Boise State is a reason the Big East can still be relevant ... for now (Photo by Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images)
The Big East is looking like the low man on the totem pole, we all know that. Heck, even Pitt's new home, the ACC, has its doubters. Still, compared to the ACC, the Big East looks like a far less attractive option.
Big East Coast Bias took a brief look at the conference serving as a continued whipping boy and essentially says things aren't as bad off as they seem.
I'm actually inclined to agree ... well, sort of. For now, anyway.The Big East can still remain relevant, even with recent losses of Pitt, West Virginia, and Syracuse. But that's with the caveat that everything else remains the same.
When it comes to football, losing the three programs hurts more in terms of tradition than it does recent success. No matter how you slice it, Boise State is a huge 'get' for the conference. On the basketball side, there's a hit taken, no doubt. But the Big East is still incredibly strong with programs like Connecticut, Louisville, Villanova, Georgetown, and others.
The new TV deal won't be a great one (I'll get there in a minute), but things could be worse.
And when it comes to the new playoff, I'm fully convinced that the Big East won't be left out if they have a team that warrants getting in. If a team like Boise can add a decent non-conference opponent and run the table in-conference, I think they'd have a shot at playing in it.
The biggest problem as I see it for the Big East is the continued threat of teams bolting for greener pastures. Things may be okay now, but what happens if Louisville gets an invite to the Big 12 or Connecticut and Rutgers get calls from the ACC? Losing even a couple of more schools would be a major blow to the conference. The ACC has this problem to worry about as well, but probably to a lesser degree since there's a bit more quality when it comes to football.
No team leaving may hurt as much as Boise State. The football program is really the class of the new conference and if the Broncos were able to get into a better geographical situation such as the Pac-12 or Big 12 ... well, that would hurt.
That instability is probably a big reason why the TV deal might not be a great one. It's hard to imagine a network doling out the kind of money other conferences have been getting for Friday night games like SMU-South Florida and the like.
In addition to the TV contract, as I pointed out recently, the conference may have a problem finding good bowl tie-ins with its lack of star power and its east-west coverage.
The Big East may be fine as things stand, but there are (and should be) plenty of questions about their long-term stability.