Mike Tranghese: "Blame me"

Stacy Revere

Think the Big East would like a do-over with this move?

There you go again, Mike Tranghese. Spouting off quotes about how you knew all of this was going to happen. How you knew that a split was inevitable. How the Big East's downfall was pre-determined for years:

"There was too much stress put on the structure (of the Big East)," Tranghese said. "Mostly by football and the money."

At least you're willing to take the blame.

Tranghese said critics who want to place the blame on former commissioner John Marinatto and/or current commissioner Mike Aresco are misguided.

"If they want to blame someone, blame me," Tranghese said. "The thing the Big East didn't have was a football leader -- a Florida, Alabama or USC -- a team that contended for the national championship every year or carried the league. It wasn't strong enough football-wise."

Works for me.

Except one thing. The conference was strong enough football-wise. From 2000-2003, the Big East champion played for the national title in three of the four years. The other season, the Big East champion was #3 in the final BCS standings. The Big East had Miami, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia, who spent many seasons in the top 10 of the BCS. Imagine the original Big East now - Miami, Virginia Tech, BC, West Virginia, Pitt, Syracuse, heck throw in the 2005 additions with Cincinnati and Louisville. That's a solid football and hoops conference.

That's the thing that bothers me about Tranghese. He will say things now about how the demise of the Big East was inevitable. But why does it feel like he didn't do anything to prevent it? Why wasn't there a bigger push to bring Penn State into the league in the 80s? Why didn't he force Notre Dame to go all-in in the 90s? Why, if he knew a split was inevitable, not split the conference in 2005 and save us the embarrassment of DePaul?

It's a multitude of things that ultimately leaves me thinking of how smart all of this sounds - in hindsight. In hindsight, it would have been great to have Penn State and Notre Dame as football members. Think about how stable the conference would have been. No one's leaving in 2003 if Penn State is playing Big East football.

In hindsight, all of these ideas of "what could have been" sound great. But in the world of college athletics today, there aren't do-overs. There's one shot to make the right move and unfortunately for the Big East, a lot of the decisions are now given the "maybe we should have thought this through more" treatment.

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