Say hello to UConn's proposed permanent rival. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Conference realignment reporter extraordinaire Brett McMurphy has a new story up detailing the Big East's internal debate about who to pursue as a 14th member and whether or not to expand to 16 teams. It's very interesting and worth a read, but the most interesting news for UConn fans comes at the end when McMurphy talks about how the Big East might align itself. It will likely use six-team east and west divisions next year, but when the conference grows in 2014 things would get very interesting:
When the Big East grows to 14, league officials already have had discussions how to split the divisions. The most popular 14-team model, sources said, would be "Red" and "Blue" divisions that are non-geographic.
The Red Division would consist of Louisville, South Florida, Connecticut, San Diego State, SMU, Navy and Memphis. The Blue Division: Cincinnati, Central Florida, Rutgers, Boise State, Houston, Temple and the 14th team.
Each team would play six league games within its division and two games against the other division, including one permanent cross-division rival game. Those annual cross-division matchups would be: Louisville-Cincinnati; USF-UCF; UConn-Rutgers; San Diego State-Boise State; SMU-Houston; Navy-Temple and Memphis vs. the 14th team.
That's a bit of a mixed bag for UConn fans. Having Rutgers as an annual rival is a smart decision, but the proposed eight-game schedule means that we'd only play the other six teams in the blue division once every six years, and presumably host them once every twelve. That might be good in some cases (no Temple!) but it's disappointing in others (no Boise or Cincinnati).
UConn fans should feel good about where they would stand in the competitive pecking order of the Red division though, as it would appear that in a typical year the Huskies would be a win over Louisville away from making the Big East Championship game.
What are your thoughts on the proposal? Leave them in them comments.