Boston Globe: Latest Conference Realignment End Game Adds Notre Dame, UConn To ACC

Assistant to the Big East Commissioner / Boston Globe BC football beat writer Mark Blaudschun continues to go HAM stumping for the ACC to extend an invite to the University of Connecticut. On Wednesday, Blauds blogged that that Missouri holds the fate of Big East football in its hands, in a report that is (once again) light on sources, page breaks, proper punctuation or the services of an editor.

Let's break down Blaudschun's latest Big East football doomsday scenario one step at a time.

"But if Missouri leaves -- and as of this morning the prevailing theory was that the Tigers were still focused on joining Texas A&M as the 13th and 14th members of the SEC -- the Big 12 would make a move to go from 9 to 12 teams with Big East members Louisville and West Virginia as the prime schools on their wish list. Such a move might also happen even if Missouri remains."

Last I checked, pretty sure Missouri is locked into the Big 12 through 2012 and that the Big 12 is staying at 10 teams for now. Let's keep moving.

"The SEC might have one back up plan if Missouri decides to stay. Word is spreading throug the SEC that Clemson may come into play as team No. 14.
The Tigers are more of an SEC fit than ACC fit in many ways."

OK. This is the first I'm hearing of "word spreading throug [sic] the SEC" that Clemson is now tops on the SEC's list of expansion candidates. But let's go with this. To recap: we have Missouri or Clemson in the SEC and Louisville, West Virginia and a third program, if Missouri leaves, in the Big 12. Carry on.

"If that happens, the ACC will be forced to go for a 14th team. The first choice would be Notre Dame, but if the Irish still want to remain as an independent than UConn comes into the picture."

UConn comes onto the ACC's radar if they need to replace Clemson. It's only been a couple days since Blaudschun last mentioned this fact, so just in case you have forgotten, Blauds is here to remind you that UConn is high on the ACC's list of possible replacement candidates.

"But the prevailing wisdom right now is that Missouri will likely be headed to the Big 12, which would set Louisville and West Virginia into motion."

Pretty sure Missouri can't be headed to the Big 12. They are currently a member of that conference.

"Once that happens, all sorts of things happen, none of them good for the Big East,'' said one Big East source. "Without those two schools, the non-football (7 members) would say they had enough and break off on their own. Notre Dame would be forced to make a decision and probably head to the ACC, (which has openly said that any expansion beyond 14 teams would probably be predicated on Notre Dame being one of the teams). If Notre Dame goes, then UConn would be the 16th team on that list.''

Wait. I thought Notre Dame would still want to remain as an independent? See above. Now they are going to jump into the ACC with both feet and take UConn with them? How does one unnamed Big East source know that Notre Dame is willing to give up its football independence to join the ACC? If any Big East official knew the first thing about what Notre Dame's intentions were, well, the conference wouldn't be in this mess in the first place.

Notre Dame willing to trade in its football independence and join the ACC as an all-sports member just because they can't dump their Olympic sports in the Big East? Weak argument, Blaudschun. This has less of a chance of happening than Blauds figuring out Twitter enough to send you an @ message, or not starting a Tweet with "We think."

Further, how does an unnamed source know that UConn would be the 16th team on that list? Are they part of the ACC expansion decision-making process? Didn't the Big East commissioner hear about Syracuse and Pitt's departures from the conference from CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy? Suddenly, this unnamed Big East source is tuned into the ACC's next move. Of course.

Go on ...

"Without Louisville, West Virginia or Louisville, the Big East would be reduced to three survivors--Rutgers, South Florida and Cincinnati."

Louisville counts double. 

"Of that group, Rutgers would have the best chance of hooking up with a BCS conference, with the Big 10 the most likely, if only realistic, possibility."

So the Big Ten, whose commissioner has unequivocally stated that expansion is not on the radar, is going to expand to Rutgers and ... no one? They are going to stop at 13? Seriously? And if by "best chance of hooking up with a BCS conference" he means my chances of hooking up with Gisele Bündchen, then yes, I agree with you.

Basically, the only thing that Blaudschun seems to get right in this article is the fact that the basketball schools and the football schools can't agree to anything. Keep doing what you do, Big East.

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