FanPost

Big East expansion - looking at some numbers

The fans of the "newly" expanded Big East have wanted an additional expansion to its football programs to fix the scheduling issues and keep other conferences from raiding their teams.  I think it is time the Big East commissioner heeds the warning from the Big 10's public announcement about expansion, and do a little expanding themselves.  The question is what program(s) would actually bring in a benefit to the football conference?  The Big East says no program out there fits the mold to bring any value to the conference, so I set out to prove them wrong by looking at other BCS conferences and comparing some of their teams to the teams mentioned by fans for Big East expansion.  I did a quick attendance comparison between some programs and included six BCS conference teams and six "future Big East programs" mentioned by fans... after all, it's pretty much all about the revenue, right (which usually means butts in the seats)?

BCS Conference Teams Seating Capacity Avg Attendance (2008) Fill %
Baylor 50000 34124 68.25
Indiana 52692 31782 60.32
Northwestern 47130 28590 60.66
Vanderbilt 39790 38460 96.66
Wake Forest 31500 31666 100.53
Washington St 35117 30719 87.48
Big East additions? Seating Capacity Avg Attendance (2008) Fill %
Appalachian St 20150 25161 124.87
Delaware 22000 21609 98.22
ECU 43000 42016 97.71
Memphis 62380 25003 40.08
UCF 45301 39596 87.41
Villanova 12500 6691 53.53

 

If I were the Big East commissioner, based on potential revenue, I would look at possible additions in the following order:  UCF, ECU, Memphis, Appalachian St, Delaware, Villanova.  Even though Villanova is a basketball member of the Big East, do you really see them bringing any value whatsoever to the football conference?  Not only does your stadium only hold 12,500, but you are only able to barely hit 50% of its capacity:  WEAK!

If you use the same logic, you might be asking why I would have Memphis as the 3rd choice... because that 25,003 average in 2008 includes the 40,248 that attended the Louisville game.  Think how that number might change if Louisville, Cincinnati, USF (all old CUSA foes), or West Virginia came to town every other year.  I like the renewed rivalries as well (especially on the hardwood).

I'm also surprised about the Northwestern numbers.  You would think a program (even one that has winning records lately more times than not) is pulling in such low attendance numbers.  What's up with that?

Let me know what you think... (FYI, I blatantly chose to not include any Big East school's numbers in my quick research)

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