Orange Watch: The Logical Texas Two Step

Trivia Time:  Who’s the only Big East team in history to go undefeated in all 18 men’s and women’s sponsored sports?

Why, of course, it’s TCU, the trick answer to the trick question, that now has truly made the future of the Big East football conference, at least as a BCS member down the road, well… tricky.

It was pretty easy to forecast as we wrote Sept. 9 that with the ever-changing conference landscape that was already taking place for a second straight year, it was a huge question mark if TCU would ever compete in the Big East.

Once SU and Pittsburgh left for the ACC a few weeks later it was practically a fait de complet, despite the (now hollow) pledge of school chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr. at the much-ballyhooed presidents meeting with commissioner John Marinatto in Washington, D.C. just last weekend in which Marinatto stated afterwards that Boschini “had never wavered” on becoming a Big East member, and was “very positive” during the meeting.

Four days later, TCU was on route to the Big XII, owing the Big East a $5 million so-long kiss for never competing in one league game in any sport, while getting a huge revenue windfall leaving the Mountain West to partake in the Big XII’s new tiered revenue system and staying close to home to boot.

In Providence, it leaves the folks on Park Row West with just six teams, one below the minimum needed to even qualify as a BCS conference, and few options that would at best essentially turn the league into a glorified version of a hybrid MAC/Conference USA in appearance.

That’s not exactly the kind of competition that the big boys sitting at the big table want to share the next time the BCS TV rights are being negotiated for the 2014 season and beyond.

It also potentially leaves a huge scheduling hole in 2012 for the six remaining Big East teams plus the Orange and Pitt who lost TCU and would again need five out-of-conference games.  SU only lists three OOC opponents for 2012 and all are from BCS conferences; Southern California at Met Life Stadium in the Meadowlands, at Minnesota and its two-year old TCF Bank Stadium, and hosting Northwestern in the front end of a home-and-home series.

That leaves only four Dome games with two openings that figure to be filled (if at all possible) by a FCS opponent and another FBS team from a non-BCS conference just to get to six Dome home games (seven with USC in N.J.).

The stability of a likely nine game ACC schedule can’t come soon enough.


As a much anticipated ‘Cuse hoop season draws closer, next Friday is the annual media day on campus followed that evening by the (now) annual Midnight Madness collaboration of hoops and fun.

Five days later is Big East media day in New York, the first large scale public event in which the Orange and Pitt will be amongst their entire Big East brethren and conference administrators since their ACC landing.

It should be a most interesting scene and reaction among those on hand with conference realignment figuring to take up just as much space as who’s going to win on the court this season.

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About Brad Bierman 848 Articles
Now in his sixth decade of covering SU sports, Brad was sports director of WSYR radio for eight years into the early 1990s, then wrote the Orange Watch column for The Big Orange/The Juice print publication for 18 years. A Syracuse University graduate, Brad currently runs his own media consulting business in the Philadelphia suburbs. Follow him on Twitter @BradBierman.