|They're gonna need more dots.|
I knew another robbery of the Big East was coming, but I expected the ACC to have stuck a little closer to its footprint and taken UConn. Instead, they walk away with Louisville in what was probably the most advantageous move they could have made. While I continue to believe UConn would have been the best fit for the ACC, Louisville was the best choice for the conference. Put another way, UConn would have been more of the same, while Louisville raises the conference profile. Academics notwithstanding - and frankly, I think it's lip service when they're brought up in athletic conference realignment anyway - Louisville brings in strong football and basketball, as well as an athletic program that seems committed to growth. The Cardinals seem to be most closely replacing the Terrapins, and in doing so, the ACC is trading in the Preakness for the Kentucky Derby, an analogy which - with all due respect to College Park - runs deeper than just location.
I'm not going to wax poetic on this departure as I did with another, but in this move, in addition to striking another death blow to the Big East, we lose the school I probably most thought of as a rival to USF. Louisville and USF's kinship has spanned three conferences, and while I joked earlier that this surely means USF is headed to the ACC as well, I know this is probably goodbye.
Another one finds the life raft. See y'all here in Greensboro.
Lost in the shuffle, however, were the teams that the Big East picked up to replace Rutgers and Louisville. While I raise an eyebrow at Tulane, I'm pleased that they made the move I've been pushing all along and brought in ECU as a football only member. It's only for the selfishness of a game local to me, but beyond that, I've thought of them as the next available anyway. Now we're just an addition of Southern Miss, UAB, and Charlotte away from having every team we can from 2003 Conference USA.