After meeting with university presidents and athletic directors yesterday, Big East commissioner John Marinatto is claiming that all teams remaining in the conference have pledged loyalty to the conference and will not be bolting from the Big East anytime soon. This is on the heels of the news that Pittsburgh and Syracuse have both been accepted into the ACC, leaving the conference without two of its largest schools.
Marinatto is also standing firm on his position that Pittsburgh and Syracuse cannot leave the Big East until 2014 at the earliest. This is a result of the bylaws both school agreed to while members of the Big East. TCU is also still expected to join the Big East next year, even though there have been recent rumors that they are looking into the Mountain West Conference.
This is all....good news? If the contract stands the test and no one challenges it in court, it will certainly make for some awkward seasons over the next couple years, but it would seemingly give the Big East plenty of time to replace both schools. Not that the Big East has many great options, of course, but in the meantime at least they have a few more seasons before falling completely apart.
But I don't think the Big East will fall apart. The most recent rumors are suggesting that the Pac-12 has decided to remain at 12 members and not add any more schools, which would save the Big 12 from collapse and possibly staunch the march toward superconferences. And if that's the case, then really, the Big East simply has two holes to fill. While their conference certainly takes a hit with the loss of Pitt and 'Cuse, things could also be much worse.
Of course, we'll simply have to wait and see if these reports turn out to be true in the long run. Is the Big East stable? Who the heck knows? But if you take everything at face value right now, things could certainly be worse for Big East fans.