When word of the seven non-FBS Big East schools leaving the conference broke, the two alternatives most discussed were the colleges either joining the existing Atlantic 10 or heading out on their own to start a new conference. According to ZagsBlog, it looks like the latter will be happening.
Rather than join the Atlantic 10, the schools will reportedly try to poach some of those members. Count Xavier and Butler as some that could be interested:
A source close to the decision told CityOfBasketballLove.com on Saturday afternoon that Xavier and Butler will "definitely" be joining the Big Priest schools.
Xavier coach Chris Mack told USA Today he would be interested in the new league.
"Selfishly, I think it’d be great for recruiting," Mack told USA TODAY Sports on Friday. "It’d be great for our program. But at this point, it’s all speculation. We just keep our head down and worry about today’s practice."
Will be interested to see how this all shapes out, but they'll be in direct competition with the A-10 if this goes down. The strange part in all of this is that of any conferences out there, the A-10 seemed to be one of the least prone to conference realignment. That's clearly not the case, though, since it see several of their schools could be targeted.
And according to the ZagsBlog report, the seven could also be interested in other non-Atlantic 10 schools such as Creighton and Gonzaga. If they're able to pluck them away, that would be some conference. So if you're an A-10 school like Butler that gets the call, how could you turn that down?
The A-10 should be able to survive a few defections since they've got so many teams. But if this goes through, they will be weakened a bit - especially if the former Big East schools are able to poach some of the conference's better teams.