Sunday, May 22, 2011

Calhoun calls for no more Big East Expansion

Jim Calhoun, who led Connecticut to the men’s NCAA Basketball title this year, will be at the Big East Conference meetings his week and is saying he doesn’t want to see anymore teams added.

He believes it will mean the end of the Big East Conference as we now know it.

Expansion to improve the much maligned Big East football conference is expected to a hot topic when the meetings get underway in Ponte Vedra.

It seems everyone has Villanova on its mind and that could be good or bad from the Wildcats perspective.

An FCS (formerly I-AA) football powerhouse, Villanova has talked about moving up to I-A (FBS). However, the plan has been met with mixed reactions for a league that has been criticized for not deserving to be an automatic qualifier to the BCS bowls.

TCU comes joins the league as its 17th team for the 2012-13 year and brings instant football credibility. But now there is talk that the Big East needs to add one or more football playing schools.

Calhoun, the Huskies coach for 25 years, calls it a bad idea.

“I don’t want to see 18 teams,” Calhoun said Friday when he was attending the Dick Vitale Gala. “The Big East is not the Southeastern Conference, but neither is anybody else. Give it time (for football). We are only 11 or 12 years old in big time football and there is a chance to be very good.”

Villanova’s plan to become a football playing member has met resistance by some football members who see it as a negative. Some of the schools being talked about to join as a football member include Houston, UCF, East Carolina.

The criticism of Villanova is that among other things it plays in an 18,500 seat soccer stadium and its proposed expansion plans are not seen as much of an improvement.

Calhoun said expanding the Big East with more football schools would likely cause the seven non-football playing members to break away and possibly form their own conference. They are Villanova, DePaul, Marquette, Georgetown, Seton Hall, Providence, St. Johns.


  1. Dr. Z of Ism. Please leave. We will be just fine in all sports without you.

  2. Oh, my God! They're going to do us the favor? Please, take your ball and go back to Providence. Oh, take Notre Dame with you.

  3. Time to say by to the deadweight basketball schools. Time to improve football, bring in ECU or for the sake of the deadweight schools, just give ECU a football only. Either way, we need to improve our football appeal and get fans in the seats. I was one of the few who made the trip to the Fiesta and it was kind of embarrassing.

  4. ECU doesn't belong in the BE. They are an old-fashioned throwback football school from the same mold of other deep south school. They turn out 50,000 fanatical redneck fans every Saturday who scream and yell for their team. So what! Who cares when you can have Villanova and their TV market.

  5. Who cares when you have Nova? No one. Not even 50K fanatical rednecks. Not even when Nova is hosting playoffs games. Philly does care about Nova. Nova fans dont even care about Nova.

  6. All the BE seem to think about is the size of the TV market. It is not the number of TV's that count, it is how many are turned on....The BE needs good football teams and then maybe they will watch. What do you think?

  7. I'd be thrilled if the non-fooball schools left. This hybrid mess had got to end!

  8. I love how all of the BE football schools think adding ECU, Houston or UCF is the answer. None of these schools are national powers nor do they bring any added prestige or legitamacy to Big East football. They are all directional afterthoughts in their own markets. I am not saying that adding Villanova somehow legitimizes BE football either, but it adds a football school that has been successful it the 1-AA level which is already part of the conference. People need to realize that the only thing that will bring the BE football credibility is time and success on the field. If Pitt, Rutgers, and some of the other "flagship" football programs could manage to put a decent product on the field consistently, the Big East wouldn't be in this situation.

    Big East basketball on the other hand is arguably the most exciting and in demand brand of college basketball in the country. With Lavin turning SJU around it would be foolish to jetison Villanova, Georgetown and St Johns just so you can have a 10 or 12 team football conference that would barely rival the MAC.

  9. UL, Cincy, and especially USF were not national powers either when they joined the Big East. Give ECU and UCF a chance to recruit with the BCS label and you will see that they can compete just fine. ECU has a long history with Big East schools and many wins to back it up. This conference needs football schools, ECU and UCF fit the bill.