WASHINGTON - MARCH 19: The Connecticut Huskies mascot performs during their game against the Cincinnati Bearcats during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Verizon Center on March 19, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
The conference expansion gods giveth, and they taketh away?
According to ESPN's Andy Katz, the University of Connecticut's leadership is actively seeking membership in the Atlantic Coast Conference in response to the rapid departures of Syracuse and Pittsburgh.
"UConn president Susan Herbst is aggressively pursuing membership in the ACC to become the 15th or 16th member institution in the conference, according to a source with direct knowledge with UConn's situation.
According to the source, Herbst was having conversations recently but in light of Pittsburgh's and Syracuse's defections from the Big East, the talks have accelerated in the last 48 hours."
UConn actively seeking to get out of the conference only further destabilizes a Big East Conference that is already on its last legs. If the Big East completely falls in on itself, we may see Pittsburgh and Syracuse as members of the ACC well before the Big East imposed 27-month notification window, as there will be no football conference left to hold both schools to such a time frame.
With Texas to the Pac-12 reportedly gaining some steam, it would make some sense that the ACC would pick up the remaining East Coast all-sports programs and move to 16. That said, UConn and for sake of argument, Rutgers, don't offer much value to the conference after the ACC already pilfered Pitt and Syracuse, so the conference's best course of action may be to stand pat and stay at 14 (for now). I'm clearly biased here, but I see no reason to offer UConn and Rutgers a life raft given that they make such a fuss about Miami and Boston College's move to the ACC back in 2003-04 and both offer only incremental value-add to the conference.
Keep in mind sometimes karma is a bitch.