As if spending the last four days immersed in the NFL draft wasn't enough of a reminder that football lords over basketball in the U.S., the ongoing Big Ten expansion provided another one.
OK, it was actually this article from Pete Thamel of the N.Y. Times, which covers how any Big Ten expansion will affect the Big East. And it wouldn't be pretty.
I'm not a East Coast resident or a huge Big East fan, but it would be depressing to see the conference rivalries broken up because of the almighty dollar that's driven by football. It's already disrupted much of the ACC's appeal – Miami, anyone? – and would do the same thing to the Big East.
"Boston College is in the A.C.C., and no one cares about it there," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim told Thamel. "They have hung on in football, but Miami and Florida State will get strong again and they'll be an afterthought in football.
"I don't think we'll do well in the Big Ten. It's possible, but I don't think we'd do well at all. I just don't see how Syracuse or Rutgers fits in with Iowa and Illinois."
True, the Big East is already a massive basketball conference that doesn't have longtime meaning for every team. Games like DePaul-Providence or Villanova-South Florida don't have much appeal, but the league doesn't revolve around those. It revolves around Syracuse-Georgetown and UConn-Pitt. Without those, the Big East's hoop appeal would drop like a stone.
So if expansion does happen, it's up to the schools to preserve those rivalries. You can't stop expansion (though, if the NCAA tournament expansion is any indication, you can slow it down) or a school in search of a buck, but you can do your best to hold onto what you got and what you love.
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