Basketball, Big East, Big East Conference, Central Florida, Cincinnati, Conference USA, Connecticut, East Carolina, Football, Houston, Louisville, Madison Square Garden, Memphis, Metro Conference, Mike Aresco, NCAA, South Florida, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa, United States, University of Memphis
It’s no surprise by now that the Big East as we have known it for over 30 years will cease to exist as of July 1, 2013. On that day, all of the Catholic schools that were part of the original Big East will form their own conference and take the Big East title with them.
With the departure of the Catholic schools, a conference remains that is nameless. The remaining schools will be Cincinnati, Louisville, Connecticut, East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, South Florida, SMU, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa, and UCF.
Mike Aresco, the current commissioner of the Big East, and most likely the commissioner of the new conference, has been working with a team of people to come up with a new name for the conference. Originally, it was thought the conference would be called the America 12 Conference, but Aresco shot down the idea of using that name.
Too bad Conference USA is already taken, you know, since almost every school that is in the new conference has at one time or another been a part of CUSA.
There has been chatter on Twitter of bringing back the old Metro Conference name. Many of the schools that are left in this new conference were a part of the Metro Conference back in the 80s. Why not?
One thing is for certain, whatever the new name of the conference turns out to be, this isn’t the conference that Memphis signed up to be in. So much for joining a “BCS” conference. Once again, the Tigers are stuck wallowing in the muck that is mid-major land.
Memphis fans must be asking themselves if R.C. Johnson (former Athletic Director at Memphis) knew this was going to happen when he was lobbying so hard to get Memphis into the Big East. No doubt there is still a mockery of R.C. Johnson anytime news comes out regarding the new conference. As it is said on the internet, R.C. Johnson is still trolling the Memphis athletic department.
The only hope the University of Memphis has, is if the new conference can land a massive television contract that helps land more money into the university. Without a big television contract, Memphis is stuck with the same situation it had in Conference USA; being relegated to an upstart sports station that is only available by purchase.
Essentially, fans of any of the schools in the yet to be named conference will have some adjustments to get used to. One, the conference tournament will no longer be held at Madison Square Garden, a staple of the old Big East Conference. Two, the level of competition just plummeted faster than the economy in the Great Recession.
Enjoy your new brand, Unnamed Conference. I’m sure this isn’t the last time you will see me write about you.