Maybe UConn should go to the Big 12
The other side of the basketball case
A couple weeks ago, as the previously low hum of conference realignment began to pound more incessantly and as the University of Connecticut kept being discussed as a candidate to join the Big 12, this fledgling publication took an ostensibly moral stand: UConn should stay in the Big East.
The crux of the argument was pretty simple. The Big East is awesome, and UConn is a Big East school. It belongs in the Big East. Cultural ties are very important in college sports, more important than a lot of folks seem to want to acknowledge, which is exactly the lesson UConn fans and administrators directly learned during the school’s drifting American Athletic Conference interregnum. Like: You guys just did this. You hated it. You really want to do it again?
With all due respect to Tulane, Huskies die-hards have nothing in sporting common with fans of the Green Wave. UConn fans need to be at Madison Square Garden in mid-March, getting blind drunk and absorbing Providence’s latest innovations in heavily accented cursing — as Gawd fackin’ intended. If this results in less money in the athletics budget, well, so be it. The whole point of this stuff is to have fun.
There was a surprising amount of pushback to this idea. Lots of agreement, to be sure, which was the expected response — during the AAC years, it wasn’t hard to find UConn fans pining for the Big East, and now that they’re back in it (and just won a national title!) you’d expect most of them to be pretty happy with the situation. But there was also a large number of people who expressed a real desire to leave for the Big 12. These folks want to give proper high-level football a crack. Most of all, they want to secure the financial future of an athletics department that currently relies on the generosity of the Connecticut taxpayer to make its ends meet.
UConn’s leadership has a choice to make: Money or fit.
Before this week, I thought this choice was extremely lopsided. Just stay in the Big East! Don’t mess with happy. Etc. But since reports of Arizona being the next to join the Big 12 surfaced in recent days, the pro-leave UConn fan’s position is starting to make more sense. There is at least a case here now, something you could talk me into, a basketball argument for leaving the Big East and trying something new.
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