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Marinatto: Maryland, BC, UCF and Penn State in the Big East?


Raetus

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Source: http://www.boston.com/sports/colleges/football/articles/2010/04/22/big_east_is_thinking_bigger/

Big East is thinking bigger

By Mark Blaudschun

Globe Staff / April 22, 2010

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — With all the talk of expansion, the chatter around the Bowl Championship Series meetings here has the Big East under siege again, with schools such as Rutgers, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse possible targets of the Big Ten.

But yesterday the Big East made a proactive move, hiring former National Football League commissioner Paul Tagliabue as a consultant, to help it not only survive, but thrive.

“The idea was to think outside the box,’’ said Big East commissioner John Marinatto. “Look at different ways of doing things. Try and see what possibilities are out there. I don’t know what that is. It could be anything.’’

Marinatto said Tagliabue would start work immediately, and all areas of operation would be discussed, including expansion. When asked if he could envision the Big East — which already seems maxed out at 16 teams in basketball — actually getting bigger, he said, “Anything is possible.’’

Marinatto has talked to Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany ever since he took over for Mike Tranghese as Big East commissioner last summer. He has sought Delany’s counsel even though the Big Ten very well could target several Big East schools in its own expansion discussions.

“Brilliant,’’ said Marinatto about Delany yesterday during a break in the meetings. “I learn so much talking to him, listening to him. He’s schooling me in the way I need to think in this business.’’

One of the things Marinatto has picked up is to have a sense of purpose, especially for a first-year commissioner.

“The idea,’’ said Marinatto, “is to think strategically about the future.’’

Yesterday, Delany said no decisions had been made on any Big Ten expansion, and no announcement would be forthcoming any time soon.

One thing that appears more likely is that Notre Dame, which has been the center of most expansion speculation, will remain a football independent and a member of the Big East in basketball and other non-revenue producing sports.

But there could be some other action. There has been speculation that the Big East is going after Maryland, and there has even been talk that it could send out an olive branch to see if Boston College would come back. Throw in Central Florida as a partner in that state with South Florida, add that to a core Northeast group centered around Rutgers, Pitt, Syracuse, Connecticut, and West Virginia, and you might have something.

Any inclusion of Atlantic Coast Conference schools probably would happen only if a league such as the Southeastern Conference dipped in. If the ACC lost schools such as Clemson, Georgia Tech, Florida State, or Miami, Maryland and BC might be more inclined to look for safe haven in the Northeast.

Yesterday, SEC commissioner Mike Slive said his league would be proactive.

Critics suggest that the Big East is too big as a basketball league at 16 teams. What about 20?

“Who is to say we couldn’t go to 20 teams in basketball, but not have one 20-team league, but a league with pods of four or five teams?’’ said Marinatto. “You have to think strategic alliances — what strategic alliances could we create?

“Why couldn’t we do something with Notre Dame in football, where they aren’t a member but they schedule groups of teams in our conference [which is already being done]? Why couldn’t we do more with television, and have a Big East television network [similar to the Big Ten’s highly successful operation]?

“We need a new way of thinking. Strategic thinking. We need to be proactive rather than reactive, and develop our assets. Paul’s theory is, ‘Think long-term, think over the horizon.’ ‘Out-of-the-box thinking,’ Jim is always saying to me, ‘You have to think differently.’

“So hopefully Paul is going to help us think differently.’’

Marinatto said that making Big East football stronger is a priority.

“We do need to do that, because we have the Eastern footprint of the country,’’ he said. “But we also need quality.’’

Whether Maryland and BC can be pried way from the ACC is iffy. The Big East also would love to have Penn State back, in an ideal world.

For the Big East, the hiring of Tagliabue was the first move.

“The first of many steps over the next several months that we need to make,’’ said Marinatto, who may have fired the first shot in a long and dramatic change in the structure of college athletics.

Mark Blaudschun can be reached at blaudschun@globe.com.

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Typical how the title of this thread overstates what was said

All that was stated about Penn State would be in an IDEAL WORLD.

..They are NOT moving to the BE.

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penn state isn't going to go to the BE unless the big 10 pisses them off with the expansion plan.  even then I don't see it happening.

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I love how the BE commish is talking about the Big Ten Commish schooling him in every way, teaching him the job. Sounds like we will really be prepared if something happens.....or not

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since the commish is being proactive now why not offer nd an offer they can't refuse.  Expand the conference to 12 football teams, allow nd would play 5 big east teams(they already play at least 2 sometimes 3 in a season).  That would allow them to schedule 7 additional games and keep all there big rivals on the schedule.  let them keep there contract with nbc.  Basically they would be independent except they would be considered a big east team.  offer maryland, virginia, and b.c. a bid to join the conference.  If nd bites we might be able to snag these schools, plus with all the rumors of the sec snagging a couple acc teams they might be more willing to bolt.  The contract is up in two years with the BE.  This would make it easier for them to negotiate a more lucrative deal or start it's own network.  As of now the acc doesn't pay out that much more than the BE does, and they are having trouble negotiating there new contract.  Would this be enough to keep some of the schools that the big 10 is considering from bolting?  This is a long shot, but why not?  it's better to try this than to just scoop up memphis, ucif, or ecu.  comments??

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I know some of you will ask how would that benefit nd....

nd would split the BE profits so they would have their 15 mil plus 7 to 10 mil from BE. 

If the BE starts there own network this could increase for Nd

it will be easier for them to get to a bcs game (they could lose to usc, michigan, purdue and still win the BE)

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since the commish is being proactive now why not offer nd an offer they can't refuse.  Expand the conference to 12 football teams, allow nd would play 5 big east teams(they already play at least 2 sometimes 3 in a season).  That would allow them to schedule 7 additional games and keep all there big rivals on the schedule.  let them keep there contract with nbc.  Basically they would be independent except they would be considered a big east team.  offer maryland, virginia, and b.c. a bid to join the conference.  If nd bites we might be able to snag these schools, plus with all the rumors of the sec snagging a couple acc teams they might be more willing to bolt.  The contract is up in two years with the BE.  This would make it easier for them to negotiate a more lucrative deal or start it's own network.  As of now the acc doesn't pay out that much more than the BE does, and they are having trouble negotiating there new contract.  Would this be enough to keep some of the schools that the big 10 is considering from bolting?  This is a long shot, but why not?  it's better to try this than to just scoop up memphis, ucif, or ecu.  comments??

1. Virginia won't leave the ACC. Especially without VT. UVA and the VA governor are the ones who rallied to get VT to the ACC in the first place. They're a package, and they won't leave.

2. Maryland is a charter ACC member. I really don't see them moving conferences. They're not super great buddies with BC, and being in range of both VA schools and the North Carolina schools, I think they enjoy their location and affiliation.

3. Boston College is the one shot the BE has (besides ND) to get a team that isn't from a lower conference. I think BC may be more inclined to leave if they see the BE staying together. Having ND would help, as Boston has a huge Catholic ND fanbase, and the BC-ND games are somewhat of a tradition.

Where would the ACC go if the BE got BC? Unsure. UCF could work since it's geographically between FSU and Miami, or they may look at adding Navy, which is near MD and the VA schools. They have slim pickings IMO, unless they wanted to go west, but there's not many BCS schools to pick from.

4. ND is an all or nothing. The half ass conference slate is bogus. The only offer we can give them is to let them play an 8 game BE schedule (be it in a 9 team or 12 team setup), keep their NBC money, and they don't have to share any conference money.

ND likes it's national schedule, but lately it's been pretty weak. Playing Washington or Washington State hasn't been much help, neither has Michigan. The only teams I see USC really needing to play every year would be Navy and USC. They could rotate playing games with Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Boston College, and the 2 Washington teams...or play someone new. They'd have 4 OOC games, and even still they could win the BE (let's face it, even with BC, UCF, and Memphis, it won't be a powerhouse). But winning the BE and a strong OOC schedule (theirs would be if they played Navy, USC, and a good Michigan and Michigan State team) would have them competing for alot every year.

I still doubt ND goes anywhere, even the BE. The reality that their academic standards and the sheer number of FBS schools who can compete for championships has weakened their national power to basically nothing means that they'd rather schedule some easy schedule and hope the yesteryear coattails they've been riding for the last 20 years will get them somewhere.

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Marinatto just confirmed what I figured out yesterday, he has no freaking clue what he is doing. This type of restructuring is way out of his ability. He is getting schooled by the Big 10. Tags needs to take full control of the BE immediately. Where the hell is Mike T.? His handpicked guy is completely inadequate for this type of job. Thank god Tags is onboard! I'm pretty confident he will be able to create a BE Network and save the conference from going down the crapper. Or I could be wrong and he will only save the Catholic Schools. If BE goes to 20 teams Tags will just set up a divisional system like the NFL for Hoopes. Then we can have 12 football teams and a Championshp game.

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I wouldn't rule out Penn State.  The Big Ten gets a large chunk of its revenue due to Penn State.  Certainly not all, but Pennsylvania is a big part of the Big Ten network and PSU is a huge school with a massive following.

It ultimately comes down to if Tagliabue can find revenue for the Big East.  He'd love to bring BC back in the fold because that would lock down the NE.  Penn State coupled with UConn, Syracuse, and Rutgers would pretty much lock down NYC and also give the Big East a lock on Philadelphia and the whole state of Pennsylvania.

Then you take aim at Florida and try to lure Miami and FSU into the fold.  You'd have to negotiate concurrently, but FSU and Miami could be a lure for Penn State just as Penn State could lure them.  But Penn State also has more natural rivals in the Big East.  It all comes down to revenue.  If Tags can find a way to make Penn State richer then they'd bolt the B10 and FSU and Miami would also bolt.  The major question is if BC is a big enough draw in Massachusetts.  It might be better to try to get Virginia and VT in the fold.

Or the Big East could be pre-emptive and become the first 16 team football conference.  Think about it.  Four divisions and a six game conference playoff to determine the champion.  If the NCAA would approve something like that, the Big East could be the first conference to feature playoff football at the collegiate level. 

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Typical how the title of this thread overstates what was said

All that was stated about Penn State would be in an IDEAL WORLD.

..They are NOT moving to the BE.

You don't know how question marks work, do you?

And the title did exactly what it was meant to do; it made you read it: Journalism 101.

I don't think any of those teams, sans UCF, are necessarily moving to the Big East if there is a shuffle. Maryland and letting BC back in would not be moves I would be opposed to seeing happen. Of course, we'd have to have something to offer them. It's more of just nice to see any talk, however loose as it may be, about actually making some type of move before the Big Ten does so that the remaining teams that are pilfered have to actually sit and think about the move before they leave for the Big Ten.

I agree, though, with the consensus that Marinatto is way over his head.

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