UConn back to Big East?

sodenj5

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Let’s be 100% honest. UConn sold their soul to try and become a football school. I get why. Football is big dollars. Huge dollars.

But they bastardized what was a basketball institution. I think of Syracuse, Villanova, and St. John’s when I think of UConn. I think of the Big East tournament and thrillers in the Garden. I don’t think of a shit football program and games against Memphis.

There’s no shame in being an excellent basketball school. I’m happy they’re returning to the Big East and I might actually watch some games this year.
 

BaseballJones

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I love football as a sport, but I hate what college football has done to college athletics. As an SU alum, I fully understand our move to the ACC, which contributed to the demise of the greatest basketball conference in college sports, the old Big East. But I hate that football drives all these decisions for all these schools. UConn was seduced by football, even though they really weren't much of a football school - only relatively recently becoming a D1 football program. And so it's good that they're back in the "Big East", but let's fact it...it's not the same Big East as it once was.

UConn had to cut four varsity sports, not really because of Covid, but because of the utter failure of their football program. Yet football, which racked up a $19 million deficit just this past year alone, survives, even though it's that program's failures that caused the largest percentage of the UConn athletic department shortfall. The single biggest reason for UConn's athletic department financial mess is their awful football program, but of course, because it's football, it survives while other programs get axed. I hate it.
 

OilCanShotTupac

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Despite being trounced by Oklahoma in the '10 Fiesta Bowl, the program was respectable then and on the verge of sustainability. True that the pipeline of good players in the Northeast is not sufficient for a good program, but they beat WV, Syracuse, and Pitt that year and ND and South Carolina the year before - whatever the relative strengths of those programs at the time those are programs with good football names.

Pasqualoni was a disastrous hire. The program was too fragile to weather this one mistake, unfortunately.

Is it possible for the basketball program to raise the profile of the school again to the point where they'd be attractive to a P5? Very doubtful. The Northeast is just not prime territory for college football. Despite its relative success last year, BC has been a weak sister of the ACC since joining. Rutgers in the B1G has been a disaster. The get of those media markets isn't worth it. Neither BC or Rutgers had the success in another sport like UConn basketball (and the women's program, which you'd think might be attractive to a P5) so maybe UConn is marginally better situated. But the smart money is that train has left the station, right?

So what about the Rent? I went to a couple of games. I like it. Of course, in true Connecticut government-by-well-meaning-but-clueless fashion, it's neither fish nor fowl - it's not an on-campus stadium with all of the atmosphere that goes with it, but there's no inherent offsetting value to where it is, other than a vague "it's close to Hartford" (irrelevant for college football). Unless you like the view of the P&W plant.

I would love for the Rent to become the home of an MLS franchise. The USMNT has played there successfully. The USL (second tier of American soccer) Hartford Athletic drew 5000/game in its first year - not great but not terrible for a team playing in crappy Dillon Stadium and 90% of stadium capacity. It would be a great fit IMO. The trouble is that MLS is doing well enough that there are more desirable markets than Hartford without teams. Probably won't happen.

So- a disaster, right?
 

kenneycb

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BC's been fine in the ACC. They're no different than, say, an NC State or Wake Forest that's been there forever. Sucked in basketball recently but football's been middle of the pack with a couple of crappy years thrown in there.
 

BaseballJones

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BC's been fine in the ACC. They're no different than, say, an NC State or Wake Forest that's been there forever. Sucked in basketball recently but football's been middle of the pack with a couple of crappy years thrown in there.
And honestly, the ACC is a great fit for Syracuse too. Football has been up and down, but it's been fine. Obviously SU has been a great fit for the ACC (and vice-versa) in basketball (both men's and women's). And in LAX, SU has been right there with some of their bigger rivals like UNC, Duke, and Virginia. I just hate that the old Big East broke up because of football. I miss those BE basketball days. :-(
 

RedOctober3829

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UConn is going to do so much better in the Big East. Hurley knows how to recruit the Northeast really well. Now he can sell recruits on playing in MSG and playing the traditional BE rivals rather than have to sell Tulsa, Tulane, East Carolina, etc. He will now start to pull in higher rated guys(has started that already actually). I am so bullish on the future of this program.
 

mauf

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BC's been fine in the ACC. They're no different than, say, an NC State or Wake Forest that's been there forever. Sucked in basketball recently but football's been middle of the pack with a couple of crappy years thrown in there.
Among the charter members of the Big East, only BC has a better program in football than in basketball. Realignment has been good for them. It’s been alright for Syracuse and bad for everyone else. (Edit: Pitt was not a charter member; realignment has been good for them too.)

From an institutional standpoint, UConn should drop football. Whether they can do that politically is a separate question. I think @OilCanShotTupac is on to something with his idea for an MLS team — in addition to being a good fit for the area, it would give UConn a graceful way to drop football without abandoning the Rent after so much public money was invested in it.
 

RedOctober3829

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Among the charter members of the Big East, only BC has a better program in football than in basketball. Realignment has been good for them. It’s been alright for Syracuse and bad for everyone else. (Edit: Pitt was not a charter member; realignment has been good for them too.)

From an institutional standpoint, UConn should drop football. Whether they can do that politically is a separate question. I think @OilCanShotTupac is on to something with his idea for an MLS team — in addition to being a good fit for the area, it would give UConn a graceful way to drop football without abandoning the Rent after so much public money was invested in it.
They won't drop the program because that will piss off a lot of alumni and donors. What they should have done all along is keep UConn in the CAA and all the other sports in the Big East. But, they made the jump to FBS and have to live with it now.
 

BaseballJones

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The "easy" out for UConn vis-a-vis football is to play the CTE card. "We're gravely concerned about CTE and the health impact football has on these young men. Therefore we are making the incredibly difficult decision to end football and focus our resources on other athletics that come with less risk." Something like that. It's a lie, and an obvious one, because we all know they'd be cutting football for $$ reasons, but it's at least palatable. And, frankly, quite possibly the morally right thing to do, given what we know about football and CTE. For UConn, it would give them political cover while ending a totally failed program that has caused the entire athletic department and school itself enormous problems.
 

Dan Murfman

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All I wanted to do was just make a post that UConn was back in the Big East. But here are relitigating UConn and their football decision. I‘m a basketball fan first but I’m glad they tried. I had some great times at the Rent. When Miami and VT left UConn had to come in early and though they had been in D1 only a few years they never embarrassed themselves before Edsall left. It was a down year for ND but UConn went into South Bend and beat them. It was one of best sporting events I’ve ever been at. And for a total failure of a program from 2004 when they first joined football until 2010 when they went to Fiesta Bowl, Syracuse finished a head of them one time. Like OCST said above hiring Syracuse idiot Pasqualoni followed by Diaco killed the program. They get that hiring right maybe they get picked for the ACC or at least be able to compete in the AAC.
 

RedOctober3829

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All I wanted to do was just make a post that UConn was back in the Big East. But here are relitigating UConn and their football decision. I‘m a basketball fan first but I’m glad they tried. I had some great times at the Rent. When Miami and VT left UConn had to come in early and though they had been in D1 only a few years they never embarrassed themselves before Edsall left. It was a down year for ND but UConn went into South Bend and beat them. It was one of best sporting events I’ve ever been at. And for a total failure of a program from 2004 when they first joined football until 2010 when they went to Fiesta Bowl, Syracuse finished a head of them one time. Like OCST said above hiring Syracuse idiot Pasqualoni followed by Diaco killed the program. They get that hiring right maybe they get picked for the ACC or at least be able to compete in the AAC.
The big rumor was that either or both of BC/Cuse was blocking UConn from coming into the ACC. If they had gotten in the ACC, they'd have been golden because of the massive revenues from TV contracts and revenue sharing. The problem, as you know, at UConn is money.
 

Ale Xander

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Despite being trounced by Oklahoma in the '10 Fiesta Bowl, the program was respectable then and on the verge of sustainability. True that the pipeline of good players in the Northeast is not sufficient for a good program, but they beat WV, Syracuse, and Pitt that year and ND and South Carolina the year before - whatever the relative strengths of those programs at the time those are programs with good football names.

Pasqualoni was a disastrous hire. The program was too fragile to weather this one mistake, unfortunately.

Is it possible for the basketball program to raise the profile of the school again to the point where they'd be attractive to a P5? Very doubtful. The Northeast is just not prime territory for college football. Despite its relative success last year, BC has been a weak sister of the ACC since joining. Rutgers in the B1G has been a disaster. The get of those media markets isn't worth it. Neither BC or Rutgers had the success in another sport like UConn basketball (and the women's program, which you'd think might be attractive to a P5) so maybe UConn is marginally better situated. But the smart money is that train has left the station, right?

So what about the Rent? I went to a couple of games. I like it. Of course, in true Connecticut government-by-well-meaning-but-clueless fashion, it's neither fish nor fowl - it's not an on-campus stadium with all of the atmosphere that goes with it, but there's no inherent offsetting value to where it is, other than a vague "it's close to Hartford" (irrelevant for college football). Unless you like the view of the P&W plant.

I would love for the Rent to become the home of an MLS franchise. The USMNT has played there successfully. The USL (second tier of American soccer) Hartford Athletic drew 5000/game in its first year - not great but not terrible for a team playing in crappy Dillon Stadium and 90% of stadium capacity. It would be a great fit IMO. The trouble is that MLS is doing well enough that there are more desirable markets than Hartford without teams. Probably won't happen.

So- a disaster, right?
BC lacrosse >>>>>>> Uconn [Edit: Men's] basketball

hockey too, both, but that's obviously not ACC
 
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BaseballJones

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The big rumor was that either or both of BC/Cuse was blocking UConn from coming into the ACC. If they had gotten in the ACC, they'd have been golden because of the massive revenues from TV contracts and revenue sharing. The problem, as you know, at UConn is money.
It was BC that had the issue with UConn. That's because UConn was pissed at BC for being one of the first to leave the Big East for the ACC. Blood feud at this point, and I don't think BC will ever approve UConn entering the ACC.
 

Humphrey

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Senator Blumenthal, in fact, as Atty. General, sued BC. That didn't go over too well in Boston. Plus, as others have said, it's not a football region and it's not good business for either school to have a nearby FBS competitor.
 

StuckOnYouk

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All I wanted to do was just make a post that UConn was back in the Big East. But here are relitigating UConn and their football decision. I‘m a basketball fan first but I’m glad they tried. I had some great times at the Rent. When Miami and VT left UConn had to come in early and though they had been in D1 only a few years they never embarrassed themselves before Edsall left. It was a down year for ND but UConn went into South Bend and beat them. It was one of best sporting events I’ve ever been at. And for a total failure of a program from 2004 when they first joined football until 2010 when they went to Fiesta Bowl, Syracuse finished a head of them one time. Like OCST said above hiring Syracuse idiot Pasqualoni followed by Diaco killed the program. They get that hiring right maybe they get picked for the ACC or at least be able to compete in the AAC.
Murf, I was in South Bend that night too. It was surreal and the UConn fans were loud as hell there. If anyone had said 7-8 years after UConn went D1 that they would be going to Notre Dame and winning in OT, not a person in the world would have believed it. Pummeling Steve Spurrier's South Carolina team in a bowl game. Owning Syracuse football for 5 or 6 years in a row. Making it to the Fiesta Bowl - yeah it was a weak conference that year but so what. We had to beat West Virginia to get there. WV had routinely been the team to beat in the BE at that point.

Here's what RGIII - the Heisman QB at Baylor said about playing at UConn:
When we played at UConn my freshman year, that was the loudest place I've ever been as a football player. The stands are right next to the field, it was packed, and everyone was yelling. That was probably the coolest place for me to play at aside from Texas, Texas A&M, and Nebraska.

Does that sound like a place that shouldn't have a football program? Edsall hung them to dry in the middle of the night and they made two HORRIBLE hirings in a row. That's what has led to this path.

The irony is now that they are independent and putting a pretty good schedule together on the fly with GREAT pay games against Clemson, Michigan, Ohio State, etc. down the road, Edsall is bringing in the program's best recruiting class in 10 years.

UConn has a perfect setup right now with Big East for most sports, Hockey East for hockey, and independence for football. Today was a good day. Officially back where we belong. I know its unrealistic but hopefully down the road the 3 Northern teams that play in the Southeast will find a way to return to their roots.
 

StuckOnYouk

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I love football as a sport, but I hate what college football has done to college athletics. As an SU alum, I fully understand our move to the ACC, which contributed to the demise of the greatest basketball conference in college sports, the old Big East. But I hate that football drives all these decisions for all these schools. UConn was seduced by football, even though they really weren't much of a football school - only relatively recently becoming a D1 football program. And so it's good that they're back in the "Big East", but let's fact it...it's not the same Big East as it once was.
Calhoun, Boeheim and Thompson are no longer there but the conference as a whole is still damn good. Jay Wright is as good as any coach in the country and there are other really good coaches with personalities to start some old school feuds again (Hurley will dive right into that).
The *new* Big East has already been so much better than people thought they'd be, if UConn can get back to where they were the conference will be epic again.
Hopefully you and Pitt can join us again in 2036 when the ACC contract runs out.
 

StuckOnYouk

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UConn is going to do so much better in the Big East. Hurley knows how to recruit the Northeast really well. Now he can sell recruits on playing in MSG and playing the traditional BE rivals rather than have to sell Tulsa, Tulane, East Carolina, etc. He will now start to pull in higher rated guys(has started that already actually). I am so bullish on the future of this program.
We don't pull Andre Jackson from Syracuse and Adama Sanogo from Seton Hall without us re-entering the BE. Hurley will do great in this conference.
 

sodenj5

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All I wanted to do was just make a post that UConn was back in the Big East. But here are relitigating UConn and their football decision.
You can’t talk about UConn and the Big East without talking about football. They’re inextricably linked. They left because of football. They’re going back because it failed and it was hurting their basketball program.
We don't pull Andre Jackson from Syracuse and Adama Sanogo from Seton Hall without us re-entering the BE. Hurley will do great in this conference.
And this is why they’re going back. The recruiting gets much better when you can sell the Big East, the BE Tournament, MSG, games against actual big name rivals, and a better basketball program in general.
 

SumnerH

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I love football as a sport, but I hate what college football has done to college athletics. As an SU alum, I fully understand our move to the ACC, which contributed to the demise of the greatest basketball conference in college sports, the old Big East.
As an ACC fan, football largely ruined that conference as well. The old 8/9-team ACC was the most exciting basketball conference to watch, IMO. It sucks that conferences are cross-sports, so that football decisions trample basketball (and other sport) interests.
 

BaseballJones

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As an ACC fan, football largely ruined that conference as well. The old 8/9-team ACC was the most exciting basketball conference to watch, IMO. It sucks that conferences are cross-sports, so that football decisions trample basketball (and other sport) interests.
I will disagree about which basketball conference was better - the old Big East or the old ACC - but your mileage may vary on that point, I fully understand. But yes I totally agree with your last point, and I *hate* that football decides everything for these schools. UConn men's soccer - a multiple time national championship program that had no say in any of this - had to suddenly play all kinds of road games at places like Tulsa and SMU instead of Seton Hall, Syracuse, and Boston College.

Honestly, football should have its own world entirely. Alabama should be SEC in every other sport, and some other entity to be named later in football. Same with Clemson with the ACC. And UConn in the Big East. And Ohio State in the Big 10.

If football is going to rule, then there should be an entirely different setup for football that doesn't drag the other sports all over the map.
 

Clears Cleaver

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Uconn left the Big East because they wanted a seat in a P5 conference. And you need football to get there. They are returning because they didn't get that seat. Not because football "failed" as they had lost their seat to a Louisville program that was coming off the Steve Kragthorpe experience. Not being in the Big East and hiring two of the worst coaches imaginable in Diaco and Coach Blue, coupled with the complete lack of rivalry games and a conference that generated zero interest outside of the Civil ConnFLiCT (LOLOL) destroyed what was a reasonably competitive football program from 2004-2010.

going back to the BE admits that the athletic department is going nowhere and will likely never be competitive nationally in anything except occasionally in hoops and maybe in hockey. Not being in a P5 means you really don't matter. And college football in the entire northern half of the country is dying outside of OSU, MICH, PSU, and Wisconsin..its already dead in the northeast
 

BaseballJones

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Uconn left the Big East because they wanted a seat in a P5 conference. And you need football to get there. They are returning because they didn't get that seat. Not because football "failed" as they had lost their seat to a Louisville program that was coming off the Steve Kragthorpe experience. Not being in the Big East and hiring two of the worst coaches imaginable in Diaco and Coach Blue, coupled with the complete lack of rivalry games and a conference that generated zero interest outside of the Civil ConnFLiCT (LOLOL) destroyed what was a reasonably competitive football program from 2004-2010.

going back to the BE admits that the athletic department is going nowhere and will likely never be competitive nationally in anything except occasionally in hoops and maybe in hockey. Not being in a P5 means you really don't matter. And college football in the entire northern half of the country is dying outside of OSU, MICH, PSU, and Wisconsin..its already dead in the northeast
UConn field hockey is always a national power. 5-time national champs, recently have won it all in 2013, 2015, and 2017. They've been national runner-up twice, and have been to 15 final fours.

UConn men's soccer is a 3-time national champion, most recently in 2000. 15 NCAA tourney appearances in the 2000s, making the quarters in 2000, 2002, 2007, 2011, 2012, and 2013.

So that's two programs that have had a lot of success on a national level.

And obviously they have the premier women's hoops program in the world, and their men's hoops program is absolutely on the rise again.
 

RedOctober3829

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Uconn left the Big East because they wanted a seat in a P5 conference. And you need football to get there. They are returning because they didn't get that seat. Not because football "failed" as they had lost their seat to a Louisville program that was coming off the Steve Kragthorpe experience. Not being in the Big East and hiring two of the worst coaches imaginable in Diaco and Coach Blue, coupled with the complete lack of rivalry games and a conference that generated zero interest outside of the Civil ConnFLiCT (LOLOL) destroyed what was a reasonably competitive football program from 2004-2010.

going back to the BE admits that the athletic department is going nowhere and will likely never be competitive nationally in anything except occasionally in hoops and maybe in hockey. Not being in a P5 means you really don't matter. And college football in the entire northern half of the country is dying outside of OSU, MICH, PSU, and Wisconsin..its already dead in the northeast
Baseball has been very good recently and just built a brand new facility. The move to the BE actually hurts baseball really badly. The AAC was a much better conference for them. Sadly, baseball doesn't produce a ripple.

The move for them was to follow in the footsteps of Villanova. Keep football at the FCS level where they would be very successful still and stay in the Big East for everything else.
 

j-man

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we need most of the group of 5 schools to move down to FCS football only i wouild have 1 super -conf for the g5 in football to compete for the NY6 i wouild called it the super 16 div A Army Navy Toledo UCF Cincinnati N ill liberty Memphis

Div b Boise BYU Air froce colo st SDST UNLY Fre st Houston
 

InstaFace

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Uconn left the Big East because they wanted a seat in a P5 conference. And you need football to get there. They are returning because they didn't get that seat. Not because football "failed" as they had lost their seat to a Louisville program that was coming off the Steve Kragthorpe experience. Not being in the Big East and hiring two of the worst coaches imaginable in Diaco and Coach Blue, coupled with the complete lack of rivalry games and a conference that generated zero interest outside of the Civil ConnFLiCT (LOLOL) destroyed what was a reasonably competitive football program from 2004-2010.

going back to the BE admits that the athletic department is going nowhere and will likely never be competitive nationally in anything except occasionally in hoops and maybe in hockey. Not being in a P5 means you really don't matter. And college football in the entire northern half of the country is dying outside of OSU, MICH, PSU, and Wisconsin..its already dead in the northeast
Wasn't the Big East a "power" conference back in the earlier half of the BCS era? Before its collapse I thought it was regarded as, definitely 6th out of 6, but among the power conferences.

Perhaps it's easier to build a power conference than to join one, when you're starting from a collection of well-funded and large universities.
 

Humphrey

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The Big East was a good football conference in its heyday, early 90s to mid 2000s. It had 2 dog teams, Rutgers and Temple. Miami, WV and VT were very strong teams during that era; Syracuse had a good run in there too (coached by the much-maligned Paul Pasqualoni). Plus, BC was good (Coughlin), bad (Henning) then pretty good again (O'Brien).
 

Awesome Fossum

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Wasn't the Big East a "power" conference back in the earlier half of the BCS era? Before its collapse I thought it was regarded as, definitely 6th out of 6, but among the power conferences.
Yes, the Big East was a power conference under the Bowl Championship Series format, with its champion receiving an automatic bid to one of the BCS Bowls: Rose, Orange, Fiesta, Sugar, National Championship. They were effectively relegated with the switch to the College Football Playoff.

Important to note that "power conference" is not just a matter of ranking/public perception, but actually a different status within the bowl/playoff system.
 

greek_gawd_of_walks

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Robinson could absolutely fly. A great, physical in-game dunker, either off alleyoops or putbacks. Played the game with an edge and a smile, not dissimilar to his teammate, Kemba. Just awful, awful news. RIP Stanley.