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Saturday, September 17, 2011

More Than the Eyes of Texas Upon You

Another day, another realignment rumor. The latest, seemingly founded, is Syracuse and Pitt in talks with the ACC. Still one of the big shoes we're all waiting on to drop is Texas. Recent rumors have them heading out west and hooking up with Larry Scott the Hustler's Pac-Tweezy, or coming east as a member of the ACC. While we're all flinging turds at a wall, allow me to add this one: Texas to the Big East.

ACC, of course, is the conventional eastern choice, but let me point out a few things. First of all, the ACC as as conference has been the most true to its definition; that is each of its schools are currently in states that touch the Atlantic coast, and even with Pitt and Syracuse, that would only change slightly (we'll allow the Delaware River, PA.) While I realize realignment has folks considering the otherwise unthinkable to stay alive, but this would be a fairly radical move for a historically conservative conference.

If Texas wants to come east, here are some of the big gets with the Big East option:

-Longhorn Network in NYC. I can't overstate how huge this is. And it's not just the biggest media market in the country. The Big East also makes logical inroads for the LHN in Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and Tampa; add that to DFW and Houston, which Texas already has, and the Longhorns now have their network in seven of the top ten media markets east of the Rockies. That alone should be enough to at least make Texas pick up the phone.

-Coming East, the Horns only have to travel one time zone, vs. being two time zones away from the meat of their Pac-12 brethren if they joined that conference. In the Big East, Texas would have some Central time Zone company.

-A travel partner/potential rival: With TCU joining the Big East, Texas won't be alone on an island as they would be in the ACC. With rivalries with Texas A&M and Oklahoma potentially falling to the wayside, picking one back up with old Southwest Conference foe TCU would keep at least some sense of stability. Selfishly, I'd be interested in the USF and Texas locking horns in a Battle of the Cattle. Only one hand sign needed.

-Big East Basketball. It will take a hit if we lose Pitt and Syracuse, but it's still one of the best things going.

-Finally, the Big East has historically been a pushover. Sorry, but the truth hurts. We've allowed Notre Dame to get away with that all-sports-but-football mess for all this time, and we even let Syracuse call pretty much all of the shots with Big East lacrosse came into being. I think that, for the sake of conference viability, the conference would allow Texas whatever advantageous revenue sharing agreement they drafted, keeping Texas in the driver's seat, right where they want to be.
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