â†µ â†µâ†µPut aside for a minute the fact that we all acknowledge football drives conference expansion and realignment. I get it, we, the puny basketball adoring public, don't move the needle like rabid football fans. But I was absolutely giddy when Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune dropped this nugget on Twitter today: â†µ
â†µâ‡¥Source tells me: Kansas and other Big 12/Pac-10 "rejects" would draw interest from Big East. â†µâ†µ
â†µ/Catches breath. ... â†µâ†µ
â†µTake a minute to picture a basketball conference featuring the following: Kansas, Kansas State, Syracuse, Villanova, West Virginia, Louisville, Marquette, Georgetown. If the Big Ten decided to not go to 16, you could even find yourself retaining Pittsburgh and Notre Dame, too. That doesn't even account for UConn and Cincinnati, programs traditionally strong over the last two decades who are experiencing something of a down period. â†µâ†µ
â†µThere would undoubtedly be some skepticism about the distances involved when it comes to travel -- in fact, I already had that tweeted at me once -- but the fact remains that the distance from Kansas to Syracuse is actually shorter than from South Florida to Syracuse. If they made it work for a school, which, with all due respect, doesn't have half the history, tradition and prestige that KU does, why wouldn't they make it work with the Jayhawks? â†µâ†µ
â†µThe game changes significantly for whatever Big East takes shape if there's a heavy Big Ten raid. Losing some larger chunk like Syracuse, Pitt and West Virginia would not only cut at hoops, but the latter two would also be a serious blow to football. Even when it's about basketball, it's still really about football, and the lost revenue there might make it tougher for those non-revenue sports to realistically play one another. â†µâ†µ
â†µAt the end of the day, we're talking about an anonymous source at a time when rumors are flying left and right, but a hoops fan can dream, right? â†µâ†µ
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.