You remember Alfonso Ribeiro. You know, Carlton Banks on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Of course, that show ended in 1996. And Will Smith decided to hitch his wagon to movies and lose DJ Jazzy Jeff. Poor Alfonso was still left doing this.

What happened in Bel-Air is being mirrored on the east coast where the Big East hitched its wagon to basketball in a world that only appreciates football.

The BCS is king, providing millions of dollars to each of the power conferences compared to the hundreds of thousands of dollars alloted to the power conferences for each NCAA Basketball Tournament appearance. The Big East is billed as a great basketball conference, one that includes Marquette, Villanova and Georgetown among others. The problem is those schools don’t feature Bowl Championship Series football. Schools are worried they will be left without a prom date, so they’re taking the most stable invite they can get.

Pittsburgh and Syracuse jump to the ACC; UConn is begging the ACC to call them. TCU is stuck in the Big East (without having played one game) when a spot in the Big 12 might now be open for the taking.

The ironic thing about all of this is the Big East is the perfect example of why we should avoid 16-team super-conferences. Those basketball teams beat up on each other throughout the regular season. A 5-day conference tournament wears out many of those teams and leaves your top seeds sometimes with devalued rankings when NCAA Tournament seeds are dispersed. Coaches complain that with 16 teams, you play each team once and randomly only a few random teams twice.

Now imagine condensing that basketball schedule into a football schedule where you might not play a team for two out of three years?

And so a group of schools with like missions of mediocre football or no football, and geographical compatibility are left twisting in the wind.  South Florida, Rutgers, Louisville, Cincinnati. Left in a tough place where you aren’t cool enough to recruit your friends to come play with you and not desirable enough for someone to come in and swoop you up.

You are Drew Barrymore in a world of Angelina Jolies.

So, what do you do? Invest in mediocre friends? Maybe East Carolina? Or do you sit back and hope you get pulled off the scrap heap by someone looking to fill out a 16-team roster?

Either way, you’re getting left behind. Pittsburgh and Syracuse got “Welcomed to Miami” and you’re left behind, waiting for Geoffrey the Butler to make you a PB&J and counsel you on why the girls won’t return your call.

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