Conferencepocalypse II: A building panic

So to all of you out there dreaming up the next big conference shakeup … do yourself a favor and take a couple of deep breaths. The seas of change have calmed for the foreseeable future, which is probably for the best.
— Stewart Mandel, Bowls, Polls and Tattered Souls (2007)

So much for that prognostication, Mr. Mandel.

The Big East commissioner found out about Pittsburgh and Syracuse’s defection to the ACC while in the press box for the Maryland-West Virginia game. (Pitt celebrated this development by blowing a 21-point lead against Iowa.) Somehow lost or immaterial in this so far is the conference bylaw requiring 27 months’ notice.

The NBC article linked above — read the whole thing, and hey, someone else went to the apocalypse metaphor! — also says this:

Should the Big 12 get whittled down to four members, which is certainly a very real possibility depending on how many dominoes fall, the Big East would be in prime position to pluck that conference’s carcass by adding some combination of Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and Baylor.  In fact, the latter two schools have already reportedly made overtures to that conference in case the Big 12′s demise is not exaggerated this time around.

Without Pitt and Syracuse, the football side of the Big East turns into “the former Conference USA All-Stars featuring West Virginia” — unless and until the SEC goes after WV. Right now, that’s considered Iowa State’s best shot if the Big 12 goes belly-up.

That thought gets no love from a New Jersey Star-Ledger columnist who says Rutgers needs out of the Big East ASAP and calls the Big 12′s Forgotten Five “a bunch of football afterthoughts.”

The Hartford Courant’s Jeff Jacobs: “You know what they could be calling UConn’s 24-20 loss to Iowa State Friday night in a few more years? That’s right, a league game.”

Add another blogger throwing Iowa State out of the BCS while bringing Boise State in:

Sorry Charlie goes out to Iowa St, Kansas St, Texas Tech, Baylor, Rutgers, Cincinnati, and South Florida.  Maybe they will have as much fun being the big boys of the lower division where championships are within reach.  Some may argue the relative strength of these programs versus others included but none of them fits as well as others into the regional picture.

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