If you can't be with the one you love...

Through all the talk of potential Big Ten expansion and whatever other issues that may lead to, I've been riding hard with the Big East. And why shouldn't I? I am, after all, a USF alum, and for the sake of both my alma mater and the conference that saw fit to call them up to the majors, I would like to see the Big East survive and thrive.

That being said...

I've seen any number of realignment scenarios out on these here internets. While they don't know a thing more than I do, it's still fun to speculate. Many have the Big East ceasing to exist and USF either being left in the cold to be scooped up by a non-BCSAQ conference, joining the ACC, or, in a longshot, joining the SEC. Clearly, should it come to this, my preference would be the ACC. I live in Greensboro, NC, where the ACC has its headquarters. With four ACC schools here in NC, they would be nearby each season, and road trips to Virginia Tech and Clemson would certainly be feasible as well. There would be USF gear in the Conference Store, USF banners in local establishments, and even green and gold in the Greensboro Coliseum where I go to see UNCG play.

I've had a couple of thoughts on expansion as it relates to areas beyond big time college football. One was lacrosse. If, for example, the Big Ten should acquire Notre Dame and Rutgers, do they, along with Ohio State and Penn State, start a Big Ten lacrosse conference? After all, the ACC teaches us that four teams = a conference.

The other thing worth pondering is: Could realignment shake enough trees to even impact non-major conference, non-football schools, like UMBC? It's actually possible. Consider this: Should the Big East be decimated into non-existence on the football side of things, it would affect the basketball side as well. While the football schools will run for the shade and shelter of the nearest BCS autobid league that will have them, Big East basketball will be left with some things to think about. No longer a 16 team superconference, the diminished Big East may look to other basketball powers to fill the void, potentially looking to other strong eastern leagues like the A-10 and the CAA. With that in mind, it's not hard to see how realignment could even touch America East and UMBC. If both USF and UMBC should get sent to conferences with representation in NC, I'll be in Bull/Dawg heaven.