Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

The 2013-14 season could be an interesting one

I took part in yesterday's conference call with Big East Commissioner John Marinatto as well as the presidents from South Florida, Boise State, Central Florida, Houston, San Diego State and Southern Methodist.

While the impact on women's basketball is not a consideration in the changing landscape of Division I athletics, the portion of the question and answer session which had the most relevance to women's basketball was when the makeup of the 2013-14 Big East was brought up.

Unless Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia are able to pry themselves free from the Big East umbrella a season early there will be 19 teams in the conference with Central Florida, Houston and Southern Methodist joining the conference in all sports in 2013. Marinatto said that so much focus has been spent on trying to add teams to the conference that there have not been official discussions about the conference scheduling format. However, I'd have to think that the conference would have to go to an 18-game format for at least the 2013-14 season.

Marinatto was asked whether the Big East would have each team face the other once if there is a 19-team league in the 2013-14 season.

"I think if that is the case, that would probably be a model that we would employ where everybody would play each other once," Marinatto said. "But we haven't gotten into the specifics of that. I'm just looking at the numbers as you've outlined them and that would make sense.  We haven't had any discussions in regard to what the tournament might look like under that scenario.  That would be another discussion I'm sure that would have to follow."

The Big East has not played an 18-game schedule since the 1998-99 season and I'd have to think the conference will need to decide whether it intends on going back to 18 games sooner rather than later so the conference schools know how many non-conference slots need to be filled in the schedule. Another aspect I'm curious about is whether the conference will opt to utilize a travel partner concept. In other words, if Houston or SMU has to come East to play UConn and Providence in the same season, wouldn't it make sense to have the games come during the same trip? Conversely, wouldn't it make sense to have UConn make one trip to Florida and play Central Florida and South Florida a couple days apart. It's something the conference has not utilized nearly enough, in my opinion, in past years but as the Big East broadens its borders in order to survive, I would think there has to come a time when concessions are made to cut down on travel as much as humanly possible.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Joe said...

I am still amazed at the cynicism overall. The Big 10 has 12 teams. The Big East has teams in California and Idaho. The Southeast Conference has a team from Missouri.

I guess they no longer teach geography or arithmetic in schools these days, eh?

11:53 AM 

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