By now you have probably heard the awful news of Notre Dame’s plans to join the ACC in all sports except football and hockey. The Big East has requested a measly $5 million in exit fees and 27 months notice. West Virginia paid $20 million and the ACC just raised their exit fees to $50 million. When you dream small, you live small and the Big East keeps getting smaller. The question on everyones mind is “How does this affect Louisville?”
To quote Genesis 2:18, “It is not good that the man should be alone.” Not good.
Increasingly it seems that Louisville is becoming just that, alone in a conference that is coming apart at the seams. The situation becomes increasingly evident with every announcement that we need to find a new home. With an improving football program and top notch basketball, we don’t want to be the last relevant team in the entire conference.
At the moment the Big East still has a few solid basketball programs, UCONN, Villanova, Cincinnati, and Marquette. Even in that group there is a large distance between the caliber of UCONN basketball and the other three. It’s hard to believe that they will stick around any longer than they have to. Villanova, Cincinnati, and Marquette, while they all play tough, are nothing more than gatekeepers for the sweet 16. They aren’t powerhouse programs like Louisville.
While we could probably survive in the world of basketball (Kentucky does just fine playing high school caliber teams in conference play), we won’t survive Big East football. The top football teams in the Big East are USF, Rutgers, Cincinnati, Louisville, and Temple.When was the last time any of those teams won a national championship in football? Never. If Louisville hopes to win one, keep Charlie Strong, and keep growing it’s not going to happen in the Big East.
It seems like Louisville would be an appealing target for conference realignment, but the conferences are running out of room. Louisville is the top grossing basketball school and this year they are a top 25 program in both football and basketball. However, with the Louisville higher-ups always expressing their love and support for the Big East, all we can do is hope and wait.
This whole situation is Notre Lame.
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