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Well, here we are: Pirates join Big East for now, at least

Honestly, I loathe the Big East so much at this point, today’s news that ECU will join the listing conference was honestly not very welcome news. To be more honest, I kind of fell into the camp of my friend Danny over at Bonesville as expressed in his most recent commentary.

For the most part, my hate for the BE is base in nature…spurn me, you get no love from me. I DO prefer to play the teams that make up the league to the teams that make up the rest of current C-USA. I enjoy the UCF rivalry. Look forward to rekindling the USF and Cincy rivalries. Love the fact that the Pirates will play in Philly (where I live) every other year.

And, am very hopeful that we will feed on more money there than where we are.

But, the likelihood of this conference even surviving to 2014 is 50-50 at best. The ACC is going to gutted, a couple more teams will leave the Big East and the western schools will like recede to their former leagues. We will have CUSA 1.0 again, only without enough teams to be a viable football conference.

Our hoops could have really benefited from connecting to the remnants of the BE hoops schools, but that apparently won’t happen either. I will really miss playing Marshall and USM regularly, too.

I guess the biggest hope is that when all of this conference shifting settles momentarily, we will end up with the best of the rest of the ACC and what is the emerging BE. OR BETTER, if indeed the country gets quartered into 4 big super-conferences, we end up in a southeast or northeast collection of decent schools wherein we can begin rebuilding regional rivalries and allow our  50,000 fans in the stands to expand to 70,000 with games that appeal to both fans and recruits alike.

We all know that this Big East is a short-lived step, so I guess I can agree or learn to be ok with it, but not at the cost of baseball and basketball. Where they end up is just as important.

I blindly trust Coach Holland and expect that his work has already moved beyond today’s news and is squarely focused on positioning for the next move.

If our basketball team to get national attention this season, it will surely help and of course a bowl win helps as well so we have some control of national perception, but to be sure, what is happening behind the scenes really will determine our future.

So, it is the Big East for now and assuming we actually play a game as  a Big East member, I will now try to get used to the new logo even though I know that our joining as football only represents the Big East being on life support. That we were not wanted and I am sure our deal will not give us maximum money or exposure. BUT, I will be pulling for them and watching them on whatever channels we end up on.

I remain hopeful that things will work out for our program and am certain our alums and fans will continue to push and push and push for this program to be its absolute best.

I hope Navy stays the course (i know…hate to have to play that machine each year) and that BSU sticks to its plan now, it is the league’s only chance.

Please let me know your thoughts my Pirate friends…this is news we all wanted to hear at one time or another.

Go Pirates Go!


14 comments on “Well, here we are: Pirates join Big East for now, at least

  1. Blackbeard's Ghost

    Hey Ron! When Rutgers left..I had a hunch that ECU might be in the mix but never sure. I didn’t realize Tulane would fill the all sports spot though.
    All in all, I feel like you do. I just can’t seem to do cartwheels over this. Lets let it play out and see what other choices will come. I’m sure a few more teams will leave the BE soon.

    Always great commenting with you! Cheers!

    • Hey BBG…thanks for checking in.

      I think that TH’s big thing – which this does – is gets us back to a more regional model, which I am happy about for the school. We can do a lot more with less travel expenses. I just hope we can find a good fit for our other sports.

      Going to be interesting to see how things shake out around the country.

      We need to go into the Big East with the mindset of being on top right away. Wish we were playing in 2013.

  2. No Quarter

    I think you said it best when you said, “behind the scenes”. There is really no telling what promises or concessions have been made. I am one that does trust Terry Holland. I am sure that he is doing everything in ECU’s best interest. I think and always thought that standing back and waiting was never a good thing especially in todays college atmosphere. I really think you have to ultra aggressive when opprotunities come your way because other doors may open later on. I am estatic about the news. My only concern is its football only. Maybe that was the only way to make this deal, who knows. But I think positioning yourself for the future is very important. Plus, East Carolina is in the national news now.

    • you know…NQ…that last point is one that I overlooked a bit and is an important one. everything in college football seems to be about perception so, more exposure the better, no?

      I see the point on acting now and not waiting and it is well taken. I am so irked by the Big East and again feel that us being football only shows again how uninformed and non-proactive these idiots are in BE leadership. Its about the fans dummy…when you can get 50,000 in the stadium for a CUSA schedule, you can pack a basketball facility with additional revs and exposure. ECU – i believe – is a sleeping giant and that the BE would recycle a known failure in Temple or fracture the geographic footprint to grab BSU shows that they are not fit for this new world order. I trust Terry has a good handle on this and this is only a set up move in a bigger chess match.

      Thanks for your commentary NQ…I welcome and value them.

  3. There was a time yes, when it would be good news. But football only at this juncture is not a step up given recent changes in the landscape. Do you think there is any chance that when louisville or others leave for acc we would get the all sports then? Of course all depends if it is still a conference by then.

    • Hi Chris…

      I think it is going to come to a head where football will be assessed for viability leading to a split of hoops from football or a complete divestiture of the football schools. Hopefully it will go our way. Other option is that they split and go all sports for all. Hope it is the latter.


  4. No Quarter

    I think you are dead one with the chess match analogy. Let’s see where this takes us. But, I believe its the right move.

  5. I knew if ECU was asked to join the BE we would. I also belived that the BE would hold us to the football only membership that was put into play when ECU asked to join last summer. But I have a dark side that wanted to call the press so we could tell the BE to kiss ours. Now we wait to see if there is a BE come 2014

  6. Michael in Raleigh

    Where do non-football sports go? SoCon? Big South? CAA? Atlantic 10?

    What do you prefer?

    BTW, as an App State fan, my reaction is go speculate whether this will have a domino effect leading to ASU joining C-USA or the Sun Belt.

    • Hi Michael…thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      For me, the A10 would be the preference for geographic purposes and hoops, but CAA would probably suffice. Gonna be interesting.

      BTW, I believe it is near criminal that ASU was not invited to CUSA. For me, I wanted them to be the first team invited. Not only has ASU “earned it on the field” but their administration has really built the program the right way and one the right things.

      I would love to ASU get into a more formidable conference and see what they can do on equal footing. Perhaps growing into a great rival with ECU.

      thanks again for dropping in.

  7. I agree this is likely temporary, however, I think this was the best (only) move on the chess board and its good we’ve taken it. I understand the new Big East is really C-USA 2.0 but I still think it’s a step in the right direction, particularly if the BE is able to keep the TV dollars up. There was little to be gained by staying in a watered down C-USA. It will be interesting to see what happens with the other 18 sports. It would be a good fit if we can end up in the A-10 or even back to the CAA. As you alluded to, it could be that we will be better positioned when it all gets reshuffled again. Keep the faith.

    • Hey there Colonel. Thanks for checking in on this topic…I always like to hear your comments. I totally agree on the premise that positioning right now is critical. I believe Terry knows full well this is a step wise approach. I like the BE football if we are A10 in all other sports because things are apt to break quickly in this and I want us to be squatting in the region we belong – among the teams we should be playing rather than stretched out all over the place.

      I have little hope that we will see much of a TV deal and expect our exposure will be little more than we already enjoy as like it or not, being on ESPN means everything, but the money will be more than new CUSA so that is helpful and that combined with less overhead to run the olympic sports, should really help us to hire and retain the best coaches and to put monies where they can help us rev up our program.

      Still think we are in a high risk situation with the BE and unless Terry can inject some wisdom into the idiots who run this conference, we could find ourselves in a worse mess than we were and fast.

      Hope you are well Ed.

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