With the resignation of John Marinatto as Big East commissioner, the Big East once again seems to be on the respirator.
With WVU, Pitt and Syracuse gone, and Boise State a year away from joining the conference, Rutgers is left in the position of being one of the favorites to win the league this year.
Something Greg Schiano could not accomplish, winning the conference would mean Rutgers' first ever Big East conference title, and its first BCS bowl.
But you have to wonder what the title would really mean.
There is no doubt that Big East football is going more toward the way of C-USA and the Sun Belt Conference than toward the SEC or the Big Ten.
Rutgers, among other schools, may look to leave the Big East, but for one reason or another, has failed to do so while feigning solidarity to the Big East.
In desperation, the Big East has even sought to reacquire Temple for football after unceremoniously booting the school out several years ago.
Going for quantity over quality, the Big East has attempted to add schools like SMU, San Diego State and Central Florida as football-only members.
After being spurned by perennial power TCU, the Big East is hopeful that Houston will bring the Texas market into the Big East and that Boise State replaces WVU as a school that gives the Big East a national power and presence.
However, these schools don't enter the fray until 2013, leaving 2012 as a very wide open and very small conference that is tenuously holding on to its automatic BCS bid.
Once the league expands, its sheer numbers that attempt to mask its dearth of top-flight programs like what Miami and Va. Tech were at the time of their departure, will make the league tougher to win when you consider it will also add a championship game.
If Rutgers does pull off what it has been unable to do in its history, it will be tainted in that the school never was able to beat out WVU or Pitt to win the title and it will be pre-Boise State and Houston joining the league. Major asterisk.
*Writer's update: In looking at the upcoming schedule, I made a mistake, not realizing that these schools would not be out by 2012 as I looked at the wrong future opponents schedule for Rutgers.
I still maintain that in the current state of the Big East, that RU having never beaten out WVU and with two teams on their way out the door, the title would still be a tainted one for Rutgers. Such a title would also be captured prior to the arrival of Houston and Boise State.
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