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kentatm 09-11-2012 08:33 PM

Big East will keep name

The Big East has decided against “tweaking” its name. Smart move. As much fun will be poked at San Diego State and Boise State playing in the Big East, the name and the logo still carries weight according to new commissioner Mike Aresco.

“It's much stronger than probably the perception has been,” he told recently. “I am really, really out there talking about it as much as possible. I'm absolutely convinced and I think I'm objective – it is significantly stronger than the Big East when it had the automatic qualifier and was confined to the Northeast and didn't have a bell cow like Boise State.”

Wait, Boise State, a bell cow? As the Big East fell apart and then reformed, the strongest TV markets/brands were considered to be SMU, Houston and Boise State. Both Houston and SMU are fourth or fifth media options in their cities. But there weren't many options left. The conference's presence in the Northeast was further diminished with the loss of Pittsburgh and Syracuse.

Boise State? Somewhat of an established power and certainly a brand name to the point that the Cinderella label may no longer apply.

“They remind you a lot of Gonzaga in basketball in a way that really endeared them to the country,” Aresco said. “No one will ever forget the [2007] Fiesta Bowl when they beat Oklahoma. They play a fun style of football. They've emerged as a national brand.

“What they bring is a national appeal. The old Big East football conference had some decent teams but it didn't have a team quite like that. They're going to continue to capture peoples' imaginations because they're Boise. They're going to be compared to other major conference schools. They will, in some way, be a source of controversy. But people are not going to stop watching Boise.”


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