No one knows whether the conference realignment music has truly stopped, but it's clear that Louisville has a seat no matter what. This morning the ACC presidents voted to invite Louisville to the league, throwing the Kentucky school a life-preserver from the wreckage of the Big East:
BREAKING: ACC votes to add Louisville sources tell @espn. Cards will be 6th team to leave Big East for ACC— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) November 28, 2012
No indication yet when the Cards will head to the conference, although Maryland's expected departure of 2014 is probably a safe bet. Also no initial indication of what division the Cards will be in or if the divisions will be reconfigured, but renaming the "Coastal" and "Atlantic" might be practical since the league now has teams in Pittsburgh, Kentucky and upstate New York. But hey, Ron Zook coached in the "Leaders" division, so semantics clearly aren't a priority in college football.
So where does that leave the Big East? Last week, the Providence Journal had an interesting story on the non-football members taking their ball and going home:
One constsntly discussed scenario is the seven basketball schools "going out on their own." That won't happen but what is becoming possible is a ``dissolving'' of the conference. According to the Big East's bylaws, the conference can be dissolved by a two-thirds vote of all members. With one more defection, the seven basketball schools would own that voting advantage over the three remaining all-sports members.
Fans of the football schools have given the non-football schools a lot of grief over the years - and much of it deserved - but who can really blame them for not wanting to be part of this monstrosity? The Big East is nothing more than a Frankenstein's monster of Conference USA, recently FCS and Temple. This conference has been dying since the exodus of Boston College, Virginia Tech and Miami, and now all that's left is the name (and Temple).
So the ACC now has six teams from the old Big East (Pitt, Syracuse, BC, Miami, Virginia Tech, Louisville) plus Notre Dame. So it's basically the Big East of 2003 with Louisville instead of Rutgers and Temple.
I'm ok with that.