The hodgepodge of a collegiate conference formerly known as the Big East has found a new brand name to its liking, this one straight and to the point.
In honor of its rangy, decentralized roots, the victimized league plans to become the “America 12 Conference”, according to an ESPN report. The Big East’s law firm purchased and registered the domain name “America 12″ on Tuesday, though league presidents have not officially approved the title. Maybe the football-minded league will even split up into stars and stripes divisions.
Big East football schools are working quickly to settle on a new conference name, which must be finalized by July 1. The seven Catholic members will officially secede from the league on June 30 — taking the Big East nameplate with them — to start a basketball-centric association. Central Florida, Houston, Memphis, Southern Methodist and Temple are on track to join the America 12 next season for all-sports inclusion, while East Carolina and Tulane are on tap for 2014.
If this mishmash of mostly non-descript, loosely-affiliated schools is supposed to represent America, consider me unpatriotic.
The American theme seems quite out of place given the recent tenor of realignment. Boise State, San Diego State and TCU, all former Big East pledgers, have since rescinded their commitments, effectively erasing the America 12’s theorized footprint west of the Great Plains. Big East commissioner Mike Aresco may as well annex the rest of Conference USA and preserve that name.
Got a better idea. How about the Agnostic 12? This would cement an interleague rivalry with layers of religious subtext between the Catholic 7 (future Big East) and the agnostic schools (leftovers of the former Big East). To hell (sorry Catholic 7) with the Big Ten/ACC Challenge and the Big East/SEC annual series. The real Holy War (sorry Utah-BYU) would rule the non-conference portion of the hoops schedule. If you thought the NCAA was tough, wait until the parish meddles with college basketball.
In the meantime, we’re stuck with the Catholic 7 fleeing the America 12. How appropriate for a nation that champions the separation of church and state.