to attend an institution such as Stanford, Duke, and Michigan.

As for the universities, I think this is potentially bad for colleges everyone.

Most colleges barely break even with their athletics budgets as it is.  If colleges start paying football and basketball players, what about the baseball, lacrosse and volleyball players?  What about women’s sports?  You think the Title IX would be licking their chops over this?  Those colleges that barely break even would pull a Maryland and go broke.

This would also create a bigger gap between the “power conferences” (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC) and the “lesser ones”.  You think St. Bonaventure and the like could compete with the likes of Duke, Louisville, Ohio State, Syracuse and Florida for basketball recruits?  Good luck with that one.

All of that said, I think the NCAA needs to blow itself up and start the hell over.  It has some of the silliest rules I have ever seen – remember when some kids got popped for eating too much pasta at a graduation banquet?  Deadspin has a list of some of those stupid-ass violations.  Here is a snippet:

FOOTBALL

Feb. 1, 2012

Violation: Assistant coach Bruce Kittle sent congratulatory text to a student-athlete who had signed with OU.

Feb. 1, 2012

Violation: Assistant coach Cale Gundy sent two congratulatory text messages to a student-athlete who had signed with OU.

May 14, 2012

Violation: Assistant coach Jackie Shipp sent a text message to a recruit who was a junior at the time.

Sept. 12, 2012

Violation: Assistant coach Bruce Kittle sent contact information for one recruit to another recruit, who was a junior at the time, when he meant to send it to assistant coach Josh Heupel. Resolution: For the four violations above, the football staff was precluded from having any written or telephone contact with recruits for two weeks and Kittle, Gundy and Shipp were provided detailed rules education. Contact for the three assistants involved was self-imposed. The NCAA expanded the noncontact period to the whole staff.

Nice job NCAA.

At any rate, couple student-athletes being able to unionize with the on-going Ed O’Bannon lawsuit, the NCAA is entering precarious times.  What happens to the NCAA the rest of the way will be “must-see TV”…

2014 NCAA Tournament Preview

ncaaMarch Madness is here!  The college basketball conferences have finished, and the 2014 NCAA Tournament bracket had been announced on CBS and ESPN (by the way, ain’t it cool that you could watch BOTH online – for FREE?!).

There were a few surprises this time around – my alma mater NC State making it, Iowa getting an 11-seed and a play-in game while BYU got a 10th seed, and SMU getting snubbed were the main notables.  However, I liked the fact that Wichita State was awarded with a top-seed for its undefeated season heading into the tournament – and the fact that the Shockers were placed in the hardest region so they could prove their undefeated season wasn’t a fluke.  I also liked Virginia getting a top seed over Michigan.

All in all, I think that this may be the most exciting tournament in recent memory.  Let’s get this preview started – shall we?

South Region

Top four seeds:

  1. Florida
  2. Kansas
  3. Syracuse
  4. UCLA

Dark horse:  Pittsburgh

Analysis:  This is a decent bracket, but not as brutal as the Midwest Region (more on that later).  While Pitt and New Mexico are playing their best basketball right now, Florida is by far the big dog of the region.  Syracuse has the talent to push Florida in the South Region, but the Orange have been spotty down the stretch.

Final verdict:  Florida should moonwalk out of this region.

West Region

Top four seeds:

  1. Arizona
  2. Wisconsin
  3. Creighton
  4. San Diego State

Dark horse:  Oregon

Analysis:  Arizona, like Florida in the South Region, is the class of the West Region.  The only team that I see giving them some trouble is Oregon.  After all, the Ducks beat the Wildcats the last game of the regular season at home, and they had a good run in the Pac-12 tournament.  The problem is that Oregon is SO much better than their 23-9 record indicates.  Creighton and Doug McDermott are a nice story and will be fascinating to watch, but I do not think the Blue Jays will get past Oregon in the Sweet 16.

Final verdict: Arizona shouldn’t sweat it, even if Oregon has something to say about it.

East Region

Top four seeds:

  1. Virginia
  2. Villanova
  3. Iowa State
  4. Michigan State

Dark horse:  North Carolina

Analysis:  Some people think that the South Region is in the easiest region of the NCAA Tournament.  I would disagree.  Virginia does not have an easy path to the Final Four.  Teams like Michigan State and North Carolina should put a little bit of fear in the Cavaliers.  Speaking of Michigan State, the Spartans are peaking once again at tournament time.  The way that the Spartans beat down Michigan in for the Big Ten tourney title served notice that they are to be reckoned with.

Final verdict:  Michigan State will beat Virginia in the Sweet 16 en route to winning the South Region.

Midwest Region

Top four seeds:

  1. Wichita State
  2. Michigan
  3. Duke
  4. Louisville

Dark horse:  Kentucky

Analysis:  Well, Wichita State, here’s your shot at the big time.  In fact, the Shockers get their shot in what is hands-down the toughest region in the tournament.  Michigan as the #2 seed.  Duke as the #3 seed.  Defending champion Louisville as the #4 seed.  Oy, good luck with that Shocker Nation.  I’ve got some bad news for you Shocker fans, not only will your team not make the Final Four, it will not make it out of the second round.  That would be Kentucky taking out the Shockers.  Look, it’s been a great run for Wichita State, and it is deserving of a #1 seed.  However, the Shockers have not seen the athleticism they will see in the tournament – and it will manifest itself early.

Final verdict:  Louisville will take out Duke in the Elite Eight to reach the Final Four.

Final Four picks:  Florida, Michigan State, Arizona, Louisville

2014 National Champion:  Florida

Should the Fan Bear Some Responsibility for Altercation w/ Smart?

indexThere is a time for everything in life.

There is a time to respond to something.  There is a time to restrain from doing something.  Both of those statements collided in last night’s Oklahoma State-Texas Tech men’s basketball game.

During the waning moments of the game, Oklahoma State do-it-all guard Marcus Smart fell into a crowd under the basket after fouling a Texas Tech player on a breakaway layup.  As Smart was about to turn and walk back onto the court, a Texas Tech fan shouted something to Smart – which caused Smart to stay in the crowd.

What Smart did next was not so smart: he shoved the middle-aged fan in the chest before being restrained and ushered back onto the court by his teammates.

Look, I agree that Smart should have put his hands on that fan – no matter what the fan said.  It is a no-win situation where the player would have much more to lose and next to nothing to gain.  It’s kinda like a celebrity dealing with a member of the paparazzi.  If the celebrity sees that the paparazzi dude keeps hanging around and goading him, and said celebrity snaps and beats the hell out of the paparazzi, guess who comes away looking worse?  The celebrity.

However, there is something that needs to be said concerning fan decency or lack thereof.  Jeff Orr, the Texas Tech fan who almost incited an on-court riot with Smart, later admitted “I kinda let my mouth say something I shouldn’t have, I feel bad”.  So if the fan in question admitted that he said something stupid, I am almost afraid of finding out just what was said.

Was it something racist?  Something about Smart’s family?  I dunno, but it was apparently serious enough for Smart to put his hands on him.

I think there needs to be a point where fans should be dealt consequences for their actions during sporting events – especially when it comes to fan interactions with athletes.  Just because fans pays certain amount of money for tickets, doesn’t give them carte blanche to act a fool.  If Orr did say something abusive – or worse, racist – then he should be dealt with accordingly.

UPDATE: Smart has been suspended for three games, and he has accepted his punishment like a man – and good for him.  And Orr has apologized for calling Smart “a piece of crap”.  Here’s more:

“I would like to take this opportunity to offer my sincere apologies to Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State, Tubby Smith and the Texas Tech Men’s Basketball program.  My actions last night were inappropriate and do not reflect myself or Texas Tech — a university I love dearly.  I regret calling Mr. Smart a ‘piece of crap’ but I want to make it known that I did not use a racial slur of any kind.  Additionally, I would like to offer my apologies to Texas Tech fans that have been embarrassed by the attention this incident has created.”

Thankfully Smart and that fan did the right thing and apologize.  And while Smart accepted the punishment handed to him, let’s hope Orr accepts what should be (and better be) coming his way.

2013-2014 Men’s College Basketball Preview

ncaaCollege basketball is back!

WHOO-HOO!!!

This is a season of change.  The ACC welcomes Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and Notre Dame (join in football already!!!) to join its powerhouses Duke and UNC.  The “new” Big East broke away from what is now the American, and should be competitive thanks to the likes of Marquette, Georgetown, Creighton, Butler, and Xavier.

In short, I am excited as hell over this season.

This preview is centered around the major seven college basketball conferences and a few of the well-known mid majors.  If your conference is not included, chances are no one cares about it – and neither do I.

I’m tired of talking.  Let’s go…

ACC

  1. Duke
  2. Syracuse
  3. Notre Dame
  4. Virginia
  5. North Carolina
  6. Pittsburgh
  7. Florida State
  8. Maryland (it’s been nice knowing ya Terps…)
  9. Miami
  10. N.C. State
  11. Boston College
  12. Georgia Tech
  13. Clemson
  14. Virginia Tech
  15. Wake Forest

American

  1. Louisville (I cannot wait to see them in the ACC next year)
  2. Connecticut
  3. Memphis
  4. Cincinnati
  5. Temple
  6. Central Florida
  7. Houston
  8. SMU
  9. South Florida
  10. Rutgers (think they can’t wait to get to the Big Ten?)

Big Ten

  1. Michigan State
  2. Ohio State
  3. Michigan
  4. Indiana
  5. Wisconsin
  6. Purdue
  7. Minnesota
  8. Illinois
  9. Iowa
  10. Northwestern
  11. Nebraska
  12. Penn State

Big 12

  1. Kansas
  2. Oklahoma State
  3. Baylor
  4. Texas
  5. Kansas State
  6. Iowa State
  7. West Virginia
  8. Texas Tech
  9. TCU
  10. Oklahoma

Big East

  1. Marquette
  2. Creighton
  3. Georgetown
  4. St. Louis
  5. Butler
  6. Xavier
  7. Villanova
  8. Seton Hall
  9. Providence
  10. DePaul

Pac-12

  1. Arizona
  2. Oregon
  3. UCLA
  4. California
  5. Colorado
  6. Arizona State
  7. Utah
  8. Stanford
  9. Washington
  10. USC
  11. Oregon State
  12. Washington State

SEC

  1. Kentucky
  2. Florida
  3. Tennessee
  4. Missouri
  5. LSU
  6. Georgia
  7. Vanderbilt
  8. Alabama
  9. Ole Miss
  10. Texas A&M
  11. Arkansas
  12. South Carolina
  13. Mississippi State
  14. Auburn

Best of the Rest

Atlantic-10: VCU (Shaka Smart for President)

Mountain West: New Mexico

WCC: Gonzaga

Missouri Valley: Wichita State

Ivy League: Harvard

Final Four: Duke, Louisville, Michigan State, Syracuse

2013-2014 National Champion: Louisville (Back-to-back baby!!!!)

Grant of Rights Deal Great for ACC; Cincinnati and UConn Biggest Losers

acc_logoI wonder what those bloggers are thinking now?

Are those haters/hacks from West Virginia sad that the Atlantic Coast Conference is here to stay (at least for the next 14 years)?

Those are some of the questions I had on my mind when the ACC announced that it and its presidents agreed to a grant of media rights for the league through 2026-27, effectively halting the exodus of any schools to other conferences – barring any lack of common sense by those schools.  The ACC becomes the fourth conference to have such media rights, with the others being the Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12.

Now what is this grant of media rights thing all about?

The grant of rights makes it untenable financially for a school to leave a conference, guaranteeing in the life of the deal that a school’s media rights, including revenue, for all home games would remain with a conference regardless of the school’s affiliation.  Grant of rights is also considered to be far stronger and less litigious than a simple exit fee.

In other words, say goodbye to conference realignment for a while – if not for good.

Since the grant of media rights was UNANIMOUSLY (that means ALL the members of the ACC) voted upon, no one is going anywhere.  So let’s just put those Georgia Tech, Virginia, North Carolina and Duke to the Big Ten/Florida State, and Clemson to the Big 12/Virginia Tech and NC State to the SEC rumors to bed.

Having said all of that, there are two schools that are negatively impacted by this: Cincinnati and Connecticut.

Those two schools have been hoping against hope that any of the current ACC schools would leave for greener pastures so that they would be able to take the places of those departed schools.  Simply put, UC and UConn do not want any part of the conference formerly known as the Big East (the American “Whatever the Hell” Conference), aka Conference USA 2.0.

That said, there is STILL a chance that the Big Ten expands and takes UConn on the strength of the school’s location in the northeast. Its Hartford/Boston television market is very desirable.

And there is STILL a chance that the Big 12 will take UC as a travel partner to West Virginia.  That would strengthen the Big 12′s presence in the Midwest.

Until then, UC and UConn will be praying and making altar calls (black church reference) for a better sports conference affiliation (more $$$ and prestige).

Grant of Rights Deal Great for ACC; Cincinnati and UConn Biggest Losers

acc_logoI wonder what those bloggers are thinking now?

Are those haters/hacks from West Virginia sad that the Atlantic Coast Conference is here to stay (at least for the next 14 years)?

Those are some of the questions I had on my mind when the ACC announced that it and its presidents agreed to a grant of media rights for the league through 2026-27, effectively halting the exodus of any schools to other conferences – barring any lack of common sense by those schools. The ACC becomes the fourth conference to have such media rights, with the others being the Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12.

Now what is this grant of media rights thing all about?

The grant of rights makes it untenable financially for a school to leave a conference, guaranteeing in the life of the deal that a school’s media rights, including revenue, for all home games would remain with a conference regardless of the school’s affiliation. Grant of rights is also considered to be far stronger and less litigious than a simple exit fee.

In other words, say goodbye to conference realignment for a while – if not for good.

Since the grant of media rights was UNANIMOUSLY (that means ALL the members of the ACC) voted upon, no one is going anywhere. So let’s just put those Georgia Tech, Virginia, North Carolina and Duke to the Big Ten/Florida State, and Clemson to the Big 12/Virginia Tech and NC State to the SEC rumors to bed.

Having said of all that, there are two schools that are negatively impacted by this: Cincinnati and Connecticut.

Those two schools have been hoping against hope that any of the current ACC schools would leave for greener pastures so that they would be able to take the places of those departed schools. Simply put, UC and UConn do not want any part of the conference formerly known as the Big East (the American “Whatever the Hell” Conference), aka Conference USA 2.0.

That said, there is STILL a chance that the Big Ten expands and takes UConn on the strength of the school’s location in the northeast. Its Hartford/Boston television market is very desirable.

And there is STILL a chance that the Big 12 will take UC as a travel partner to West Virginia. That would strengthen the Big 12′s presence in the Midwest.

Until then, UC and UConn will be praying and making altar calls (black church reference) for a better sports conference affiliation (more $$$ and prestige).

Time to Put Pitino in the All-Time Greatest Coach Class

ncaaRick Pitino made a bit of history Monday night.  Not only did he become the first coach to lead THREE different schools to the Final Four, he became the first coach to win national titles at TWO schools.

You know what that leaves us: figuring out where Pitino’s place is among the coaching legends of college basketball.

When determining greatness in sports, titles mean everything – especially in coaching.  Some coaches who deserve to be mentioned among the best in their profession do not make the cut simply because they haven’t won enough, or any, titles.  That means the Lenny Wilkins, the Bill Fitches, Hubie Browns, Guy Lewises, Don Nelsons and Digger Phelps of the coaching world will never get the love they feel they deserve.

Now the knock on Pitino is that he is too much of a journeyman to be even considered in the discussion.  Keep in mind that he was coaching in the NBA after two previous stints in major college basketball: he left Providence to coach my beloved New York Knicks from 1987-1989 and he coached the Boston Celtics from 1997-2001 a year after leading Kentucky to a national title.

To me, that’s the beauty of Pitino.  He was able to pick up where he left off TWICE (at Kentucky and Louisville) and not miss a beat.

And speaking of which, how gangster does one have to be to willingly go to a hated rival of your previous employer and revive its basketball program – let alone win a national championship.  That was what Pitino did when he went to Louisville not long (four years to be exact) after after coaching and winning a title at Kentucky.  That is like Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski leaving his school to coach and win a title at UNC.

Simply put, Pitino is the man.

Now as far as where I would put Pitino in my all-time greatest coaches rankings, here is where I would place him…

  1. John Wooden (he went to 12 Final Fours and won 10 national titles, ’nuff said)
  2. Mike Krzyzewski (he went to 11 Final Fours and won four national titles, considered a modern day Wooden)
  3. Dean Smith (he may have won only two national titles, but he went to 11 Final Fours – can’t beat that with a police stick)
  4. Adolph Rupp (this well-known bigot won four titles and went to six Final Fours)
  5. Bobby Knight (he went to six Final Fours and won three national titles, also one of my favorite hotheads in coaching)
  6. Jim Calhoun (he won three titles in only four Final Fours and built a behemoth of a program at Connecticut; doesn’t get the credit he deserves)
  7. Rick Pitino
  8. Roy Williams (won two national titles at UNC and probably will win more before he is done with coaching)
  9. Denny Crum (went to six Final Fours and won two national titles at Louisville; also built the Louisville basketball program)
  10. Tom Izzo (he may have only one national title, but he has taken Michigan State to six Final Fours, and STILL has them as a competitive threat year in and year out)

Honorable mentions: John Thompson, Jerry Tarkanian, Henry Iba, Ed Jucker, Phog Allen, Lute Olsen and Billy Donovan.

Let the debate/hate-fest begin…

Why the Old Big East Became Extinct

ncaaYesterday signaled an end of an era for me.

I remember watching Big East basketball since I was a kid in the mid 1980s. I remembered disliking those Georgetown teams that starred Patrick Ewing, Sleepy Floyd, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo and later Allen Iverson. I also remember staying up late on Saturday nights with my dad to watch those classic battles Georgetown had with Pitt, St. John’s (when they were known as the “Redmen”) led by Chris Mullins and the late Malik Sealy, Villanova, and Syracuse (when they were called the “Orangemen”) – especially Syracuse.

I remember those classic battles Syracuse had with Georgetown, particularly when Billy Owens and Derrick Coleman led the Orange to big wins over those Mourning and Mutombo-led Hoyas. Those were stuff that basketball memories were made from.

The reason why I am sounding nostalgic is because yesterday the Big East as I knew announced that it will become the “American Athletic Conference” at the end of the 2012-2013 sports seasons, with the Big East name going to the so-called “Catholic 7″ (Villanova, Georgetown, St. John’s, Providence, Seton Hall, Marquette and DePaul) and friends (Butler, Xavier and Creighton). That is messed up on so many levels, but it’s become a fact of life in the world of conference realignment.

A know what a lot of you have probably thought from time to time: how in the hell did the old Big East end up becoming extinct? The reason is quite simple: its leadership was not proactive enough.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane for a minute. Conference realignment in major college sports as we know it took off 1994 when the remaining members of the old Southwest Conference joined the Big-8 to become the Big-12. However, the first instance of a conference launching preemptive strikes on another occurred in 2003 when the Atlantic Coast Conference (the conference of my youth) raided the Big East for Virginia Tech, Boston College and Miami. That allowed the ACC to split into two divisions and host a lucrative conference championship game.

Many people forget why the ACC raided the Big East in the first place. ACC commissioner John Swofford read the tea leaves and figured out where major collegiate athletics were headed. Swofford took a proactive approach and raided what was then an emerging football power conference for its football powerhouses.

What was lost in all this was that the Big East considered raiding the ACC for Florida State and one or two of its other schools. It’s just that the Big East was not as quick as the ACC.

From that point on, the Big East had to witness the ACC constantly raid its conference of its bigger schools (Syracuse, Boston College, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame and Louisville). The Big Ten (Rutgers) and Big 12 (West Virginia) also joined the fun.

One more thing to keep in mind: in 2011 the former Big East commissioner John Marinatto – for some mind-boggling reason that only he knows – spurned a TV deal from ESPN that would have paid each Big East school in the neighborhood of $11M each. You read that right – Marinatto turned down a huge TV package that would have secured the future of his league. There is little wonder as to why Marinatto is no longer the commissioner of the Big East.

The lesson to be learned here is simple: you snooze, you lose.

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