The Big East meeting of the damned

Big East commissioner John Marinatto is claiming that everything is hunky dory in Big East land, even though that is clearly a lie, with UConn still hellbent on bolting the conference. Rutgers and West Virginia are not saying anything publicly, but they can't exactly be happy after spending months trying to ouster Marinatto. Now, with leverage fading (the Pac-12's wariness of the Longhorn Network scuttling, again, the giant domino scenarios), could the regime of Marinatto and his confederates be more emboldened than ever to exert total control?

Staying in a hybrid league is not going to work. UCF and Houston are arguably viable candidates, but ECU is sketchy, and Memphis holds little appeal on the football end, which should be driving expansion. Once again the league's divided loyalties are blinding it to the best possible options. UCF is a on the table despite its overlap with existing member USF, but Temple isn't even going to be considered thanks to the presence of Villanova. The football/hoops double standard still exists clear as day, which only underscores why the football schools need to put the kibosh on this arrangement. This supposed grand compromise is rotten, and with UConn exposing Marinatto as a fraud almost immediately, we now all sit waiting for the worm to turn once again.

If the Big East football programs can split, thereby jettisoning Marinatto (hey, Oklahoma made firing Beebe a condition of saving the Big XII) and the non-football schools, they still end up ahead. They lost Pitt and Syracuse, but both are at least replaceable in football, and losing the eight non-football schools is a huge net positive on the whole. Plus, there's still the whole Versus card to play in a year. If they stick together however, it's a lose-lose proposition for all - the Big East is still unstable, ripe for another round of chaos at the whims of more powerful actors, and always will be when they still think federated members is a remotely realistic option (well, at least we saw more insight yesterday as to why Bob Mulcahy was inexplicably obsessed with scheduling the service academies.)

Update: missed this USA Today report from overnight. Marinatto wasn't just fibbing, there was little truth at all to his statement of unity. Everyone is still looking for the exit.

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