I have some good news for you UConn fans, Memphis basketball is coming to the Big East. This, as far as it goes, is a good thing. They're not Syracuse and they're not Pittsburgh, but they're a solid program with a good young coach and enough support to stay that way. They're a quality opponent and since UConn has a strong basketball program that means they bring something to the table.
Well, kind of. Just look at the reaction Memphis is getting from our not-so-basketball-friendly brethren (and read this too). You see Memphis is not a good football program. They're hardly a football program at all. To be fair, they have been ranked in the AP Top 25 ... for one week in their history. The point is that they're a mess and the Conference-USAing of the Big East is almost complete. The move makes no sense for the financial health of the league -- thanks a lot Providence -- and I'd love to hear how the Tigers were a better option than say Temple.
But, it is what it is and now we're stuck. So what happens next?
Well, first of all, West Virginia is gone. I know, I know, nothing is official yet, but I guarantee you they'll never play another game as a Big East team. The school and the Big East are currently wrapping up court-mandated mediation to see if they can agree on a price for WVU's departure (and it looks like it'll be $20 million). Sure, that might fail, but it still won't stop WVU from leaving, they'll just wind up paying a higher price.
When that happens the next dominoes to watch are Pittsburgh and Syracuse. If the Big East is smart (or at least if its lawyers are), then the conference will be holding up the WVU announcement long enough to trap the Panthers and Orange in the league for one more year. If not, they'll both probably try and jump for the ACC.
However many teams leave -- be it one or three -- look for the Big East to add that many new members for the 2012 football season. Yes, I know, Boise's president said it was impossible for his team to make it that fast and Memphis was just announced for 2013. Don't believe them, if there are spots someone is coming, because a spot is worth money and everyone involved in this mess is a greedy bastard.
So, in summation: let's hope the ACC wants to expand to 16 teams as soon as possible.