A Modest Proposal: Season Tip-off Old Big East Tournament

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I did not know much about Boston College, much less its sports teams, prior to applying and setting foot on campus in 2005. I was vaguely aware that BC had just left the Big East and was embarking on a new athletics journey in the ACC. You would think that an 18 year old from the northeast, with relatives who had gone to Georgetown, would be more acutely aware of college athletics, but I wasn’t. That all changed with my freshman year at BC and my own journey into Eagles fandom that some would say is now fanaticism.

One thing that I have never quite been able to shake was what seemed to be the intensely personal rivalries the Old Big East teams had with each other. What fueled this, it seems to me, were that these rivalries divided families. Much like Clemson-South Carolina might divide a family from Spartanburg, BC-Villanova would divide a family from Westchester or Morristown.

I have two uncles with degrees from Georgetown and two cousins there now. Remarkably no one in the family went to Villanova and my parents were from the Bronx so went to Fordham and not St. John’s. The proposal below came out of a conversation with my cousins over the summer. I’ve brought it up with alums from other OBE schools and they were enthusiastic about it too. And let’s face it, we get excited when we play Providence, we were glad when Syracuse joined the ACC, and any games against Georgetown or UConn carry a little extra weight. It would be fun to play in a pre-season/ early season Old Big East tournament.

Each year now we have a number of "tip-off" classics to choose from. 2k Classic, Wooden Classic, any number you can think of. Duke-Kentucky played in one last night. I propose that to kick off the season, the Founding members of the original Big East play a three day tournament. Participating schools will be: BC, Georgetown, UConn, Syracuse, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Providence, and Villanova. The bracket would set up with four teams on each side with the "championship" game on Saturday. Ideally the game would be played at MSG, though negotiating a three-day tournament around Knicks and Rangers schedules might be tough.

This would be a great opportunity for BC. It would give us a tremendous amount of television exposure as you can be sure ESPN would jump at the rights to televise this. It would give our NY based alums a chance to see the team. It will also give us a chance to showcase our team to Metropolitan area recruits against peer institutions. And it will breath a new life into old rivalries.

I’m interested to see what you in the BC community think. Like I said, my fandom started after the days when BC was leaving the Big East. I have no particular reason to hold enmity toward the old Big East. I think this will be a good way to rekindle some old rivalries and get our team some exposure as the program is on the rebound.