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Super-Conferences Could Kill College Hoops

With the re-structuring of conferences around football, where does this leave college hoops?

The first question that arises when discussing the creation of potential superconferences is why are superconferences revolving around football? The short answer: money, money, money.

Even a legendary basketball program with a fanatical fan base like Kentucky makes three times more off their mediocre football program than basketball. With this said, it is easy to see why the potential impact of superconferences on college hoops is really a footnote in the minds of most ADs considering hoping conferences.

The second major question is what on earth is a superconference anyway? Just a silly term for a big-ass conference? Essentially, superconferences are formed from a pre-existing BCS automatic qualifier such as the ACC, SEC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12 or Pac-12. They must also own a massive multitier TV agreement and be willing to embrace the magic number of 16 members. Why 16? “Because 16 allows for two big divisions or four smaller ones, conferences within conference” according to SEC commissioner Roy Kramer is the way forward.

Where does all this leave college hoops? College hoops is literally and after-thought to the real money on the table, football. The potential devastating outcome of this conference reshuffling is nowhere more obvious than in The Big East.

The Big East was founded on a hoops pedigree and routinely sends more teams to the Big Dance than any other conference. Yet, with the recent departures of Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the ACC, West Virginia doing everything possible to get out, and Louisville trying to jump to the Big 12 it is apparent to all that The Big East is on life support. If one of the strongest basketball conferences may vanish all together, college hoops will likely look dramatically different within the next couple of years. Simply put, as Sam Cooke sang in his 1964 single, “A Change is Gonna Come.”

 

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