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Friday, January 15, 2021

Football

Cougars should take the plunge


No one knows what the Big East will look in a few days, let a lone in 2013, or if it will retain its BCS Automatic Qualifying status after all conferences are up for review following next season.

Regardless, the University should join the Big East in whatever form is takes on.

In a unanimous vote on Tuesday, the presidents of Big East schools agreed to extend formal invitations to unnamed schools for both full and football-only membership.

The Associated Press and the Houston Chronicle reported Wednesday that UH is one of the schools that will receive an invitation.

Big East commissioner John Marianatto said that he would like this part of the expansion process to be resolved in the next week or so.

Despite the uncertainty and volatility of the conference, and college athletics in general, this is a move that the University must make.

A conference featuring No. 13 UH, No. 5 Boise State, SMU, UCF, Army, Navy and current Big East holdovers UConn, Cincinnati, Louisville, Rutgers and South Florida beats the leftovers of Conference USA and the TCU and Boise-less Mountain West Confernce.

Even if West Virginia is successful in jumping ship to the Big 12 without waiting the requisite 27 months, this new pieced together conference doesn’t look so bad. It’s not the SEC, but it’s an incredible upgrade over C-USA.

From a financial standpoint, this new zombie Big East could be in prime position to land a very large TV deal.

According to Business Week, the Big East turned down a nine-year, $1 billion deal with ESPN — all of the other AQ conferences have deals for at least $1 billion. The Pac-12 received a $3-billion deal from ESPN and Fox earlier this year.

With the other five AQ conferences locked into deals or set to begin new deals, the Big East would be the only conference on the market for the networks to compete for and gobble up.

And even if this all falls apart or the Big East were to lose its AQ status, UH would be in a much better position searching for a new home coming from the Big East than a depleted C-USA.

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