Syracuse and Pittsburgh's decision to leave the Big East is surely giving the remaining schools and their Athletic Directors headaches. What is in store for the "basketball-only" schools? (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
When Syracuse and Pittsburgh's move to the Atlantic Coast Conference became official as of 8AM this morning, fans of the remaining Big East schools woke up wondering what is in store for their school in the future.
Will the Big East look to add schools from the Big 12? Will the Big East dissolve altogether? At this point, no one really knows. Heck, the Big East commissioner wasn't even aware that the ACC was attempting to steal two schools, let alone the fact that the deal was near completion yesterday.
Furthermore, Seton Hall fans should have a special interest in this groundbreaking development. Seton Hall shares a common interest with DePaul, Georgetown, Villanova, Providence, St. John's and Marquette - all seven schools are "basketball-only schools." In other words, they don't have a D-I football program (or a football program at all) to hang their hats on.
Should these schools stick together and form their own conference? You can bet that the other Big East schools with D-I football teams (Rutgers, UConn, Louisville, USF, Notre Dame, Cincinnati and West Virginia) are looking for possible moves to the Big Ten and the ACC. A pro-active move on the part of the basketball-only schools to form a new conference with other similar schools (Butler, Xavier, Richmond, Dayton, etc) could ensure long term stability even if it suffers immediate popularity and monetary hits.
The other more likely alternative would be to swoop in and snatch two (assuming no other schools depart) Big 12 teams. Kansas and Kansas State are the two Big 12 teams that come to mind. While both have high caliber basketball programs, their football programs are slacking and as we all know, football ($$) seems to be the catalyst through all this.
No matter the direction(s) that the Big East and its schools take its undeniably too early to speculate with accuracy about what will happen. The ball will get rolling once the Big East specifies how long the waiting period will be between now and when Syracuse and Pittsburgh's transfer will take effect. The preliminary number is 27 months (December of 2013) but the word is that the number will probably be shrunk (perhaps to 24 months so that the waiting period is 2 seasons instead of three.)
Beyond the status of Seton Hall in the coming years, I wonder what is going through the mind of Kyle Anderson. After all, the St. Anthony (NJ) standout is set to have an in-home with Seton Hall tomorrow and announce his collegiate decision on Tuesday. UCLA and Florida remain in stable situations with their conferences while St. John's, Seton Hall and Georgetown are suddenly in limbo just two days before Anderson's decision. Kevin Willard has quite a task of convincing Kyle that all is well. Conscious of his talent level, Anderson might be playing in the NBA before the conference re-alignment even takes place.
Update #1: According to someone in Kyle Anderson's 'inner circle', Kyle has already decided where he will go to school next fall. If true (which is likely), this means that Seton Hall's in-home visit with Anderson tomorrow is either a courtesy visit or Anderson plans on committing to Kevin Willard in person.
Speculation: The Andersons decided on Friday (right before Florida visit) to change their in-home date with Seton Hall from the 18th to 19th. Does that mean Anderson was set on Seton Hall before the visit? UCLA? At this point, who knows.
Update #2: Reports are swirling that UConn is "aggressively pursuing" ACC membership. The collapse of the Big East is fast approaching.