Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water- err, conference, we’ve got more realignment on the horizon. This time the school making moves is Davidson, jumping from the Southern Conference to the Atlantic 10. According to this report from ESPNs Andy Katz, the Wildcats’ first season in the A10 will be the 2014-15 school year, making this upcoming season their swan song in the SoCon. After Davidson and George Mason officially join, the A10 will have a 14-team league come 2014… but don’t count on it.
The Big East currently stands at 10 teams. However it’s no secret the league and, more importantly, their broadcast partner (Fox Sports) want to expand to 12, most likely after this upcoming season. The Big East just took the Atlantic 10 for Butler & Xavier, and there are a scant few pundits who believe the next two Big East members aren’t coming from the A10. Of those speculated, the A10 schools that are most often mentioned as possible Big East members 11 and 12 are Dayton, Richmond, Saint Louis, and VCU, with Saint Louis apparently a foregone conclusion at this point. With the addition of Davidson, the A10 has seemingly acknowledged this situation as a fait accompli; they know they’re losing two (not sure which schools, but two nonetheless) and chose to add Davidson on their terms. Instead of waiting to act after the Big East completes another pilfering, they acted now.
The big takeaway: today’s news signifies that a 12 team Big East is not a matter of “if” or even “when”, but “whom”.