What might have been if Penn State had gotten into the Big East | Syracusefan.com

What might have been if Penn State had gotten into the Big East

baggerbob

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In 1985 the Metro conference had Memphis St
Virginia Tech
Florida St
Cincinnati
Louisville
South Carolina
Southern Mississippi
Tulane
That was for basketball
Miami
Syracuse
Boston College
Pittsburgh
West Virginia
Rutgers and
Penn State were independent in football
That would have made a great conference
In football and basketball.
 
So, no Georgetown, Nova, Seton Hall and St. John's for hoops? I'm glad things played out the way they did.
 
The 1950's when Notre Dame had no TV contract, was deemphasizing, (slightly), had a strong following in the east and had already agreed to play Navy every year, Maryland was a national power who had left the Southern Conference because they wouldn't let them go to a bowl game and the service academies were still national powers: Army, Navy Boston College, Syracuse, Penn State, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Maryland and Notre Dame. Perfect size for a conference. Play everyone once in football and twice in basketball. Represent the northeast. Plenty of good football and some good basketball schools as well. Eventually expand to 12 with Connecticut, Cincinnati and Louisville. That's my dream conference.

The basketball onlies would have their own conference and that would be our 'challenge' partner.
 
The 1950's when Notre Dame had no TV contract, was deemphasizing, (slightly), had a strong following in the east and had already agreed to play Navy every year, Maryland was a national power who had left the Southern Conference because they wouldn't let them go to a bowl game and the service academies were still national powers: Army, Navy Boston College, Syracuse, Penn State, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Maryland and Notre Dame. Perfect size for a conference. Play everyone once in football and twice in basketball. Represent the northeast. Plenty of good football and some good basketball schools as well. Eventually expand to 12 with Connecticut, Cincinnati and Louisville. That's my dream conference.

The basketball onlies would have their own conference and that would be our 'challenge' partner.
Unfortunately the basketball ownlies were concerned about themselves, rather then the big picture. Gavitt wanted Penn State in he knew football needed to be taken care of, but Georgetown, St Johns, and Villanova voted no.
 
Unfortunately the basketball ownlies were concerned about themselves, rather then the big picture. Gavitt wanted Penn State in he knew football needed to be taken care of, but Georgetown, St Johns, and Villanova voted no.

I'm not really sure that mattered in the end. The Big Ten was a better fit for Penn State, I think they still would have joined the Big Ten roughly around the same time as they did anyway. SWC75's suggestion of a conference at least a decade earlier of peer northeastern schools probably would have been more stable and lasted longer. My only quibbles are I don't know that Notre Dame would have joined, and I think expanding geographically to include Miami and Florida State in the 90's would have been needed to keep the conference viable. At some point Army and Navy would have probably left as well.

Regardless, a blend of basket-onlies and schools playing high level football was always going to unsustainable - its kinda impressive the Big East leadership was able to duct tape things together to make it last as long as they did, AND that they were able to survive once the inevitable split came and continue playing at a high level in NCAA hoops..
 
Unfortunately the basketball ownlies were concerned about themselves, rather then the big picture. Gavitt wanted Penn State in he knew football needed to be taken care of, but Georgetown, St Johns, and Villanova voted no.

PSU's potential invite in 1982 would have been for Basketball and Non-Revenue sports only.

The BE had no interest in getting into the football business until 1991, and that was with a gun pointed at their heads.
 

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