Thursday, October 13, 2011

Insane Musings on Realignment

I back in Maryland this past weekend for a wedding and visiting my fiancee's family. Her father is a massive G-Town fan, graduate and has been on the admissions board and academic advisory committee there. He drives 2 hours each way to go to all of the basketball games. I get blasted for not screaming and cheering when I go. But it's all in good fun.

He's disgusted by the inability of the Big East to hang on to it's big name schools in recent years, and worries that Georgetown is going to have difficulty recruiting without the big name FBS schools in the conference.

This got me thinking: football is definitely a big winner, but there are a lot of basketball fans out there, too. Smaller alumni bases make it difficult to estimate a television contract, but I would not be surprised to see basketball-only schools (and perhaps Notre Dame non-football) realigning to form their own national basketball mid-major powerhouse conference. There are endless possibilities, but I see the following fitting together nicely in a conference like this (or, you could also just realign to a Catholic basketball conference with many of them):

Notre Dame
St. Johns
St. Mary's
Old Dominion

And possibly:
Seton Hall
George Washington
George Mason
Richmond (at the suggestion of Brian in the comments)

Obviously, this depends on whether or not schools like UConn, Louisville and West Virginia have enough clout to pull in significant conference revenue on the basketball side (perhaps Basketball and Football get some kind of package deal for the conference?). But I wouldn't be surprised to see something like this happen. Realigning so that there is still high quality competition within the conference could help all schools there recruit. Notre Dame would likely be joining a BCS level conference. Georgetown would obviously be the big wild card here on whether or not something like this happens and they may have a lot of pride, not wanting to stray from the BCS type schools. I really don't know. I think it would be fun to watch, though.

Then again, maybe (probably) it's a silly idea. What say you?


  1. It would be fun to see something like this put together. Also, I'd add Richmond to the list of strong possibilities. They seem like a good fit with the core of eastern private schools.

  2. Hey Brian, thanks for stopping by.

    I considered Richmond and probably should have at least put them on the 'possibly' list. My high school gym teacher actually played with them when they beat Syracuse as the 15 seed.

    The one thing that might stand in the way is if the conference TV deal would outweigh additional revenue that these teams see from getting automatic bids to March Madness after kicking the crap out of their own conference rivals (i.e. Gonzaga, Butler and Davidson). I really don't know the answer to that question, but I'm sure there are some data out there.