Does Anyone Care About The ESPN Smear Campaign Against the Big East?

"We always keep our television partners close to us. ... TV -- ESPN -- is the one who told us what to do." - Boston College athletic director Gene DeFilippo

Those words rang in my head today as I watched College Football Live after work. During the program, Mark May gave his “expert” take on the State of the Big East. Spoiler alert: he didn’t think it was good.

Last week on College Football Live, Andre Ware gave a similar, damning account of the Big East after it become official that Boise State had joined the conference. Ware said that the move would hurt Boise State’s ability to schedule big-time opponents. Yes, because the Alabama’s and Michigan’s of the world were lining up to play on the Blue Turf.

espn big east
Since the Big East turned down ESPN’s TV rights offer – a decision that was led in part by the University of Pittsburgh president – things have not gone well for the conference. The ACC took Syracuse and Pittsburgh. The Big 12 took West Virginia. The Big East responding by gobbling up big television markets in Houston, Dallas, Memphis, Orlando and San Diego while snapping up national football names, if not powers, in Navy and Boise State. But to hear the folks at ESPN tell it, the Big East is now a glorified version of the Sun Belt Conference.

Even the ESPN Big East blogger, Andrea Adelson, has gotten into the act with a string of sarcastic, stinging jabs at the current state of the conference. On the day Temple officially joined the Big East, she delivered this delightful shot across the bow of the conference. Adelson seems to hate the Big East, unlike her predecessor on the beat, Brian Bennett. Read the comments on the blog post – it’s not pretty. We want journalistic integrity from writers. We don’t mind homerism in small doses. We can’t stand overt negativity on a constant basis.

I’m a UConn fan, a season ticket holder living in Washington, D.C. I’ve grown up a Big East fan. I will defend the Big East until I’m blue in the face. I realize I may not always be right. But I’m not always wrong.

The Big East, in its 2013 state, is a better football league than the ACC. The ACC is 2-13 in BCS bowls. None of its teams have been in the national championship race in November since Florida State in 2000. Even if you include Miami, they haven’t had a team in the national championship race since 2003, and they were playing in the Big East.

The 2013 version of the Big East will have 4 teams since 2006 that entered November undefeated with national championship aspirations – Rutgers & Louisville in 2006, Cincinnati in 2009 and Boise State several times.

Of course, the “new” version of the BCS, which is increasingly looking the like the BCS we all so dearly hated, was supposed to reward on-field merit instead of perceived market value. When the Big 12 & SEC struck a deal for the Champions Bowl on New Year’s Night, everyone nodded because those conferences had proved their worth on the field. When the Big Ten & Pac-12 did likewise with the Rose Bowl, there were no snorts of derision – the conferences have had multiple BCS title game appearances in the last decade.

But when the Orange Bowl made a similar deal with the ACC, there was a lot of head-scratching and Twitter jokes. Who wouldn’t want to see an 18th ranked Georgia Tech play in a “major” bowl game. The Orange Bowl fades further into irrelevance. If you watched ESPN the night of the announcement, it was nothing but wine & roses for the deal, the strength of the ACC and their impending return to glory. College Football Live had the gall to ask which ACC would next contend a national title. In this decade, the next ACC team to contend for a national title would be the first.

I don’t begrudge ESPN, because the ACC is their investment while the Big East is likely no longer. The Big East made a calculated decision to test the open market and the rumors are flying that the Comcast/NBC conglomerate will make a solid, enticing offer to get much-needed live, college sports for its NBC Sports Network. Rumors have started about a Big East game of the week to lead into NBC’s Notre Dame coverage.

This, as one can easily surmise, is not good for ESPN. They don’t want competition. They famously hopped into bed with Fox to repel Comcast’s bid for the Pac-12 television rights. They control all of major college football right now. Is it any surprise ESPN is so gleefully pushing the “five major conferences” theme?

The problem is not with ESPN as a television outfit – the problem is with ESPN as a journalistic outlet. They are in a position to drive the debate with regard to the Big East and they have clearly chosen to disparage and slander the conference at every possible moment. Boise State was the lovable underdog who drove ratings – see Virginia Tech, 2010 – but once they entered the Big East, they have been unceremoniously shoved right back to the kids’ table.

If ESPN wanted to, they could pump up the Big East to where the ACC is right now. Boise State is a national team that gets more ink spilled (or blogs posted) than any other team in the nation save for Notre Dame, Alabama and USC. Their annual ascent on the college football mountaintop has become one of the most interesting, intriguing and divisive debates, non-BCS division, in the sport. ESPN themselves milked in for all its worth – see Nevada, 2010. They are now, in the words of Andre Ware, unable to schedule appropriately.

In 2009, Cincinnati went undefeated. Their final game, against Pittsburgh in the snow, amounted to a Big East championship. The ratings were tremendous, doubling that night’s ACC championship game. ESPN’s second highest-rated Thursday night game in history was between Louisville & Rutgers – two teams the network has now relegated to also-ran status.

Simply put, it’s not fair. ESPN has taken complete control over college football. Most troubling, though, is that no one outside of the Big East offices and the fans of current/future Big East teams seem to care. Syracuse and Pittsburgh leaving was supposedly the death knell to football – even though the pair has combined for a grand total of 1 Big East title in the past 13 years, the exact same total UConn has*.

*Author's Note: To those that have pointed this out, yes, I was referring to representing the Big East in the BCS.

As Homer Simpson once said, “You can use facts to prove anything.”

There is no doubt the Big East is not the SEC, the Big 12 or the Big Ten. There is also little doubt that the Big East is at the very least – on the field – an equal of the ACC. But ACC football has a spot reserved for them at the Big Boy table, courtesy of ESPN, while the Big East fights for any ounce of respect it can garner.

On College Football Live today, Mark May said that even an undefeated Big East team would be hard-pressed to make the new Final Four of college football. It was an insane statement – TCU, Boise State and Utah all finished in the Top 4 in the past five years playing in the Mountain West. Yet, if you looked very closely, you could see the marionette strings behind May.

The Big East will be a better football conference in 2013 than it was in 2011. The average college football fan won’t believe that because ESPN won’t let them believe that. There is a reason why monopolies are outlawed in this country.

This is not new to the Big East – the football version of the conference was declared dead before – but they were still being propped up by the ESPN juggernaut. This time, the Big East has to go it alone. As a fan of the conference, we can only hope NBC will be as kind as it has been to hockey.

You remember hockey, don’t you? If you do – congratulations, you watch more than SportsCenter.

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  1. QQ buddy

    big east is done

    1. The Big East is done with ESPN. That much is clear. They were right to reject their offer. The league offers a much more compelling television product now that it has expanded with worthy additions. Boise is a perennial Top 10 program. The old Big East didn't have the competitive cache that the incoming programs are bringing.

    2. boise st isn't going to be top 10 when they only return 6 starters (one of whom is a kicker). Returning only 1 player on defense is a recipe for disaster

    3. That's what they always say... and Boise continues to reload. At crucial junctures, Boise has lost Head Coaches (Nutt, Koetter, Hawkins) and Quarterbacks (Zebransky, etc), AND YET, guys like Chris Peterson and Kellen Moore take their places and set all-time records.

    4. Let's see what they have to say about how competitive the Big East is going to be after the Boise State Michigan State game ends on August 31st. They can yap all they want... but their garbage will bite them in the behind if they aren't careful. Being the Fox News of the sporting world will eventually catch up with them.

    5. Sad that a "Done" conference is better than the paper champ, propped up All Crap Conference.

    6. Sorry, I messed up. The ACC even looks like CRAP on paper.

    7. Boise st has more than 6 returning starters. Our second string plays almost half of every game. Boise St will be fine

    8. Good write up. While ESPN has done a few things wrong, they have also done a few right things. 1 right thing, Streak for the Cash. Highest streak of the year wins $100,000. Give my picks a look when you have a chance?

  2. yeah, how dare ESPN/ACC not promote their competitor NBC/BigEast

    1. The problem is that too many people look at ESPN as a news source and believe they are being objective sports journalists. It has to be true, I saw it on ESPN.

    2. I agree with you Brian. I am happy you called out the four letter network. The BE Blog hosted by AA only serves to tell the fans how bad the BE. Every once in a while she will admit the BE is way better than the ACC, but that is rare.

  3. the acc better hope that miami and fsu wake up from their slumber. no matter how good VT is, they need at the florida schools to show up.

    it will be hard to pay attention to college football until we get to at least an 8 team playoff

  4. Great write up. I've yet to see one compelling argument with facts that can prove the ACC is better than the Big East!

  5. Spot on! You hit the nail on the head, Sir.

  6. You guys miss the point. Journalism is not about promotion, it's about facts and statistics. ESPN is in no position to be the leader in both entertainment and news because the two are too big of a conflict of interest at this point. They're using their perception of fair coverage to spin their entertainment. That's just plain unethical.

  7. Excellent write up. It is time for BE and new BE fans to stick together and shovel it up ESPiN's ass. They are such bunch of bias morons it is hard to watch. I hope all the fans of BE boycott ESPiN going forward.

    ACC is a freaking joke of a football conference. "Big 5"? Are you kidding me? What happened to Big 4? What has ACC done to deserve any mention of the Big 5?

    ESPiN needs to get a clue. NBC please bid on the BE's TV deal and do some actual reporting for once based on the actual results on the football field.

  8. Wow is it a relief to know that other see what ESPN is doing. Everyone who follows college football should be shocked at the power ESPN has and disgusted by their obvious attempts to manipulate opinions. I hope the Big East gets aggressive and fights back.

  9. Seriously folks get rid of ESPN if you want your voice to be heard here. We made this decision over a year ago and it has been a great decision. Instead of watching the games go live your life and take your kids to the games. You shouldn't have to pay to watch sports. I miss the days when baseball was on TV for every game on free TV and I am only 42. My kids don't even care much about baseball because they don't see it.

    Good luck to all of the BE teams this season. Hopefully we have one team that has a magical season that can do us proud with the BE banner during bowl season. Go Bearcats!

  10. Go Bearcats Go Big East!!! May ESPN die a miserable Enron death as the other networks grab back their share of the market.

  11. Great article. I've often felt that once the Big East turned down ESPN's TV rights that ESPN went into, let's destroy the Big East mode. I believe they went to the ACC and said, gut them to start the wheels in motion. But I believe that Big East football is stronger now than it was. Boise is a replacement for WVU and really Pitt and Cuse brought nothing to the football table really. Basketball took a big hit, but it is still strong and still has MSG for the Big East Tourney.

    1. I agree. I think the four letter network was concerned that they would not have basketball programs like Cuse and Pitt since college b-ball plays a significant secondary role in their viewership. The end result was to kill the BE and take the markets that produce viewership in their minds. We know that Cuse and Pitt are far from football power houses, but the four letter network would have us think otherwise.

  12. Actually, ESPN still has a contractual relationship with (and obligation to) the Big East. Since ESPN is clearly not acting in the interest of their contractual partner, I wonder if that could be the basis of a Big East lawsuit against ESPN, or as the basis to simply terminate the existing relationship immediately so we can move on and get the deal with NBC completed sooner which will help the conference?

  13. It pains me as a Rutgers fan to offer high praise to a UConn fan but you sir have done a great service to our much maligned conference. I thought it was only the Rutgers fanatics on Scout and Rivals who felt this way about ESPN.

    Thank you for articulating much better than I could have what is going on with ESPN and the ongoing attacks against the Big East.

    Personally I would love to see Fedex tell Disney no more advertising on your networks. Hit them where it hurts.

  14. Excellent writing. You nailed it completely!

  15. Here here!

    This is exactly the problem with the college football landscape, and it was not solved by the new bowl playoff system... ESPN controls who plays. They do it through heavy promotion, heavy throwing and by disguising themselves as journalists. They are not... they are purveyors of a product.

    I am a Big East defender. Our teams play hard and win. We are easily better than the ACC and at times the B1G. I would like nothing more than for NBC Sports to showcase our schools, and for our teams to step up and make ESPN eat their words (again)!

    Go RU!

  16. Great article Sean.

    It certainly is a shame for whats going on. Wish something could be done to curb this sort of 'journalism.'

    Nobody has mentioned the addition of Houston. There is a lot of good things going on there, which will continue to make this conference even stronger.

  17. Good stuff and so obvious a blind man could see what's been going down. Here's a good piece on ESPN:

    Why ESPN Has Already Lost the Future

  18. Yes.. good story. Nailed it.

    Another problem though that the Big East has is that your "average college football fan" is a fan of one of the teams in the supposed "Big 5". They have a vested interest in believing that no Big East team should be taking votes in the polls away from teams in their conference.

    And for the last decade or so, fans of the old non-BCS teams, had a vested interest in believing that the Big East was undeserving of AQ status.. that the better non-BCS teams were better than the best teams in the "weakest" BCS conference.

    You this in the coaches poll. Last time I checked, about 40% of the total voters came from non-BCS schools. They could easily vote like a block to downplay the Big East and promote the better non-BCS teams to keep them highly ranked, get them into the Top1 2 so they would get a BCS bid... and they did.

    In 2004 after Auburn was denied a MNC game shot in favor of also undefeated Texas and USC, the SEC voters all seemed to join forces to vote up SEC teams... ever since then they have always had 2 BCS bowl game teams and a long string of national championship game appearances. In short, they vote UP every SEC team so that at the end of the season the winner of the SEC Championship game, even with 1 loss, is a likely MNC game participant.

    I think non-BCS teams did the same thing.. and over time, more and more of them were very highly ranked late in the season. Meanwhile, the Big East had only 8 teams.. the smallest block of coaches, media voters in the AP from Big East markets also serve other conferences or "big time" college football as a whole. The poor Big East also gets attacked by all those non-BCS teams reps who think the Big East is undeserving.... bottom line.. the Big East never had the votes to get its due.

  19. The problem is that NOBODY cares about Big East football. You may not like it, but the truth is the truth. You say the Big East gobbled up "major media markets" like Houston and Memphis. How many people in Houston care about the University of Houston. NOT MANY. How many people in Memphis go to the Liberty Bowl to see the Tigers play? NOT MANY. How many people in Philadelphia go to see the Owls play? NOT MANY. And how many times do your Huskies sell out their gigantic 45,000 seat stadium?

    Time to face facts... The BE is a basket-ball conference and NOBODY would miss or shed a tear if every one of the BE football teams either closed up shop (like St. John's did a few years back) or went to play with Villanova in the FCS.

    The BE doesn't deserve to be spoken of in the same breath as the other FBS conferences. ESPN would be best served if they just stopped speaking about them all together.

    1. We sell out most games. Or at least we did prior to the arrival of Coach Gramps last year.

      And you've obviously never been to Houston.

    2. Nice emotional response, but completely lacking in facts. Fact 1: Based on the actual performance of BE teams vs the actual performance of ACC teams (as the conferences will look after realignment) , the Big East is equal to the ACC in football. Fact 2: The teams that you claim "no one cares about" routinely draw larger TV audience ratings than many teams from the "Big 5" conferences. I believe you will see the results of this when the Big East signs a larger than expected TV contract this fall/winter.

    3. LOL, don't feed the troll, guys.

      "Close up shop?" Are you fucking serious? Imagine for a minute whatever blue blood school you support closed up shop? Not very nice, is it?

      Just because a team from the Big East isn't a house hold name doesn't mean it shouldn't be or can't be. Boise State is the perfect example of a team coming out of no where and not just being a fluke, competing every year. Sure, they have to play who they can, but they do what's asked of them, and that is to win. Ask Oklahoma if Boise was a fluke.

      The old bowl system, while not entirely the best system, at least allowed conferences to become transparent when picking winners. BYU won a national championship...yup, almost 30 years ago. Since then, the access has slowly shrunk, and while the occasional Utah or Boise or TCU gets a shot (not at the champ, but a "big boy bowl"), the greed and elitism in college football has turned it into something entirely different than it was even 15 years ago, and ESPN is the man behind the curtain.

    4. This is the kind of stuff that drives me nuts. No one cares about Big East football? Then why have some of ESPN's biggest ratings come from Big East games? The article mentioned the Louisville/Rutgers game as an example. The WVU @ USF game in 2007 at the time was the highest rated Friday night game in the history of ESPN.

      Again...don't let facts get in the way of a good argument.

    5. Anonymous,
      Is this Mark Mays again? Must be someone from ESPiN because you always speak the opposite of the truth...because the truth does not support you.

      Not only has Houston sold out the last 2 years in football, which is the reason we are building a new larger stadium, but also just last year our numbers on ESPiN/ABC were far higher that many Big 12 games including a UT/Baylor you can stop with the nobody cares about Houston in Houston BS. It is just a made up lie, like the rest of your drivel.

    6. How many people showing up to games has little to do with the number of TV sets in a given area. They did gain a large market area by adding those teams, and it can only serve to help those teams improve down the road.

      ESPN has long been this way. Boise State was in their good graces in the WAC and when they played on Wednesday nioghts they got all kinds of love from the World Wide Leader. As soon as they made the move to the MWC and the Mtn. Network Boise State dropped off the ESPN map and the only time they talked about them last year was when they lost TCU. When the MAACO Bowl was played on ESPN the Broncos got all kinds of love during the broascast but only then.

      Mark May is a blowhard puppet, and says anything they pay him to say. While watching any college football on that channel you must always keep in mind the it's for entertainment value. They pander to the schools with big money in hopes that they stay under the ESPN banner.

      Remember ESPN owns and operates several of the Bowls, it shouldn't be a surprise that they have no intention of letting them go.

      The Big East as football conference IS better than the ACC. Just simply looking at the numbers will tell you that. Boise State has as many BCS Bowl wins the entire ACC combined.

    7. I am one of those NOBODY who is interested in the BE and there are plenty around where I live. I do hope that it turns out to be a strong conference despite the fact that the SEC is doing everything that it can to destroy anything that doesn't kiss its butt. I look forward to seeing BSU play Houston, was hoping for a HU v BSU bowl game last season, don't know how that would have happened...

  20. A lot of you miss the point. ESPN has reporters and is a news and sports information. You saw how they missed on the Sandusky, Rothlesberger and now the Big East. They are letting there financial interest and bias get in the way. I can no longer take them seriously. Maisel and Cook are the only ones I can listen to and believe what they say.

    People love ESPN (and trust me, I used to also) but they have gotten too big and too powerful. If you watch you can see the agenda. I want to watch sports, not Fox News or MSNBC.

    1. ESPN is exactly like FOXnews and MSNBC. They are all for entertainment value, the only difference is the type of entertainment. ESPN benefits from their strangle hold on college football, and you're right it's too much anymore. I don't know that there is much anyone can do about it though. If the BE can get a team or two into the top ten regularly that will help.

  21. Very nicely written. The BE is as good, better, than the ACC. ESPN is promoting their leagues and trying to call it journalism. I do hope NBC starts to bring them down a peg. What kills me is the interim comish is not even challenging the claims.

    Go Coogs!

    1. I'm not too mad at the interim commish for that. I'm more mad at Marinatto for letting this happen.

      Interim commish is now simply cleaning up a mess.

    2. Not much he can do anyways, since it's likely he feels he's not going to get the head gig anyways...though if he got off his ass, he might merit getting considered for it. And I wouldn't put it past those tards in Providence to do such a move.

  22. Lots of people care about the BE. It plays in the population center of the country.

    College football is controlled by a good ole boy network that has no interest in losing power and money to the BE.

    Love to see Alabama come up north and play at UConn in December in a snow storm. That might change your minds about what's important on a football field.

  23. Excellent Write-up
    ESPN has done all it could to destroy the Big East but when the dust settles the Big East will emerge bigger and better than before.

  24. Sean - Great read . On point and informative. ESPN is for ESPN and that's what it's about

  25. ESPN is just trying to drive down the TV contract price. BE teams just need to win and everything else will fall in line.

    Go UCF Knights

  26. Good stuff Sean! We enjoyed it over at

  27. ESPN=Death Star

  28. Its so true and so freaking frustrating.

    Its so ridiculous.

    Look at some of the schools that are in the so called "Power 5"


    1. Duke
    2. Boston College
    3. Maryland
    4. Virginia
    5. Wake Forest
    6. UNC
    7. NC State
    8. Pitt
    9. Syracuse

    Big 12

    1. Iowa State
    2. Kansas State
    3. Kansas
    4. Baylor (minus RG3)
    5. Texas Tech

    Big 10

    1. Indiana
    2. Illinois
    3. Northwesern
    4. Minnesota
    5. Purdue
    6. Iowa


    1. Kentucky
    2. Miss St
    3. aTm
    4. Vandy
    5. Ole Miss

    Pac 12

    1. UCLA
    2. Arizona
    3. Arizona St
    4. Oregon St
    5. Washington
    6. Washington St.
    7. Utah

    Look at that list of heaping piles of **** that is supposedly so far superior than us.

    Other than the SEC, most of the "Power 5" are made up of mediocre to bottom feeding football programs.

    That is what pisses me off the most.

    Duke is in and USF, Rutgers, Louisville, Boise State, etc...are out?! Its absurd.

    1. Not the interrupt the lovefest, but the big east is not better than the ACC. Their bowl record is -- so what?

      1) Winning %:
      2010's 56.3%
      2000's 55.1%
      1990's 56.6%

      This was before you lost WVU,Pitt,Cuse who have had significant success in those decade

      2) Attendance
      Miami, who placed 6th in ACC attendance in 2011 had higher attendance than every big east school (except WVU, who isn't there anymore)

      3) Recruiting
      The big east had one team finish in the top 25 in recruiting last year per CFBMatrix. Rutgers, at #25. The ACC had five teams in the top 25, including two in the top ten.

      4) TV Ratings
      1. SEC – 4,447,000
      2. Big Ten – 3,267,000
      3. ACC – 2,650,000
      4. Big 12 – 2,347,000
      5. Pac-12 – 2,108,000
      6. Big East – 1,884,000

      1. Big Ten – 1,496,000
      2. ACC – 1,247,000
      3. SEC – 1,222,000
      4. Big 12 – 1,069,000
      5. Big East – 1,049,000
      6. Pac-12 – 783,000




      I have no problem with the big east schools but you don't have to trash other conferences to try and pump yourself up. I hope NBC pays you well and you find a good home there, but lets be reasonable

    2. You need to inform this to ESPN and ACC because this is all they do regarding Big East. Also BE is better than ACC they have won more bowl games with losing teams to the ACC. Look at Miami left BE now they suck go figure.

    3. The reply with the winning percentages and TV ratings is a ridiculous response masked as "facts".

      Example: ABC/ESPN uses their Big East contract to prevent competition for their ACC and Big Ten games from Big East teams in bigger Big East markets.

      While several Rutgers games are among ESPN's most highly rated college football games, ESPN/ABC routinely hid Rutgers games at odd times and on their internet only station ESPN3 while reserving the primetime Saturday slots for Big Ten and ACC games and now even SEC games.

      You just cannot compare TV viewers from a national broadcast with that of a regional or very localized broadcast because ESPN/ABC has routinely minimized the Big East's access to TV viewers.

      Furthermore, with fewer teams, fewer games, how is the big East supposed to collect more viewers?

      How big a stadium is and how full it is, has little to do with the quality of football played in it. The Big Ten is clearly the leader in this regard, and deserves a lot of credit for playing in cold weather states and still getting huge numbers to games.

      But the northeast where the Big East was once based, is inundated with professional sports teams and college teams here once de-emphasized college football a long time ago when the east ruled the college football world. The march of bigger and better college stadiums in the northeast ended then and the NFL took its place. But that does not mean that college football cannot succeed here or that the Big East should be denied access simply because it has less fans who go to games while it has been proven that many many fans are willing to watch Big East football on TV.. when they have access to it.

      New Jersey has 9 million people... with a large number of New Jersey people living over the borders in NYC and Philly and other border areas making its potential market just HUGE. That's why Rutgers games have great ratings. Many Big East teams are in very populous areas. New teams like Houston, San Diego, etc.. the potential is there. But they need access and a TV partner willing to sell them the way NBC sells Notre Dame, the way CBS has sold the SEC to the rest of the nation.. the way ESPN/ABC pimps the ACC and Big Ten. And they need fair access to the playoff and bowl game systems.

    4. why is "facts" in "quotes?"

      Your argument, as far as I can tell, is that the big east is better than the ACC because the northeast has potential for bettering the big east tv ratings?

      So while the big east (as proven) lags behind in ACC/Big East inter-conference competition, tv ratings, attendance, and recruiting --- it is better than the ACC, because it has some potential?

      You make some wild claims without any sources. I sourced all my "facts" (lol)

      "ABC/ESPN uses their Big East contract to prevent competition for their ACC and Big Ten games from Big East teams in bigger Big East markets." -- source?

  29. Great Article on all factual levels. BE needs to sign that deal with NBC and take care of business on the field!!!


  30. I am hoping for some miracle thatallows UCF to soundly defeat Urban Myers and The Ohio State University.
    Watching the ESPN puppets go into convulsions afterreading the score would be classic.
    Of course, after regaining conciousness,those clowns would attribute the OSU loss to the Buckeyes inability to adapt to Urban Myers system so soon in the season!
    The only mention of UCF would be when reading the score!

    1. That reminds me of how Big East teams playing Navy were always ridiculed... until navy almost beat highly ranked OSU to begin a season. Then, suddenly, Navy was a quality team.. as if they had not been when Big East teams would play them on a fair home and home basis.

      ESPN/ABC... and make no mistake, ABC is a big part of this because they are the ones who had these long term investments with the Big Ten and ACC and use those football programs to retain network affiliate stations in the midwest and southern atlantic coast markets boosting their prime-time schedule ratings and national advertising rates (yes, surprise, its always about money)... ESPN/ABC pimps Big Ten and ACC football exactly the way NBC pimps Notre Dame football. You can watch a NBC Notre Dame broadcast and clearly see what's going on there as Notre Dame has struggled on the field. And remember that snoozer last year between LSU and Alabama.. 6-3 snoozefest that was hyped to no end and then sold during the game as a battle of great defenses. It is selling, selling, selling... say it enough and people will believe it.

      And the Big East has been mismanaged to a point that we allowed ESPN/ABC to belittle our product as they owned the rights to sell the product... which has been a very competitive product in most years... and yet the Providence clowns wanted to re-sign with ESPN/ABC. They should all be fired and sued for incompetence... they pensions revoked and have to pay pack their salaries.

    2. The question I would have is, "why would the espn/abc belittle a product which they use to sell advertisements." Doesn't really make much business sense. Sure you can say they are doing it now, because of contract negotiations, but over the past few years. That's like me buying shirts to sell from a company and telling all of my customers that the shirts suck before they buy them.

  31. I stopped watching most games on ESPN unless the Big East was broadcast. Having games on NBC would make it a lot easier to ignore ESPN but I'm still not sure I'd watch Notre Dame play..... unless they're losing.

  32. It's sad that ESPN can be so good yet so bad. They have ruined MLB. Unless it pertains to the Yankess Red Sox, Dodgers, Mets, or Cardinals; it goes to the back. They've done the same with NBA and now the NCAA. I am 44 and I will never see anyone but OU, OSU, Michigan, Alabama, USC, UT, Florida, on Notre Dame win a National Championship. They have rigged it so only those teams matter. Getting into bed with the Longhorn Network was evidence. Look at how they fawned over a 7-5 team with two bad QB's and had lost all their key offensive players. The ESPN evening FB show was good as they highlighted Boise and UH and other mid-majors. They gave credit where it was due.
    However, this vendetta against the Big East just seems petty. When Andre Ware says that UH going to the Big east was a mistake, you know something is up. Saying that a team like UH chasing a BCS bid is a bad thing is one of the dumbest things not said by Stephen A Smith.

  33. Great article.
    I submitted link to ESPN ombudsman, whose job is to look at journalistic approach, ethics and integrity.
    Here is the link if anyone is interested.

  34. Thank You, Thank You Thank You! No doubt ESPN is trying to kill Big East Football. C'mon NBC/Comcast!!!

  35. Hey Sean,

    Thank you for a very well written article. As a fellow UCONN fan, I can't thank you enough for taking the time to write something like this. ESPN is doing everything they can to destroy the BE while propping up the worthless ACC. It is sickening to fans who gets it. My only wish is BE office get a clue and go on the offense for once in the media. Joe Bailey is way too timid to make any strong impression. Someone needs to scold those ESPiN puppets on national TV. Mark May is total moron and just needs to go away. NBC Sports can't come here fast enough. I can't stand ESPiN anymore and I hope rest of the college football fans see them for what they are.

    Great job again at writing this excellent article.

  36. ESPN and the lust of money has ruined college football traditions and ultimatley the sport.

  37. Outstanding work. Couldn't agree more. The fact that someone like AA is allowed to cover the big east for espn show they are doing everything in their power to try and brush the conference to the side.

  38. Whine all you want, but as a fan of a member of the new BE, even i have to admit that the BE does not have the history behind it as the ACC. It is no different between old money and new money. Not all millionaires can get access to the most exclusive clubs even if they are richer than some of the current members. Pedigree is a factor and when ti comes to the BIG 5 in football, pedigree is also a factor. The BE was always the red headed step child in the BCS. Now it is the orphan on the outside looking in.

    1. I always hope that performance on the field rather than "pedigree" will decide who competes for the championship in sports. Why not just cancel the rgular season and have a round robin series between the "right" dozen schools ?

    2. Because "pedigree" adds a storyline to the game. It's what's so enticing about sports. That's why Cowboys/Redskins and Yankees/Red Sox are so exciting. There is history, bad blood, time invested in the competition and when you make a conglomeration of teams that have no history then you lose something.

  39. Once Big East sings their 25 million per college in 2012 they will be find.

  40. Big East will be find with 25 million per college in 2012

  41. Great article that is spot on. Here's an idea, all Big East schools, alumni, students and fans should write to the CEO's of the advertisers on ESPN and explain that they will never purchase a product from them because of where they are advertising, and then follow thru. Tell your friends and ask them to tell their friends to write and not purchase. ESPN's money lust is the only thing they understand. This is now a war between the Big East and their member schools and ESPN. Let's hit them in the only place that will get their attention, "the wallet." Oh yeah, pedigree is a hugh factor, like when Harvard won the National Championship in football, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth..... Pulllllllease..... Go Knights!

  42. Here is an online petition to boycott ESPN.


    Here's an interesting fact... Number of ROAD wins against ranked teams in regular season out of conference play since 2007;

    8- future Big East (best win, Houston at #5 Oklahoma State)
    5- SEC (best win, Georgia at #7 Georgia Tech)
    4- Pac 12 (best win, UCLA at #7 Texas -the Horns went on to have a losing record)
    3- ACC + Pitt and SU (best win, Florida State at #7 BYU
    1- new Big 12 (ONLY win, Oklahoma at #5 Florida State)
    1- Big 10 (ONLY win, Wisconsin at #21 Fresno State)

    So, the new Big East has more quality road wins than the SEC, Big 12, and Big 10 added together! You'd never hear that FACT on ESPiN.

    1. You can add USF against #13 Auburn, #16 Notre Dame, and #18 Florida State.

    2. yep.. great point.. some Big East teams ahve refused to play these road warrior games and insist upon home and home deals.. which seems only fair. But USF, Boise, Cinci.. all willing to take on those PayDay games where you visit an opponent or play as a not-really-neutral site... and they have been winning a fair number of them.

      Still.. its a damn shame the other conferences cannot be forced to make fair home and home deals. The NCAA should find a way to disallow these 3 of 1, 2 for 1 deals... then you'd suddenly find SEC teams willing to play road games against decent opponents.

  44. Love this post. The only thing I would nitpick is the section about Pitt/Cuse not being a huge loss since they only went to one BCS bowl combined. While it's true both of those football teams are garbage and we're better off without them, it's hard to ignore losing WVU and how well they represented the Big East in bowls.

  45. Incredible delusions in the replies here. The ACC owns the Big East, has any team in the Big East won a national championship, let alone played in one? That's what I thought. Big East is done and the new television contract will reflect that. People in Houston care about Houston? Hell no! They care about UT-A. People in Orlando or Tampa go for USF/UCF? Maybe a little, but FSU and UF own that market. Memphis? Yeah right! UT-K all the way, Arkansas and Ole Miss have more support than Memphis. Louisville? They play second fiddle to Kentucky! Cincinnati? OSU owns the state and the market. Temple? PSU's market. Boise? Yeah that's a lucrative market! San Diego State? Get out of here! USC owns Southern California. Big East doesn't have a contract because it isn't a big 5 conference - they're on par with the MAC or Mountain West.

    1. FACT

      The Houston vs. Southern Miss game on ABC drew a 10.6 in the Houston market (26% share) for an 11:00 am local kickoff. The stadium drew above SRO record crowd with thousands more tailgating outside with no chance to get in to the game.

      On the very same day, on the very same ABC channel, the Texas vs. Baylor game drew an 8.2 (18% share) for a 2:30 kickoff. Texas was bowl bound. Baylor was riding the RGIII wave. The stadium in Waco wasn't close to being sold out either.

      Nationally, the UH vs. Southern Miss game drew a 3.1 while the UT-Baylor game drew a 2.6 despite being in the better time slot.

    2. This is a rare exception. Houston will never be as good as they were this past season, while Texas will be back to their typical form. Who is watching TV at 11 am besides people who are watching the game? The Houston market may tune in for a couple big games but the typical fan will be tuning into the SEC and Big 12.

    3. Good thing you're anonymous because now you are just making stuff up.

      Last year was a great year for UH. However, it was nowhere close to being their best ever. Houston has had GREAT teams in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980's into the early 1990s. The program only began to truly slide after they were left out of the Big 12. Logic would actually seem to indicate that with access to more money, better tv deals, better bowl opportunities and more, that Houston will in fact get BETTER.

      As for your last comment, the UH vs. USM game DOMINATED the SEC game of the week (CBS) as well as the OU vs. Okie State game on that same day.

      You seem to dislike FACTS. You either work for ESPin or Fox News...

    4. You're way too hung up on the Houston portion of this. Let's be real here, every other market is already spoken for and your Houston argument is shaky at best - you're putting all your stock in ONE game - that game being Houston's biggest game in years, also being at 11 AM. Houston will never be anything more than a mid-major and the Big East will be forever downgraded to that status - FACT.

  46. Great article. I think some are missing the point here. There is no Big 5. There is a big 4 and that is why there is a 4 team playoff. The B1G, it's sister conference Pac-12, Big 12 and of course the SEC all envisioned their champions playing in this 4 team playoff when they signed on for it. It is ESPN that is touting the ACC as a Big 5. What was the Orange Bowl agreement? Nothing, just an agreement with a Bowl. At best ESPN hopes the ACC champ plays Notre Dame or SEC2 or B1G2 in the Orange Bowl every year. Not exactly national champion material, nor Big 4 status.

  47. The BE w/ all of their strategical advantages(big markets, entrepreneurs who want to make money, easy access to markets)should just start their own network and give NBC/FOX and any other network besides ESPN rights to games, including B-Ball. Our B-Ball is equivalent to the SEC in football. Even w/ losing Syracuse, Pitt and WV, they are all on their way down with no support except WV but they are always one step away from being put on probation. Anyways the WV market isn't worth anything anyways. I remember watching some of their home games and they weren't even packed, probably b/c their to busy w/ their cousin and burning a couch. Navy is the only academy that will ever have a shot at producing and add BSU who is a proven commodity and someone the casual football fan likes to see it should draw a decent amount of attention. Then add SDSU who is a school that has everything to offer, academics, beautiful city, solid recruiting base and large viewer base. Then you add in Houston who is Cinci but with triple if not more of a population and fertile recruiting area and Dallas/Orlando/Memphis! We own the big markets if ESPN doesn't want to suck it up and pay I say let the real businessmen step forward and let them market and broadcast our product to show these other networks how valuable of a product we have. Screw them we don't have to use them, look at versus and the other networks that have popped up they all have been able to take a decent amount of market share imagine having the conference with the biggest metros in the US and the best B-Ball conference in the country. As for our Football conference it will be so much more exciting now that we have the ability to play a championship game and split into divisions, which was our biggest problem before not having enough teams to make the conference schedule matter. We offer too good of a product to go unnoticed and have the ability to utilize our market share to our favor. I'm a USF fan and will admit that now UCF has the ability to compete on a similar level but think it will come down to coaching/recruiting. But they aren't the only one, look at what Memphis, Houston and SMU will be able to do just like Cinci, Louisville and USF did with the ability to play in big markets against quality competition. The easiest/cheapest thing would be to broadcast them on the net and then it would make the games easily accessible and a lot cheaper than having to deal w/ cable networks. Then show them the profit margin and I'd bet they'd jump on it in a heartbeat. We have way too valuable of a product to sit down and let them win. Personally I'd be willing to bet it would be more profitable for a entrepreneur to do this than buying a pro team and hoping they win a title. We should use technology to our advantage and say screw you to all the other networks, we live in a world that is very capable of broadcasting their own games from the computer look at Espn3!!! Especially the big markets!

    1. Big East is hardly the equivalent to SEC football. The only top program left is UConn. The ACC is the equivalent of SEC football with 4 different NCAA champions since 2000 and 6 championships for the conference.

    2. Hahahahahahahah....ROTFLMAO...ACC equivalent to SEC in football...that's a good one!

    3. If you think ACC is similar to SEC in football, you need to get off whatever dope you are on. New BE is better than ACC football. ACC football sucks. The only difference is ACC's master ESPN does not bash the conference 24x7. ACC's 2-13 BCS record is the worst of any conference by far. Orange Bowl ratings suck balls thanks to the ACC. Calling ACC as one of the Big 5 is simply pure insult to anyone who understands real football.

    4. In reference to ACC basketball being equivalent to SEC football. Read the initial post you Big East mid major jokes.

  48. This is great article the ACC only has 1 power that is FSU! That team is overrated every year top 10 recruiting class every year {FOOTBALL} but nothing to show for it.

  49. Hockey? The airwaves can do without hockey. It is a waste of bandwidth space. Same with NASCAR.

  50. Great article, thanks for writing the facts. It's nice to read something that isn't all posturing bullshit.

  51. Pitt and Cuse are on their way out; WVU is out. The best of C-USA and MWC are coming in..and a team they kicked out nearly a decade ago comes back in. Can't find a reason to care about people dogging on the Big East to be honest.

    Maybe if the Providence/Basketball Yes Men had tried to be competitive when the football schools sent that letter in May of 2010, we wouldn't be in this boat. But they didn't. So I sincerely can't find a reason to care.

  52. I had a chance to do a Q&A with Sean regarding this article. Take a look at here:

    Linkable link in my name above

  53. Let me preface this comment by saying that I am a big Boise fan. The post is well written but I find it very funny. I doubt the author would have written the same about the Mtn West the last 8 years or so even though it has been clear that the MWC has been better than both the Big East and the ACC during that span. Only now that the Big East is threatened Does anyone seem to care. Now you truly understand the plight of BSU and why it took us til the last second to withdraw from the MWC as it appears the move isn't as enticing as it once was. Just know the second the PAC 12 or Big 12 decide to go to 16 teams BSU is gone.

    1. I agree that ESPN has been unfair to the MWC. And if I was a fan of a MWC team, I may have written a similar article.

      The difference is that the MWC made the (ill-fated) decision to start their own network. ESPN was never trying to disparage the MWC and make it lose AQ status, because it never had it.

  54. This comment has been removed by the author.

  55. Whining about lack of respect right now seems a bit silly. The Big East lineup in 2012 has exactly one BCS bowl win and six appearance between them. That's six of the Big East's 7 historical BCS victories, gone to other conferences. Claiming credit for the success of programs that aren't in the conference any longer doesn't make much sense.

    In 2012, the ACC roster is a cumulative 5-14 in BCS games and the Big East roster is a cumulative 1-6. Why in the world should the media pretend like the two conferences are on par with one another? They're not by any objective look at their current composition. You can make a solid argument that the BE has been better overall in the BCS era, but that's an argument over the past, not the present.

    As far as television viewership goes, despite their mediocrity, according to Nielsen the ACC is third biggest college football television ratings draw in the marketplace:

    Rank Conference Average TV Viewers
    1 SEC 4.44 million
    2 Big Ten 3.26 million
    3 ACC 2.65 million
    4 Big 12 2.34 million
    5 Pac-12 2.10 million
    6 Big East 1.88 million

    People watch FSU, Miami and Va Tech even when they're not that great and even when the games aren't that important. That's really all that ESPN is concerned about.

    The BE has a lot riding on the continued success of Boise State going forward. But they're not actually playing in the conference yet.

    1. While I will not argue that those are accurate numbers I will point out that the different platforms help to carry different ratings numbers.
      For example the Big East has a lot of Friday games and games on ESPN U. Friday is by far the worst ratings night of the week and ESPNU though a national network doesn't have the reach of ESPN 1&2. So you would expect the ACC and the SEC for example to have a higher number of viewers based on the profile of network their games are on.

  56. Maybe NBC can force Notre Dame into the Big East and that would save the league....No one, not even ESPN, could disparage the Big East then and it could possibly be as good as the Big Ten.
    Sadly, the Big East is going to have to bite the bullet and sign with ESPN or suffer the great sound of silence. Remember hockey? As a Devils fan, I loved their run and much prefer their playoffs to basketball, but ESPN ran basketball into the ground! My God! That's all there was on ESPN! NBA, NBA, and NBA...and here's some baseball, oh and there was a hockey game too, here's the score (no highlight).

  57. I read this on a Boise board posted by a Cincinnati guy with some obvious connections.
    I hope this happens as said!

    I've been picking things up from several different places... it deals directly with why Memphis is part of things (ie. FedEx) and how they are part of our big bowl future.
    There are a lot of moving parts... but that this is a serious plan.

    The assumption is that NBC will be our major rights holder AT LEAST in football.
    Big East football will be a major part of what they are doing on their various sports platforms.
    Starting with the over the air network level, thru their other cable sports networks.

    The next part of the plan to enhance the value of the Big East deal is for NBC to buy the broadcast rights to at least one of the remaining major bowls.
    Be it one of the remaining current BCS games or which ever bowl is added to that group. (for example if someone like the Citrus, Cotton gets promoted)

    That is when FedEx steps in.....
    They will then cough up the big bucks to be the title sponsor/naming rights holder of the (NBC held) Bowl

    The deals will have a requirement (from both NBC & FedEx) that the Big East Champion will have a tie in to that Bowl.

    What is interesting (and honestly a touch confusing) is how that might (or might not) work with our East/West set up.
    Its possible that the East Champ if they win the Title game will go to one Bowl (say the Citrus).
    If the West Champ wins they will go to a different one (for example the Holiday)... making it more geographically make sense.
    That way you don't have a UConn going to the far west... or a SDSU playing a Bowl on the East Coast.
    Also the Bowls would like it because it gives them a better shot at a big gate... and some flexibility to occasionally go a different direction matchup wise.
    So.... they would have a Big East team some years.... someone else other years.
    Keeps the matchups fresh.

    Also, I have heard that BYU is very interested in becoming part of this.... but wants to see if the pieces come together a little more before jumping in.
    But their interest is genuine.
    They love the idea of being independent... but its now become very clear that only one indy gets special considerations and they are the guys up in South Bend not in Provo.
    Privately.... the meetings about playoffs and TV payouts made their administration very concerned.

  58. Greetings! I can clearly see that you really understand what you are writing about over here. Do you own a degree or maybe an education that is somehow related with the subject of the blog article? Can't wait to see your answer.

  59. As it stands now, the Big East has NO football schools anymore.

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  61. Hey faggot! I saw this little tidbit of yours on ESPN:

    "What's the point of this article? If the NFL wants to put a team in London, they will. It's no different than an American company opening a UK office."

    Apparently you missed this part of the article:

    "Although the U.K. might benefit from an NFL team in London, the EU wouldn't really benefit as a whole, giving it less incentive to revise laws or rule favorably for the NFL. Nixon and other labor law specialists in the country simply have no idea how the EU might react."

    London will NEVER get an NFL team for way to many reasons that has been said all ready. But you on the other hand will have AIDS for being a homo, which is the "Big Man's" punishment from above for being queer! And you know what, nobody will miss you!

    My Twitter page is: Davezorn72

    Post your response to me there...if you got balls that is!

  62. UConn is the greatest eastern football program ever. Going to one major bowl game as a co-champion of a conference is proof of that. Pitt, Syracuse and WV are joke programs compared to the Huskies. They don't have the pedigree in football that you will find in Storrs. Why the ACC doesn't fold is a mystery to me as the Big East football conference is the finest in the land. When UConn played tough against Oklahoma for one quarter, that was the greatest 15 minutes of Big East football ever. Coach P may have gone to 3 major bowl games at Syracuse while winning one, but that's absolutely no comparison to the Huskies. UConn is the program everyone has their eye on and that's why they will lead the Big East into glory. I predict the Big East to be the top football conference as far as revenue goes once those clowns at ESPN realize what they're missing.


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