The Big East conference is holding their annual offseason meetings in Ponte Vedra, FL this week. The meetings will be lead by Big East commissioner Val Ackerman and will include “planning sessions with the ten-member school’s athletic directors, senior woman administrators, and men’s and women’s basketball head coaches,” according to a release sent out by the league. The meetings began on Monday and the agenda items include:
With Kevin McNamara’s announcement on Twitter that the Big East and Big Ten conferences have agreed to begin a challenge series in the 2015-16 season, it’s fantastic news for this new version of the Big East. Scheduling strong opponents outside the conference has become critically important for all member schools because of the defections of perennially highly ranked programs like Syracuse and Louisville among others from the in conference schedule. The Big Ten is arguably the 2nd best basketball conference in the country behind only the ACC.
Providence has been working on scheduling a Big Ten opponent for this upcoming season with Michigan being the one where negotiations seem closest to completion. Marquette plays in-state rival Wisconsin every season. Creighton and Nebraska do that same. Seton Hall and new Big Ten member, Rutgers, will be in year 2 of an 8 year series they agreed to in March 2013. Now all 10 members of the Big East will get to play a Big Ten opponent to start their season. It has been reported that each Big Ten team will play in the Dave Gavitt Tip Off at least 4 times with each Big East member playing in it at least 6 times over the course of the 8 year deal. The fact that this series will be named after the Hall of Famer, Dave Gavitt adds some special connection for Friar fans. It’s great to see that his greatness and legacy continue to carry further than just Friartown.
The games will be played in a 4 day period from Tuesday-Friday during the first week of each season in November. The Big Ten/ACC Challenge, an ESPN creation, will continue. In terms of television for these games, the coverage will be split among ESPN, Fox Sports 1 and the Big Ten Network with the home team determining which network the game will be aired on.
That takes care of the housekeeping. Now you know the details. But what does this new series mean for the Big East?