The big news out of the FCS yesterday was that UConn will be leaving the American Athletic Conference and re-joining the Big East — or the conference that owns the rights to the name “Big East,” anyway.
There’s so much to unpack from this news, particularly the obvious “so, what’s the deal with UConn football then?” question, but we’ll put that aside for now. The secondary take on this across the Twitterverse has been the same “Boston College Should Light Millions Of Dollars On Fire” that we see every once in a while:
BC needs to get their basketball team back in the Big East too... play at a level they can compete, travel would be way better for Olympic sports too.— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) June 22, 2019
No. This is insane. You are insane. Anyone suggesting this is insane. The fact that this article even needs to be written is insane.
Gottlieb wasn’t the only one coming up with this yesterday. Very few of these people were actually fans of Boston College, at least. So at least part of this can be explained by a tongue in cheek wish for BC to demote itself from one of the top conferences in the country in almost every sport. I can assume that anyone who feels fondly about the Eagles is only saying these things for nostalgia reasons. And I can sympathize with that! But nobody suggesting that BC leave the ACC for the “Big East” (again, in quotes) has put one iota of thought into this.
(1) The “Big East” of today is just a spin-off of the old Big East, with only the smallest members left. Don’t get me wrong! This is tremendous for UConn basketball, in that it was tremendous for Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewy to escape from their rancid ever-worsening situation in the trash compactor on board the Death Star. But the Big East is an obvious step down from the ACC. Which brings us to...
(2) ...the fact that a lot of these people are suggesting that BC intentionally downgrade to the Big East in the hopes of being competitive again in hoops. As thought the issue hasn’t been coaching or that it’s long since time to improve facilities, and that taking way, way, way, way less money into the athletics department will somehow help either of those situations. Because...
(3) ...why would anyone give up over 27 million dollars a year in conference per-school TV revenue for a conference averaging in the ballpark of 4 million dollars a year? Those numbers are orders of magnitude apart. It’s not like this money is just getting poured into a pool for Father Leahy to swim in.
(4) And finally, football. UConn is able to finally do something to put its floundering basketball team in a position to at least become somewhat more pf a desirable destination to recruits because their football team is such a national laughingstock that they literally don’t even care what happens to it as a result of the Big East move.
I mean, itd SEEM to be a better idea to HAVE a plan, but, https://t.co/TANE1V8k5o— HurleyMania ONCE AND FUTURE BIG EAST CHAMPION (@HurleyMania) June 23, 2019
UConn football is quite possibly the worst program in the entire country (which is really hard to pull off!) and given the state of their recruiting the last few years, things only seem to be getting worse. Why would you commit to the school now when half of your own fans are advocating for the university dropping the sport entirely or moving laterally into the FCS?
Needless to say, Boston College is errrrrrrr not in that position. BC football may not be where we want it to be, but we’ve had some Heisman love in the last few years, we found our way back into the Top 25 again, we had GameDay on campus again, and recruiting has looked pretty good, actually! Everyone wants Boston College basketball to be good again, but no one wants it to be at the expense of a football team that’s actually been respectable for a while now.
We’re not going to sit here and talk about exit fees and the ACC’s Grant Of Rights or anything like that, because that would imply that a move would make sense — which, again, it doesn’t — were it not for the ACC digging in its claws.
So, if you’re one of the people out there saying that Boston College should demote itself, give up tens of millions of dollars in revenue used to actually try and improve our programs, and treat ourselves like the peer of, again, literally the one athletics program that the entire country uses as the butt of every sports joke, then please stop.
BC fans are annoyed because we’re just “okay” lately and we believe we can improve to be successful on the national stage. We’re not annoyed because our university is known nationwide as a literal symbol of embarrassment. Good for UConn for doing something to unhitch their dead weight football program from their historically good basketball team, and hopefully they decide to cut bait entirely and stop burning my tax dollars every year trying to keep Randy Edsall in a job. But Boston College is doing just fine in a real conference, thanks.