Big East Expansion?

WillWeaverRVA

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Is it realistic to think that VCU could become a Big East member someday?
I think it's still somewhat unlikely, but I also think the possibility has become a little more realistic given the current environment of realignments.

It also helps that UConn which suggests that the Big East is at least open to the idea of adding schools that are not necessarily private Catholic universities (Butler is not Catholic, however). Yes, UConn's invitation was mainly because of its history with the old Big East and the fact that it was desperate to get out of the AAC before it imploded, but it was still invited.

It should be noted that the new Big East has associate members that are public universities - ODU and Temple for field hockey - and has had other public schools as associate members in the past (notably Louisville, Cincinnati, Rutgers, Florida, and Vanderbilt).
 

VCU Heel

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Is it realistic to think that VCU could become a Big East member someday?
It depends on if they expand and how many teams they add if they do.

If they add 1 team, it’s very unlikely.
If they add 3 teams, then it’s possible but still not likely.
If they add 5 teams, then I would think we’d have to be under consideration.

My hope is that they add 5 teams, 3 in the Midwest and 2 on the east coast to have two 8 team divisions. I don’t see it happening, but it’s my dream.

East Division:
Connecticut
Villanova
Georgetown
Providence
St. John’s
Seton Hall
VCU
Temple

Midwest Division:
Marquette
Creighton
Xavier
Butler
DePaul
Dayton
St. Louis
Wichita State

22 game conference schedule with 2 games against your 7 division rivals and 1 game each against the 8 teams from the other division. Year in and year out, that would be as good a basketball conference as any in the country and the TV and NCAA Tournament revenues that we would bring in would be insane. And it would be a very stable conference for a long time. UConn and Temple would be the only 2 teams with FBS football that could possibly leave. If they did, then filling their spots would be super easy. It would also be an upgrade for VCU in a lot of non-revenue sports like women’s basketball, men’s/women’s soccer, baseball, field hockey, etc.
 
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Violet Ram

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It depends on if they expand and how many teams they add if they do.

If they add 1 team, it’s very unlikely.
If they add 3 teams, then it’s possible but still not likely.
If they add 5 teams, then I would think we’d have to be under consideration.

My hope is that they add 5 teams, 3 in the Midwest and 2 on the east coast to have two 8 team divisions. I don’t see it happening, but it’s my dream.

East Division:
Connecticut
Villanova
Georgetown
Providence
St. John’s
Seton Hall
VCU
Temple

Midwest Division:
Marquette
Creighton
Xavier
Butler
DePaul
Dayton
St. Louis
Wichita State

22 game conference schedule with 2 games against your 7 division rivals and 1 game each against the 8 teams from the other division. Year in and year out, that would be as good a basketball conference as any in the country and the TV and NCAA Tournament revenues that we would bring in would be insane. And it would be a very stable conference for a long time. UConn and Temple would be the only 2 teams with FBS football that could possibly leave. If they did, then filling their spots would be super easy. It would also be an upgrade for VCU in a lot of non-revenue sports like women’s basketball, men’s/women’s soccer, baseball, field hockey, etc.
Okay, I'll bite. What order do you think schools are ranked by the BE?
 

VCU Heel

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Yeah. You seemed to have an implied ordering.
Whenever a process like this happens there will naturally be an order that you’d look at your choices. That order will depend on their priorities, so I don’t know what it would be since I’m not in the Big East commissioner’s head or the heads of the 11 university presidents. I made a post yesterday that listed a bunch of the possible priorities and some of the things VCU brings to the table.

Right now, they have 6 east coast schools and 5 “Midwest” schools. If they add just 1 school, it would seem to make sense that they would add another Midwest school to create a geographic/travel balance. That would put schools like Dayton, St. Louis, and Wichita St ahead of us in that scenario. And if they add 3 or 5 schools, it would also make sense for it to be a 2/1 or 3/2 Midwest/East balance. That would mean we’d have no shot in a 1 team scenario and would have to be their #1 choice on the east coast in a 3 team scenario.

There would therefore be two lists they would look at, one for east coast schools and one for Midwest schools. I don’t see any teams in the “Midwest” outside of SLU, WSU, and Dayton that would be good options. Most other schools have FBS football or aren’t strong candidates.

The east coast list could include any number of A10 schools and possibly a few schools from smaller conferences and would depend on their priorities (TV market, fanbase size, name brand/national brand, whether they participate in FBS football or might have aspirations to in the future, facilities, recent basketball success, academics, longterm stability of the school and its athletic department, what non-revenue sports they play and how good they are at them, whether it’s important to them to keep adding small/private/Catholic schools or whether adding a couple large/public schools might be better for them in the long run, existing relationships/history with schools from other conferences, whether there are certain schools that might be blackballed out of consideration by current members, etc.).

VCU has a lot of pluses and some potential minuses depending on the Big East’s priorities, but making the cut as one of the top 2 teams on the east coast that they might decide to add is going to be challenging to say the least.
 
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BradRamFan

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If the BE ultimately expands by three teams and we are not one of them, then we are in an ODU type situation. Where would be go and/or how would the A10 fair. If Dayton and SLU got picked, who would the A10 pick as a replacement? With the loss of Dayton and SLU the A10 would take a pretty hard hit......Dayton has been at the top/near for several years and SLU (well they have sucked for the past 7-8 years but every year they get the media love with pronouncements of glory). I guess Temple (eh, not great), WSU (probably not as they have would have no traveling partner way out west), Memphis (sure but what about football). I would feel like the metro all over again....left at the alter.
 

Violet Ram

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Whenever a process like this happens there will naturally be an order that you’d look at your choices. That order will depend on their priorities, so I don’t know what it would be since I’m not in the Big East commissioner’s head or the heads of the 11 university presidents. I made a post yesterday that listed a bunch of the possible priorities and some of the things VCU brings to the table.

Right now, they have 6 east coast schools and 5 “Midwest” schools. If they add just 1 school, it would seem to make sense that they would add another Midwest school to create a geographic/travel balance. That would put schools like Dayton, St. Louis, and Wichita St ahead of us in that scenario. And if they add 3 or 5 schools, it would also make sense for it to be a 2/1 or 3/2 Midwest/East balance. That would mean we’d have no shot in a 1 team scenario and would have to be their #1 choice on the east coast in a 3 team scenario.

There would therefore be two lists they would look at, one for east coast schools and one for Midwest schools. I don’t see any teams in the “Midwest” outside of SLU, WSU, and Dayton that would be good options. Most other schools have FBS football or aren’t strong candidates.

The east coast list could include any number of A10 schools and possibly a few schools from smaller conferences and would depend on their priorities (TV market, fanbase size, name brand, whether they participate in FBS football or might have aspirations to in the future, facilities, recent basketball success, academics, longterm stability of the school and its athletic department, what non-revenue sports they play and how good they are at them, whether it’s important to them to keep adding small/private/Catholic schools or whether adding a couple large/public schools might be better for them in the long run, existing relationships/history with schools from other conferences, whether there are certain schools that might be blackballed out of consideration by current members, etc.).

VCU has a lot of pluses and some potential minuses depending on the Big East’s priorities, but making the cut as one of the top 2 teams on the east coast that they might decide to add is going to be challenging to say the least.
I generally agree, with the one exception that I'm not sure if east/west balance is that important. I've argued in the past SLU may be at the top if it is.

You're saying that VCU has some competition in the East but haven't provided any names, just that they could be in the A10 or other conferences. I think anyone would be hard pressed making a case for SBU, Richmond, or Davidson over VCU in terms of basketball pedigree and marketability.
 

VCU Heel

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I generally agree, with the one exception that I'm not sure if east/west balance is that important. I've argued in the past SLU may be at the top if it is.

You're saying that VCU has some competition in the East but haven't provided any names, just that they could be in the A10 or other conferences. I think anyone would be hard pressed making a case for SBU, Richmond, or Davidson over VCU in terms of basketball pedigree and marketability.
Balance would be important for non-revenue travel. I think it also helps with longterm stability.

I named some names in my previous post in Richmond and Davidson. Other possibilities could including St. Joe’s, St. Bonaventure, GWU, UMass, and Rhode Island. Maybe none of these schools have the pedigree, marketability, fan base size, facilities, etc., but those might not be the most important factors for the Big East if and when they make their decision.

Look, I’m biased towards VCU. I think we’d be a great short term and long term addition for them. I think we bring the most to the table. But I also recognize that there might be strong biases against us. There also might be some fear of what we could become. And I just don’t feel great about our chances. I hope I’m wrong.
 

N Mollen

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I assume "likely" means 51+% -- more likely than not -- and no, I don't think we can say that. But I am more optimistic than Heel. For years, the biggest reason to think we wouldn't be asked has been BE reluctance to expand. That no longer exists; I don't think the commissioner goes public in the press about expansion unless he was pretty sure he had the votes. I also think it is very unlikely they will add only one.

If they add multiple teams, I like our chances. There really isn't a better candidate. Zags are not realistic at all because of the distance. The pool of candidates becomes WSU, DAY, VCU, and maybe SLU. None is better in terms of basketball or visibility or tournament prospects. In fact, I'd say we edge out everyone except possibly DAY. And I don't think church affiliation means a dam n thing.

So #DoneDeal.
 

Violet Ram

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Balance would be important for non-revenue travel. I think it also helps with longterm stability.

I named some names in my previous post in Richmond and Davidson. Other possibilities could including St. Joe’s, St. Bonaventure, GWU, UMass, and Rhode Island. Maybe none of these schools have the pedigree, marketability, fan base size, facilities, etc., but those might not be the most important factors for the Big East if and when they make their decision.

Look, I’m biased towards VCU. I think we’d be a great short term and long term addition for them. I think we bring the most to the table. But I also recognize that there might be strong biases against us. There also might be some fear of what we could become. And I just don’t feel great about our chances. I hope I’m wrong.
I don't see any if those other programs increasing the value of the Big East, especially compared to VCU. I feel like the Big East has been transparent that they'll expand only with teams that increase their media deal/bring in NCAA units.
 

Newboy

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I don't see any if those other programs increasing the value of the Big East, especially compared to VCU. I feel like the Big East has been transparent that they'll expand only with teams that increase their media deal/bring in NCAA units.
+ the fact that are other athletic teams are strong as well.
 

RamDanFan

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They are 3 1/2 years away from contract expiration and have just publicly annoumced that they are open to expansion. The SEC announced their new deal with ESPN in December 2020 that will not start until 2024. That’s about 3 1/2 years. Based on that timeline, dominos could fall in to place rather quickly.
 

VCURAMIT

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If the Big East does decide to expand at all I do think we have quite a bit going for us. Yes we are public and non-religious, no way around that- but we are a top-tier research institution with a big annual budget/endowment, a large fanbase with a very noticeable presence in a fast-growing state/metro that would expand the conference footprint south, no football aspirations whatsoever and a dedication to competing in basketball/making the NCAA tournament consistently, and successful Olympic sports with a fancy new athletic campus on the way (Henrico's arena wouldn't hurt either). Not to mention the noticeable modernization of the academic campuses that has been taking place over the last decade-plus. Ultimately it isn't really up to VCU what happens, but if the Big East sends a team to Richmond to feel us out and gives the school a shot at making their pitch as far as what we can bring to the table, then I personally believe we have as good of a shot at anyone at this point.

We see SLU brought up time and time again: they have good facilities, a nice location, funding, and they're Catholic. All positives. But you would be hard-pressed to convince me that they have even half the support in their state/metro that we do. Not a chance. Dayton may be comparable, but if Xavier has their way then the Flyers are never getting out of the A10 no matter what they do. I see people saying that Georgetown feels that way about us, but I don't see that vitriol from them at all. I don't think they're a major obstacle for us. Wichita's academics are just bad, and Gonzaga is thousands of miles away. We aren't perfect, but neither are the other options.
 
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