UConn Heads Home and Rejoins the Big East
When the Big East did not have football, and they just had basketball, people thought of them as a mid-major conference when realingment happened in college sports. It was an ugly term, and one that probably wasn’t true, yet the national media allowed it to happen with the nominclature of the ‘Power 5 conferences.’ Big East started to breathe like a dragon, they have two National titles in basketball, something the Big 10, Pac-12, Big 12 and SEC all cannot say. Hell, they don’t even have one. The American Athletic Conference had one, but it now will belong in the Big East. UConn had that first title after realignment and even then, it felt weird to call them part of the AAC. They’re home now, and that’s good for the Big East.
UConn is a national brand. Sure, things haven’t been going well for them of late, but Dan Hurley is starting to turn that bus in the right direction. It would be wrong to think the Huskies will not return to prominence under him. Adding another national brand in the northeast part of the country is a huge lift for Big East basketball. It helps build their FOX Sports profile with games like UConn-Georgetown or UConn-Villanova. It helps with the attendance of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden. It gives their women’s tournament a great destination in Conneticutt where women’s basketball is beloved. These are all positives that weigh out any negatives that UConn brings to the table.
While the Big East showed no signs of failing, this is a major leap forward for the conference. Not a thirsty money-driven move by the league, rather, a logical addition that will help out in the new Big East contract along with the upcoming 20-game conference slate that every conference seems to be headed towards in the next few years. Marquette should be pleased that they’re in such a great conference with no signs of turmoil or separation. The Catholic 7 made a decision that has become almost historic to ignore football and let basketball be king. That gamble has proven to be the right one time and again.
That being said, I would be remiss to not feel a bit for Huskies’ football even if it’s been a fucking disaster since the 2011 Fiesta Bowl. Go back to the FCS and try to compete with the North Dakota State’s of the world. You’ll always have that 2010-2011 team, and the time you won at Notre Dame. Taking a step backward is actually one in the right direction.
Welcome back, UConn. And remember, Steve Novak put 48 points in your face and Marquette has been pretty good versus them through the years.