"Stay or go, Dee? It's a tough one." - USA TODAY Sports
The seemingly annual shuffling of conference affiliations has once again reached critical mass. This year's hot topic is once again the Big East, where the seven Catholic schools - DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall, and Villanova - are preparing to split.
Things are changing on a more than daily basis with this situation, so we'll continue to update as information comes in. At this point it looks like the Catholic Seven - for lack of a better term - are looking to dissolve a Big East that has lost touch with its roots and began making questionable decisions with football driving the process. Due to all the recent shuffling in the Big East, these seven school are part of just ten current full members and thus have the weight to dissolve the conference by way of dominating the vote.
Where things get interesting for X and their fans is the discussions of the future of those seven schools. ESPN reports that there has been talk of forming a national, basketball-only Catholic conference by adding Saint Louis, Xavier, Dayton, Gonzaga, Creighton and possibly Saint Mary's. That would be a sensational conference, but that spreads from coast to coast and involves a lot of moving parts. I'm intrigued but really skeptical on that front.
Whatever the case, it probably involves Atlantic Ten schools moving according to CBS, at least as currently planned. The A-10 is a victim of its own success in that regard; the conference has a number of stable and successful programs to choose from. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is already reporting that Xavier and Butler are going to join the Catholic Seven, with Dayton, VCU, Creighton, and Saint Lou vying for one or three open spots.
It all seems so exciting; Xavier potentially moving to a dynamic new basketball-only league. Great conference games every night, national prestige, large numbers of bids every year. It may come to fruition, and it may end up being wonderful, but I can't help but shake the feeling that Xavier has a good thing in the A-10 right now and all that glitters is not gold.