Butler to the Big East.
Pause for a moment. Let that sink in.
The Big East. The conference that rules over all others in college basketball.
Until recently, the Big East boasted the likes of Villanova, Syracuse, Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Marquette and defending national champion Connecticut.
Just last week, Syracuse and Pittsburgh jumped ship for the Atlantic Coast Conference in an effort to “provide long-term conference stability in what is an uncertain, evolving and rapidly shifting national landscape,” according to ESPN.
Now imagine teams like Georgetown and Marquette visiting Hinkle Fieldhouse instead of teams like Detroit or Youngstown State.
There has been some speculation as to which schools, if any, will replace Pittsburgh and Syracuse in the Big East.
The Xavier Musketeers have been talked about, as have our beloved Bulldogs.
Neither Butler nor Xavier has a Division I football program. Surprisingly, neither do several Big East schools.
Georgetown, Villanova, Seton Hall, DePaul, Marquette, Providence and St. John’s all either don’t play Division I football or don’t have a team at all.
All of those schools have good basketball programs, just as Butler and Xavier do.
My proposition is this: why not have Butler get together with the likes of Xavier, Villanova, St John’s and others to create a basketball super conference of sorts?
You could call it whatever you want, but it would eliminate the problem every analyst and fan outside of the “Butler Bubble” seems to have with the Bulldogs: they play in the Horizon League.
That isn’t to say the Horizon League is a bad conference to play in.
But come tournament time, the selection committee would give more value to a win over Georgetown than a win over Wright State.
It would do nothing but help our Bulldogs in the long run.
Sure, it would more or less eliminate the appeal that Butler has as the “underdog” or “Cinderella.” However, there comes a time when a team should not be considered a “Cinderella” every year.
The Horizon League has been good to the Bulldogs since they joined in 1979, but all good things must come to an end.
If there was ever a time for Butler to make a move to a major conference, that time is now.
They should take advantage of the success of the past two seasons and turn it into something that will benefit Butler basketball, not just in the next five years, but for years to come.