According to a report by Andy Katz of ESPN.com, Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich has informed the Big East board of directors of the school’s desire to land in either the Big 12 or ACC.
But this isn’t exactly a surprise development, given the events of last fall that culminated in West Virginia landing the coveted 10th spot in the Big 12.
Politicians from both Kentucky (Sen. Mitch McConnell) and West Virginia (Sen. Jay Rockefeller) both became involved in the campaigning for the spot, with Rockefeller and West Virginia governor Joe Manchin feeling as if their bid was being taken away at the last minute.
“The Big 12 picked WVU on the strength of its program — period,” said Sen. Rockefeller. “Now the media reports that political games may upend that. That’s just flat wrong. I am doing and will do whatever it takes to get us back to the merits.”
Basically, if you’re a Big East football holdover there’s the hope that either the Big 12 or ACC will come calling in the very near future.
Connecticut, which has pledged its allegiance to the Big East in public statements, has according to many been on the prowl for a spot in the ACC should Notre Dame ever decide that football independence no longer benefits them (highly unlikely).
So the question of the day is why would this news of Louisville’s intentions “resurface” now?
Well, the internet produced rumors of the Big 12 taking a look at Clemson and Florida State in a move to 12 teams.
That seems far-fetched to say the least, and with the ACC inking a new television deal with ESPN worth in upwards of $17 million per year it’s unlikely that anyone looks to leave in the near future.
(Yes, Florida State has some financial difficulties and a basketball arena that needs some serious work. But would a move out of their geographic footprint really make sense? Would their own network truly command money similar to Texas’ Longhorn Network?)
If anything, the re-airing of Louisville’s intentions keeps their name “alive” should new Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby and company decide to take another look at expansion. But that’s it.
Photo credit: University of Louisville