… says Brett McMurphy. He follows that up with the usual talk about BYU, Air Force, and Army. For the most part it’s everything you already know. But at the end, we get this bit:
When the Big East grows to 14, league officials already have had discussions how to split the divisions. The most popular 14-team model, sources said, would be “Red” and “Blue” divisions that are non-geographic.
The Red Division would consist of Louisville, South Florida, Connecticut, San Diego State, SMU, Navy and Memphis. The Blue Division: Cincinnati, Central Florida, Rutgers, Boise State, Houston, Temple and the 14th team.
Each team would play six league games within its division and two games against the other division, including one permanent cross-division rival game. Those annual cross-division matchups would be: Louisville-Cincinnati, USF-UCF, UConn-Rutgers, San Diego State-Boise State, SMU-Houston, Navy-Temple and Memphis versus the 14th team.
Well there’s something new to talk about.
Geography-based divisions were off the table pretty early. Neither Cincinnati or Louisville wanted to be in a “West” division, and the new conference members didn’t want to play in a division by themselves without really integrating with the “old” Big East. This is the first report we’ve seen of a possible divisional alignment, and while it’s possible that it’s subject to change, I like this setup. For Navy, anyway. We’d keep our developing rivalry with SMU (GANSZ TROPHY FOREVER!), gain a permanent presence in California, and have the fringe benefit of playing in places where there are a lot of Navy fans when we hit the road (San Diego and Memphis). I don’t mind playing Temple as our cross-divisional rival, although I might prefer Rutgers only because they’ve become more of a rival recently. That’s splitting hairs, though, since we’re no stranger to Temple either. If Air Force becomes the 14th member then it wouldn’t matter either way since we’d play them instead.
The only downside in this alignment is not having an annual game against UCF. I was hoping to start a rivalry with them, with the trophy being George O’Leary’s severed head on a stick. It’s not too late to make it happen, Big East!
What would your ideal divisions look like?