The next realignment move in college athletics comes as no surprise, and it shouldn’t have much of an impact on major Division I conferences.
The seven Catholic schools of the Big East are expected to form their own conference next year and add two or three more schools. ESPN reported the moves on Thursday.
The seven: DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Villanova. They’re expected to be joined by Butler and Xavier of the Atlantic-10, and, according to ESPN, Creighton from the Missouri Valley.
This would leave the Big East with current members Connecticut, Cincinnati and South Florida. Also, Louisville, headed to the ACC, and Rutgers (Big Ten) are expected to join their new leagues in 2014-15, meaning one more year in the Big East.
The Big East welcomes Houston, SMU, Central Florida and Memphis in 2013, Tulane and East Carolina in 2014 and Navy in 2015.
As for the Big 12, no impact is expected. Earlier this week, speaking in Oklahoma, commissioner Bob Bowlsby offered an update on realignment as it regards his league.
“I don’t think there’s a need for expansion,” Bowlsby said. “There may be a want for expansion. Ten is the right size for us. Are we oblivious? No. We cannot afford to be. But we are distributing a lot of money. We are highly competitive.
“There is no empirical evidence that larger is better. In some ways, it’s difficult to appear to be doing nothing, when actually taking no members by choice.”
While the Big East action doesn’t figure to have an impact on the Big 12, everybody in college sports wonders about potential moves by the Big Ten.
Did the league finish expanding by grabbing Maryland and Rutgers late last year, moving to 14 teams for 2013-14?
If not, others in the ACC have been the subject of speculation. If the Big Ten entices other ACC schools to join, such as North Carolina or Georgia Tech, the Big 12 comes into play. The most often speculated schools as potential Big 12 members are Florida State and Clemson.