Big East Expansion

Discussion in 'Butler Basketball' started by BigHoss, Oct 15, 2021.

  1. BigHoss

    BigHoss Well-Known Member

    Well folks,

    It's been a few months but it's great to be back on the board. With the cold front slipping through Central Indiana this evening, I can feel a touch of basketball in the air.

    Anyways, curious to get the board's take on conference expansion.

    There has been a lot of chatter this week about potentially adding school(s). To me, the Big East should be very, VERY careful about who they add. I do NOT think that the conference should just add schools for the fun of it. The Big East as currently constructed is an excellent conference - really, a dream conference for Butler. I mean seriously, how lucky are we to have landed in a premier, basketball-centric conference?

    The Big East should be VERY selective about who is added. And they should be looking into the future when doing so. If I'm Val Ackerman, here's my thinking:

    YES: (this list is EXCLUSIVE, almost UNREALISTIC, as I think it should be)

    GONZAGA - FOX can make this happen. Can you imagine how much more money West Coast eyeballs will bring them? I know it seems silly, but money talks, and FOX can help make this happen. Perhaps adding ST. MARYS as a travel partner would help with travel logistics?

    KANSAS - If football movement continues to happen, maybe they drop football (as BUTLER and UCONN absolutely should).

    NOTRE DAME - They have an agreement with the ACC through the 2030's. If things go haywire, maybe there's an out, and ND can keep football independence while placing olympic sports in the BE

    SYRACUSE - Maybe they get left out of the ACC eventually folds.


    DAYTON - Xavier will scream and cry and never allow this, but I think they could possibly be a useful piece for the conference. Great arena, good history, and solid program trajectory, that has withstood several coaching changes.


    VCU - Trash school, decent basketball program. Seriously - I've got nothing against cigarettes (drunkenly smoked a few), but I've never seen a fan base smoke as many as I did waiting in line for the '11 F4. They're a different breed, and I don't mean that in a good way. Loud, trashy, and kinda weird.

    SLU - Doesn't move the needle. Maybe I'm just scarred from 2013, or whatever year it was.

    TEMPLE/UMASS - This just waters things down and makes the Big East more like the A10

    Summary: It seems that Gonzaga is the only "take", but that is held up by logistical factors. Is there a way to make it work, financially and logistically? It simply comes down to that.

    Curious to hear the board's thoughts.
  2. znelson15

    znelson15 Well-Known Member

    Gonzaga would be great but I think Dayton and VCU are the best expansion options.

    Both had solid basketball programs and would help the conference.

    Zaga would be amazing but can it really work?

    Sent from my iPhone using Butler Hoops mobile app
  3. godogs91

    godogs91 Well-Known Member

    I have heard this come up a number of times. Based in Ackerman's past comments, I would be surprised to see the league expand beyond 11, because at that point they would have to go to some sort of unbalanced schedule.

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
    NCJon likes this.
  4. 314Dawg

    314Dawg New Member


    SLU to the big east coming?
  5. UDDawg

    UDDawg Well-Known Member

    Can’t see it happening that soon after Ackerman’s comments.
  6. firedupkaren

    firedupkaren Well-Known Member

    While basketball purists will hate to see this go, it will inevitably go when the money tells it to go.
    RampRunner likes this.
  7. MSUDawg

    MSUDawg Well-Known Member

    Agree with that. Without a football revenue stream, a modest endowment, and a small alumni base - we should favor expansion since it would mean more TV money coming in and likely more NCAA tournament revenue. Its a tricky slope though since big markets are the goal - and quality programs are important as well - its a pretty small universe.
  8. ButlerGoalie

    ButlerGoalie Well-Known Member

    I do think that the BE should be highly selective when it comes to expansion. I do think there are no-brainers ala Gonzaga, Syracuse, ND, etc. if the ACC goes sideways.

    But to that end, I think @willisbrown first mentioned it, but a foothold in the South might not be a bad idea either. Belmont would be a strong contender. Not a no-brainer, but definitely a basketball school with much the same type of mid-major success that Butler had prior to 2010.

    I wonder what will happen with the ACC and the remnants of the Big 12. I could see some sort of coalition there with some schools being on the outside. An interesting thought experiment for sure.
  9. estar20dawg

    estar20dawg Well-Known Member

    It's the unveiling of SLU's worse kept secret an addition to their arena, major upgrades they are hoping this will help their Big East pitch in the near future
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2021
    NCJon likes this.
  10. MSUDawg

    MSUDawg Well-Known Member

    Well, it's a reasonable approach on their part. St Louis is a decent TV market - do they have a good following there?
  11. estar20dawg

    estar20dawg Well-Known Member

    They think they do. Their message board would make you believe they are synonymous with Gonzaga

    Sent from my SM-G986U using Butler Hoops mobile app
  12. Hinkle

    Hinkle Well-Known Member

    Unless there’s a way to make the Gonzaga logistics work, it seems like an obvious mistake to expand with any of the realistic options. (I mean why are you even listing ND, Kansas, and Cuse.)

    Sent from my iPhone, so it’s probably not written all that well
    NCJon likes this.
  13. BURph92

    BURph92 Well-Known Member

    I’ve always enjoyed watching Belmont play over the years. Surprisingly, at least it was to me, they’ve never advanced past the round of 64 in the NCAA tournament. They’re 1-8 all time with a single First Four win to their credit. Although their best ever seed has been #11. They do have three NIT wins in four appearances.

    Sent from my iPhone using Butler Hoops
  14. PSUButlerFan

    PSUButlerFan Well-Known Member

    With BYU bolting for the Big 12, the WCC goes back to being Gonzaga and occasionally SMC. BYU added a legit 3rd “power”. Some of the other schools are making some progress, but that league will slip. I’m doubting it, but I wonder if that has any impact on what the Zags do. They have perfected playing a bunch of early-season big games and then murdering their conference en route to a Top 4 seed.
  15. NCJon

    NCJon Well-Known Member VIP Member

    There was a piece in The Athletic not long ago running through the list of possible candidates for Big East expansion and the author noted that the only way to make the Gonzaga travel realistic is to bring in a second west coast school with them. I hadn't thought about that much, to be honest, but it's interesting to consider. The only two realistic choices are probably St. Mary's or San Francisco. St. Mary's has been pretty decent the last decade or so, but never quite gotten over that hump. San Francisco has incredible history, but has been awful for a long time. The DePaul of the west. I could live with St Mary's if it brings Gonzaga in.

    Anyway, I've long been opposed to the idea of expansion. I hate the imbalanced schedules of other conferences, and other than Gonzaga I just don't see a realistic addition that adds basketball cache and a decent market to move the needle on media rights enough for it to be worthwhile.
    godogs91 likes this.
  16. Ster8462

    Ster8462 Well-Known Member

    And San Francisco (private Jesuit Univ/never knew until I researched it) would be 2nd add as with their history and last 5 years bball trending favorably it might get you a little of the Bay Area market. San Fran has like 6k undergrads and 4K grad students. St. Mary’s will bring no market with them as they are in Moraga, CA population 17k and schedule has 3600 students.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2021
  17. MSUDawg

    MSUDawg Well-Known Member

    I've had the same thought about a second western school and agree San Fran would be acceptable - maybe some added TV money could help them rejuvenate their historically good program, they actually had a pretty good squad - two years ago I think it was. The Bay area is a good TV market, but I'm not sure how well they tap into it. Southern Caliofornia is the crown TV market jewel, but I don't know how you find a program there that works for the BE. BYU would have been a good option untill the Big 12 move happened. Wichita State would likely be interested but they may not be far enough west to suit the logistics.
  18. WDLTH

    WDLTH Member VIP Member

    I like the idea of San Fran. To your point it might add some TV market money, and I'm okay adding a team that's not super competitive, but could be respectable. The Big East already beats up on itself with so many good middle tier teams. Villanova always at the top, Depaul always at the bottom. It would be nice to have another easy(ish) win on the schedule.
  19. firedupkaren

    firedupkaren Well-Known Member

    It's really pretty simple, if Gonzaga is added it will be by themselves and very likely in a MBB only capacity. No one is going to try to solve all these logistical problems for sports already losing the universities money.
  20. estar20dawg

    estar20dawg Well-Known Member

    This is a very true statement

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