Amid change, Big East confident in its future
NEWPORT, R.I. -- Speaking to reporters at the Big East preseason football media gathering Tuesday, associate commissioner Nick Carparelli made the case that more has changed in the past year -- for the Big East and the NCAA -- than in any year in recent memory, possibly since Teddy Roosevelt brought about the formation of the NCAA in 1906.
In that year, the Big East has seen 12 schools announce they are leaving or joining the league, creating a new 12-team football lineup that will take shape next fall, with West Virginia and TCU gone to the Big 12 and Pittsburgh and Syracuse in their final seasons in the conference.
There is more change ahead, with a commissioner expected to be named in the next month and a potentially lucrative TV deal to be negotiated in coming months. And Carparelli said he is confident that when the details are finished on a new playoff system, that the Big East will have its proper place in such a system, both in consideration for elite bowls and a playoff and also in the distribution of TV revenues.
"I would ask that you wait until the process is complete, take a look at it and evaluate where we are. I know you're going to find that we are in great shape," Carparelli said. "Our absolute priorities as we approach this new format are to maximize the Big East's position in the new playoff system and assemble a lineup of bowl opportunities and destinations that will distinguish us from other conferences."
That confidence was echoed in the league's coaches, including USF's Skip Holtz, who said he believes the Big East's problems are not with its product, but rather its image.
"Right now, the image is not what we all want it to be, but the product is exactly what we want," Holtz said. "I would much rather have the product than the image, because the image will catch the product. When the stability comes together, when a commissioner is put in place, when the television contract is negotiated, when the new teams are added in a year, when those things happen, I feel pretty strong that this is going to be an outstanding conference."
Carparelli said the league is considering all options -- existing bowls and creating a new game the league could own and operate -- to have a place in the postseason for its conference champion in the new playoff system.
THIS AND THAT: Holtz said USF should be filing a hardship waiver with the NCAA in the next week that would seek to allow Notre Dame transfer Aaron Lynch, a Freshman All-American defensive end, to play immediately this fall and not sit out the season. ... The league did not announce its plans for divisional splits in 2013-14, a decision that could wait until a TV contract is signed this fall. ... Carparelli took a shot at the SEC and Big 12's new Champions Bowl, calling it the "Non-Champions Bowl" and the "Runners-up Bowl" as the leagues' champs are often likely to instead be playing in a national playoff. ... Holtz pointed out on Twitter that while quarterback B.J. Daniels is one of eight players on the cover of the Big East football guide, the photo shows him holding the ball out away from his body like the proverbial loaf of bread. "Proud of BJ Daniels for being on the Big East media guide cover but obviously we need to work on that ball security," he tweeted.