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Thursday, November 4, 2010

BIG EAST expansion...what will it mean for women's sports?





THURSDAY @ CARDINAL COUPLE:



-BIG EAST looking to get bigger


-Breeders Cup thoughts


-All that Jazz

The BIG EAST has announced that they are looking to add a couple of football playing schools to the conference. All well and good. Let's face it, BIG EAST football doesn't strike fear and apprehension into anyone hearts and minds currently. With the right two schools, it could... Two schools good...four schools better. Divisions and playoffs. It's what the "big boys" in college football do.


Pictured here, a symbolic scenario as the BIG EAST commissioner tries to drag Notre Dame into the football schedule. (Sorry about the naughty word in the picture's caption. I'll go to Sacrament of Reconciliation and fess up to Father Bob. Hey, if TIME Magazine can use the "F" word...)
The Irish would be a logical choice to be one of the two schools...but, I don't think that they want to be one of them. They have a sweet deal with NBC for football, they can schedule pretty much who they want, when they want and why give up all that to play 7 or 8 schools that are lesser opponents? Keep in mind, though...Notre Dame is no longer relevant in football anymore, except in their own minds. Losing to Tulsa...really? Three coaches in a row that were flops. The current coach...well... give him time, I guess but I don't expect "Kelly's Heroes" to be in a BCS Bowl Game anytime soon. The Irish have the best women's sports program in the BIG EAST. Argue that if you want, but if you look at all of the 13 sports available in women's athletics and check Notre Dame's records in them for 2009...no one did better overall.


Other schools being tossed around as possible additions are TCU, East Carolina, Villanova, Central Florida, Memphis and I even heard Kentucky mentioned. First of all, forget about UK. No way they'd give up their stranglehold on SEC basketball to join the BIG EAST. Not gonna happen. The idea of TCU joining is intriguing. They aren't in a BCS conference currently. They have some very excellent women's team also. They would be a welcome addition in women's basketball, softball, volleyball and soccer. They're ranked #23 in the preseason women's basketball poll. I'm all for it. Bring them in. A great TV market area as well.


East Carolina doesn't really bring much to the table in women's sports. They are fanatical about their football in Greenville but nothing there in hoops, softball and volleyball. They'd be a patsy that Notre Dame, UConn, the Cardinals' and Scarlet Knights would pound. The location fits...they're pretty close to a lot of the current BIG EAST members. Greenville is no place for a road trip, though. Their basketball arena is puny and I think they play softball behind a discount department store. I'll probably get blasted for the above comments. But, it ain't no Trager Field or Cardinal Park.

I like the though of Central Florida... just because of the location. Women's golf, soccer, field hockey...any of the outdoor women's sports would enjoy competing in Orlando. They love it in Tampa. Nothing wrong with another Florida school in the BIG EAST. Jersey has two, so does New York and Pennsylvania.

Forget about Memphis. They're currently horrible in basketball and their field hockey and volleyball programs aren't BIG EAST quality. Another patsy to beat up on. The trips would be the only redeeming feature. Good hoops facility and barbecued ribs.


Villanova is already a participant in BIG EAST women's sports...so no changes there if they're one of the football additions.


Some seem to think that TCU is already one of the two that will be added. I've read a lot of things about UCF already being invited as well. We won't know, obviously...until the BIG EAST Commish takes the podium and speaks the words. Watch it be a return of Miami and Boston College. That'd shake em up, huh? The bottom line is that this is all about football. No one give a hoot about how two additions would affect women's sports except those of us who follow women's sports. I say give us Villanova and Notre Dame. No changes there for women's athletics and no additions to an already unwieldy 16 team basketball conference.




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Breeders Cup! Yup, it's less that 48 hours away. We'll have some predictions and thoughts on the Friday card here at CARDINAL COUPLE for you on Friday Morning. We'll do Saturday's review on Saturday morning. We've got the chimps busy crunching the Racing Form, Beyer Figures, Tomilinson numbers and Brisnet data. Bill the Goat is on the backside of Churchill wandering around head butting owners, trainers and horses. Our director of wagering at CARDINAL COUPLE, Tommy Boy, has been locked in a soundproof room since Tuesday studying each and every horse that will run. (I guess someone should go check on him...) Remember, the information we provide is for entertainment purposes only. Sonja slept with the past performances sheet last night. I got the couch.




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Add Jazz Covington to the list of former UofL women's basketball players in the European league this fall. She's playing for Union Saint-Amond Porte du Hainaut in France. I wonder how you get all that on a jersey? After 3 games, Ms. Covington is averaging 18.3 a contest and they're 1-2. Speaking of former Cardinals, remember the Russian rocket Valeriya Musina? After 2 years at the 'Ville she spent a year at Long Beach State and finished up at Lane...down in Tennessee. She's been playing Euroball 2 years now. Played for Spartak Vidnow in Moscow in 2009 and is currently playing for CCC Polkowice in Poland. Always thought she could have been one of the great Cardinal guards but her game just wasn't suited to what Tom Collen was trying to get done at UofL when both of them were there. Good luck to all the past Cards over playing for Eurodollars.

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