Conference Realignments, Sucker Punches & Salary Caps

Syracuse

One of the biggest sports weekends of the year may have left us with more questions than it answered. On the college football gridiron, the weekend really kicked off on Thursday night, as LSU showed the nation why they may have the best defense in the league and made Mississippi State look like a junior varsity team. On Saturday night, a relevant Florida State team played its version of the national championship game, as Oklahoma came into Doak Campbell Stadium and handed them a nail-biting loss. And of course the other major story in college sports this weekend was the departure of Pitt and Syracuse from Big East.

These two charter members of the Big East are joining the ACC – which may have become the new powerhouse basketball conference overnight – and former Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese isn’t happy it.

“College football has just taken control of everything that’s gone on in the country,” said Tranghese in an interview on ESPN’s Outside the Lines. “All of these moves are about football, and money, and greed, and I’m embarrassed about the whole thing. It seems that things such as integrity, and loyalty, and congeniality are gone.”

While I’m salivating over the fact that Pitt and Syracuse will each play two games per year against the likes of Duke, UNC and Maryland, I’m worried about the future of the Big East Tournament. It’s easily one of the best sporting weeks in New York City every year, and somehow, no matter what type of season they’ve had, Syracuse always seems to make a run. Maybe it’s because all the love that NYC has for Syracuse. And what happens if, as is currently being discussed, UConn and Rutgers are the next to go? What if Georgetown follows suit? Or Notre Dame? Will we eventually see a Big East conference where the best two teams in the Northeast are St. John’s and Providence? That’d be weird. Will MSG eventually host the ACC Tournament instead of the Big East? Will recruits from the Northeast become even more inclined to choose Syracuse and Pitt so they can stay close to home while still playing in the nation’s best conference? These are questions currently without answers.

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