It’s no secret that it’s been a tough few months for (what’s left of) the Big East football conference. Still, even as the conference crumbles around them, and as teams flee the league like they’re trying to escape a burning building, that didn’t stop the University of Cincinnati from getting into the Christmas spirit and sending out some pretty cute holiday cards this past winter.
Of course it wasn’t that Cincinnati sent out cute Christmas cards which intrigues us this morning, but instead who the Bearcats administration sent them to: According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Bearcats’ sent the video cards- which tout a $70 million expansion to Nippert Stadium- to the Presidents of ACC schools.
Hmm, think there was a hidden agenda there? Actually, let’s take that back, since it doesn’t seem like the agenda was hidden at all.
Either way, here’s what the Enquirer said about the situation:
In January, UC sent a video description of the $70 million project to all of the Atlantic Coast Conference presidents, the latest sign that it’s still campaigning for a spot in that league.
“Located in the heart of our campus, Nippert shines as one of the nation’s oldest college football venues,” UC President Santa Ono wrote. “I invite you to watch the enclosed DVD to learn more about our exciting plans.”
For Cincinnati, it’s a pseudo-pathetic move, but one which also seems necessary in their attempts to get out of the Big East Conference. As you all know by now, the facade of the league has been crumbling for years and seemed to officially hit its breaking point as a relevant all-sports entity within the last couple months.
West Virginia left for the Big XII this past fall and Syracuse and Pitt are on their way to join the ACC next year. Recently, Rutgers and Louisville announced that they’d be leaving the league (for the Big Ten and ACC respectively) officially ending any period of relevancy the football side of things has left. And when the league’s non-football schools (affectionately known as the “Catholic seven”) announced they were on their way out too, it unofficially killed the one sport the league had left to hang on their hat on, in basketball.
Now, the remaining Big East schools are left holding on for dear life, while also trying to position themselves anywhere but in the conference going forward. The league recently got an offer of just $20-$23 million for their media rights, a comically low number in an era where the Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC are making about that much per school, not for the entire conference. Meaning that for schools like Cincinnati, UConn and South Florida, it’s about doing whatever the hell it takes to get out of this league, and onto more stable footing.
And in this case, apparently “whatever the hell it takes” means sending out cute video eCards. At the very least, it’s certainly a unique way to let those fine folks down on Tobacco Road know that the Bearcats have interest in joining their prestigious league.
My only question is this: If they were in fact ‘Christmas’ cards, why did Cincinnati decide to send them in January?
Maybe they had to save on postage with the impending TV deal?
Welcome to life in the current Big East.
For all his opinion, analysis and insight on college football, be sure to follow Aaron on Twitter @Aaron_Torres.
Follow Crystal Ball Run on Twitter @CrystalBallRun.