Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Catholic Conference

A plan for an all-Catholic school conference laid out in the Dayton Daily News. As Marc Katz would have it:

Marquette- 23rd nationally by Pomeroy
Xavier- 24th
ND- 35th
Creighton- 67th
Dayton- 80th
Saint Louis- 138th
DePaul- 206th
Detroit- 278th
Canisius- 221st
Loyola Chicago- 224th

I'm intrigued by the idea, but I definitely don't buy his parity argument. There are only three or four solid basketball programs on that list, two of which are weak bubble teams right now. Sure, Dayton is good for an upset or two and DePaul really should be better than they are with a great recruiting base, but overall this league is much weaker than the A-10.

How about breaking the Big East into divisions? One Catholic and one secular.

Catholic Division-

Villanova- 20th
Marquette- 23rd
Georgetown- 27th
ND- 35th
Seton Hall- 75th
Providence- 77th
St. John's- 105th
DePaul- 206th

While not geographically perfect, it keeps a great basketball conference together and puts like-minded schools in the same division. Interesting.

EDIT: An idea from NDNation:

Catholic Conference with two divisions:

East Division-
Georgetown
Villanova
St. John's
Seton Hall
Providence
St. Joe's

Midwest Division-
Marquette
DePaul
ND
Dayton
Xavier
Creighton

The second part of this post is what intrigues me the most, however. What about a rivalry with the all-Christian (seven Catholic schools and Pepperdine) West Coast Conference? Pair the Irish and 'Zags, Marquette and St. Mary's, etc. for a version of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

5 comments:

notre damian said...

this a great idea (well @ least the big east into 2 divisions).

happy lent...go irish!

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

I remember someone suggesting that, if the Big East were ever to break up, this would be the most optimal way to split them, that way Notre Dame keeps its conference for other sports but is still a free agent when it comes to football.

Anonymous said...

Poor idea. Notre Dame would dominate the other sports for a time, then the overall strength of this league would fade. The Olympic sports need the challenge presented by Pitt, Louisville, Syracuse, UConn, etc.

BlackandGreen said...

That's a fair point and I don't know a whole lot about the Olympic sports. As it stands, we do get to play at a high level in every sport.

Craig said...

Top to bottom, my sense is that the football schools outpace the non-football schools in the non-revenue sports. It's not comprehensive nor universal, as the non-football schools still tend to have one or two sports where they are competitive (e.g. SJU baseball and men's soccer, Georgetown lax and women's soccer), but the sports I follow the most closely (soccer and volleyball) get most of their strength from the football schools. Catholic conferences in those sports would be ND plus a bunch of minnows.

I tend to side with Mike Coffey in feeling that the big contract that follows the football teams would be the biggest factor in ND taking the football side of a Big East split, but I'd have to think that the non-revenue sports would be a factor as well.