Jovenitti: 10 teams the Big East could do without

By Tony Jovenitti

Last week, I counted down the 10 teams that should join the Big East. But in order for that to… Last week, I counted down the 10 teams that should join the Big East. But in order for that to happen, the Big East would need to get rid of certain teams in basketball.

There are already 16 basketball schools, and even that is too much.

ESPN Radio 101.3 in Dallas reported over the weekend that TCU was invited to the Big East. I’m not sure if that’s a rumor or not, but how could the Big East invite TCU football and not add the Horned Frogs in basketball?

Yes, it would be extremely rude to simply kick out a basketball team. Last week, I suggested having a Survivor season and eliminating the two last-place teams after the regular season. Or the conference could strike a deal with the MAC or Conference USA, and the two worst teams could be relegated down to a so-called mid-major conference.

But all that would be too complicated. So this week, I give you the 10 teams the Big East should kick out.

The teams at the top of the list are the most valuable to the conference, so No. 10 absolutely cannot be kicked out. No. 1 should have been kicked out years ago.

10. The football/basketball schools. Eliminating an all-sports school like Pitt, West Virginia or Syracuse would be counterproductive to the whole idea of expanding the football conference.

9. Georgetown. These next two teams have so much history in the basketball conference that it is preposterous even just suggesting that the conference kick them out. The Hoyas are a staple of Big East basketball, and they have made it to the Final Four five times.

8. Villanova. The Wildcats are just like Georgetown, except they have an up-and-coming football team. The Big East formally invited Villanova into the conference in football. It would be an easy way to add a football school, since the conference wouldn’t have to worry about adding another basketball school.

7. Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish have such a perfect deal with the Big East. They get all the perks and prestige of Big East basketball, but they get to remain independent and pretentious in football. It would be easy to eliminate the Irish in basketball, but Notre Dame brings the Chicago market to Big East television ratings. That’s hard to turn down for any conference.

6. Marquette. Marquette doesn’t have as much history in the Big East as Villanova and Georgetown, but the Golden Eagles do have a rich history in basketball. They won the National Championship in 1977 and have appeared in three Final Fours, including 2003 when they beat Pitt in the Sweet Sixteen to kickstart a rivalry.

5. St. John’s. St. John’s basketball has been awful for years. Since 2003, the Red Storm are 83-118. But they won the Big East tournament in 2000, and they have a lot of history in New York. St. John’s has 27 NCAA Tournament appearances. It would be tough to kick out a school with that much basketball history. But in all honesty, the Red Storm aren’t bringing much to the table anymore.

4. Providence. It would be a shame to kick Providence out of the Big East when it is on the cusp of success. The Friars are a founding member of the conference and have some decent history, but not nearly as much as St. John’s. And honestly, how important is the Rhode Island market?

3. Seton Hall. The Pirates are much like St. John’s. They have a lot of basketball history, but not as much as the Red Storm. The Pirates have a lot of difficulty selling out Newark’s Prudential Center, even with the upper levels closed off. Rutgers is already giving the Big East the New Jersey market, and the Scarlet Knights have a much bigger fan base.

2. DePaul. DePaul has two Final Four appearances, but one was in 1943, prior to the modern Tournament. But over the past six years, the Blue Demons are a dismal 37-65 in the Big East Conference. Yes, the conference needs a team that everybody can beat up on, but DePaul is just a bit ridiculous. The Blue Demons are not living up to Big East standards since joining the conference in 2005.

1. DePaul. Yes, the Blue Demons are on this list twice. They are that bad. And seriously, who cares about DePaul basketball? DePaul is a great university, but it is bringing absolutely nothing to the Big East. Some would argue that DePaul brings the Chicago market, but Notre Dame already does that. I’d take an awful TCU basketball team over an awful DePaul team if it means that TCU will bring back legitimacy to Big East football.