Thursday’s Dispatch: College Conferences, Coach Cal & More

I long ago turned on the mute button when conversations as they all too often have in recent months wended their way to the subject of Big East realignment.

Since West Virginia and the league recently cut their $20 million deal, the cacophony has been so loud the chatter has bled through my noise erasing earphones. Wonder if I have a breach of warranty claim?

So the Mountaineers are off to make that few connections if any trek from Morgantown, W.Va. to Manahattan, Kansas. Should be lovely. And, if memory serves, and I might be wrong, Syracuse and Pitt are also gone for next season, having chosen trips to IPTAY Country over journeys to Beautiful Downtown Newark to play Seton Hall.

Which leaves the Not So Big Not So East Big East (NSBNSEBE) with, as best I can tally on my abacus, 5 football schools for next season — Louisville, UConn, Rutgers, Cincy and South Florida.

Leaving very real the heretofore unimaginable prospect of those schools playing home and home next autumn. You know, like the NFL has been doing for decades and nobody thinks twice about it.

But here’s to opine that, as battered, bruised and irrecoverable as this formerly stalwart hoops-concocted league is, I like the idea of  home and home football games.

It would allow the teams 8 league games. There would be an absolutely legit conference champ. There would be plenty of talk about it in places like this blog and 12,583, 569 others that spin on college sports.

I say to the muckety mucks in power in the NSBNSEBE, go for it. Do it with impunity. Wear it as a badge of innovation. (To make up an analogy that makes no sense really.)

Then, in following years, after the Big East has turned into the Big See The USA In Your Chevrolet League, they can go back to doing it the regular way. With resurgent General Motors as official sponsor with naming rights.

Actually it will be the Big C-USA, which name the league could probably buy for a farthing or two, since what’s left of that league after Big East pilfering is joining forces with the similarly decimated Mountain West and will probably adopt a new brand. Something like the Conference Mountains & Plains and & Valleys.

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Speaking of home and home, I need to talk about futbol for a second. (Don’t rush off, this will be very brief, and I return later to subjects more familiar.)

There’s a season long soccer tournament in Eur0pe called the Champions League, which includes the best clubs from all the different countries. They compete for a championship all the while still participating in their regular leagues like Spain’s La Liga or the English Premier League.

In the first three rounds of the Elimination Phase, the team’s play home and home, most total goals advance. Goals scored on the road count more than those on the road. The title game is played on a designated neutral field. Plenty nifty if you ask me. Maybe U of L’s league next year, whatever it’s called, can adopt that scoring system if it goes to home and home.

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One guy’s opinion, if U of L doesn’t get an invite to either the Big 12 or ACC, the only conceivable destinations, they should jump the Big East, play hoops and minor sports in the Atlantic 10 and become an independent in football.

Could it be any worse than the Big East, a C-USA look alike it once abandoned in which it will mired starting next year?

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Say what you will about John Calipari, the guy is on top of his game. In the game we here in Hoopsylvania love the most.

I thought that televised mid-week practice was a brilliant idea. It was B.A.D. It was nationwide. Literally, on ESPNU.

What a recruiting tool. Trumps the hell out of those commercials Coach K did a few years back.

While I’m loathe to comparing matters blue with matter red, I often fall prey to the indulgence. Which I’ll do now. There may be some U of L credentialed media that get some access to Cardinal practices, but I sure don’t. On Media Day, early enough that only the basics were being worked on in mid October, we were allowed a ten minute window before we were shooed away from the team’s drills.

– Seedy K

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