Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Notre Dame Leaving Big East Means What?

The Irish are off to the A.C.C. and the Big East is minus another institution.  How badly does this damage the Big East?  It certainly damages the conference in terms of public perception.  There could be real damage as well.  There is merit to the argument that the Big East should have told Note Dame years ago to go all-in with the Big East or take a hike.  I felt that should have happened the first time the A.C.C. raided the Big East when Boston College, Va. Tech, and Miami took a walk.  What did the Big East gain by kicking the Irish can down the road?  It's not like the Big East needed the Irish to keep the conference relevant in basketball. But by allowing Notre Dame call the shots and decide when to walk the Big East gets a kick in the teeth at a most inopportune time.  The Big East is embarking on the most important television contract talks in the history of the conference.  The survival of the league depends on these talks.  NBC has the Irish locked down for home games until 2015.  How nice would it have been for NBC and the Big East to build other games around the Irish football games with N.D. still a quasi-member?  It would have been especially attractive if Notre Dame would have agreed to play a few more games against Big East teams.  Even if it were only three games instead of the five games the Irish will play against A.C.C. teams, it would still give NBC perhaps 10 games of the Notre Dame schedule.  That would have been very attractive.  And that would have given the Big East a nice little return for allowing Notre Dame to use the conference as a dumping ground all of these years for basketball and other non-football activities.  The Big East held out those hopes but I can't blame Notre Dame for bolting after the recent trauma suffered by the conference.  Perhaps if Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and West Virginia were still on board, the Irish would be too.  So now the Big East will have to hope NBC looks at the Big East the same way it did 24 hours ago.  The network should still be looking for games to put on the main network and certainly will be looking for inventory for the NBC Sports Network.  But it's not the nice, tidy package it could have been with Notre Dame in the Big East.  And public perception aside, that's the real reason the Big East should be concerned with this move.

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