Friday, March 23, 2012

Better off in the Big East

Hey Boston College, are you still sure moving to the ACC was the best move for the future of your basketball and football programs?  You all have heard me mention this before -- that in my opinion it was a mistake for the only D1 football school and one of only two big-time basketball schools in New England to move to the South -- and it is magnified when you look at the success of the Big East in this year's NCAA basketball tourney.  More in that in a minute.
My point has been that it is better sometimes to be the biggest fish in a small pond than to be another small fish in a big pond.  Maybe you won't get eaten as the small fish but you're also going to get ignored.  The one place you don't want to be ignored is in your own backyard.  Who the hell in New England cares about BC football and basketball outside of the campus on Chestnut Hill these days?  No one, that's who.  At least when you were playing other Northeast schools, whether you succeeded every year or not, we cared.  Now no one in New England cares or, worse yet, even notices what you do.  You're a Northeast school and you should be playing other Northeast schools because we care about rivalries and tradition here. And I dare say we'll never care about big time college football, which is obviously what you want to be a part of.
Now look at the success of the Big East thus far in this year's tourney -- no, it's not the exact same league as it was when BC left but BC and Va Tech leaving had as much to do with this change as anything -- as of this writing (prior to Marquette and Cincy playing) the Big East is 13-4 (check my counting), with two of those losses coming in the first round from usual powerhouse UConn and Notre Dame.  They advanced four teams to the Sweet 16, with two of those teams already in the Elite 8.
Now again, this isn't exactly the Big East of the '80s with Georgetown, Villanova, St John's, et al, at their zenith but those schools are still strong and Syracuse, UConn and others are still very much relevant.  And to add salt to the wound, you have Sweet 16 games being played in the Boston area.  Tell me why you couldn't have continued to grow your basketball program as part of the Big East?  Right, it was a football decision and no one in New England cared about college football.  Well, that's not true -- it's just not as many people cared as you wanted.  But now look at you, playing football in another conference almost as irrelevant as the one you left but one in which the fans from your own backyard could care less about.
UPDATE:  After this writing last night, Cincy lost to Ohio St and Marquette was upset by Florida (the former outcome ruining my bracket) but I still stand by my post.

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