If you were to ask me to rank the top three conferences in college basketball today, I would say the Big 10, ACC, Big East. But starting next year, my answer for top conference will definitely be the ACC.
The college sports landscape has changed dramatically over the last few years, with a number of major conferences having their membership drastically altered. Maryland had recently defected to the Big 10 from the ACC, which was a substantial loss. The best thing the ACC could do… continue to raid from the floundering Big East conference. This morning the ACC unanimously voted to add Louisville to its ranks.
The ACC already has Pitt and Syracuse joining next ySear, with Notre Dame and Louisville now joining in 2014 or 2015 depending on what each school can negotiate with the Big East over their exit fee. This arguably gives the ACC 5 of the 10 most successful basketball teams of the last decade and perennial Final Four threats in Duke, North Carolina, Syracuse, Louisville, and Pitt. And the middle tier of teams is as good or better than any other conferences with teams like North Carolina State, Florida State, Miami and others. If the ACC decides to expand in the future, UConn and Cincinnati are on their knees begging for admission.
The Big East on the other hand is dead as a power conference and should now be considered a mid-major. Here’s a riddle for you: What do you get when the Big East loses teams like West Virginia, ‘Cuse, Pitt, Notre Dame, Louisville and replace them Memphis, Tulane, Southern Methodist, Houston and Central Florida? Either the Mid East or Big Least conference (both are applicable, so choose your favourite).
…and that’s the last word.