When the Big East bid sayonara to Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College, the obvious conclusion was that whatever balance existed on the East Coast had definitively shifted to the ACC, which would be worthy of the "Super Conference" tag along with the SEC, Big XII and Big Ten, while the Big East would languish and dwindle to the status of a glorified mid-major, a la Conference USA - from whence, it happened, half of the revamped league's members were plucked to fill the massive gap left by its former heavies. This was taken as a given by all, including SMQ, who predicted the Big East would quickly lose its automatic big money bid as college football followed the wider cultural trend of upward-shifting power towards the traditional elite. This was painfully true for the first season, when very average Pittsburgh won the Big East and was summarily trashed by a Mountain West school in the Fiesta Bowl.
And yet...and yet...at the midpoint of the second season of full transition, the Big East is the league with two teams ranked in the top ten, and the ACC is the league with none. The Big East is the league whose members have the highest overall winning percentage of any Bowl Subdivision conference, the league with three remaining undefeated teams, with a 10-7 record against other BCS conferences and with only one team (Connecticut) with an overall record in the red. It's the league whose new bellwether - a "scrap" hastily snatched up from the lesser conference - just trashed its old bellwether - the prize jewel of the ACC's raid - by three touchdowns in a beating that should have been worse and surprised none. While the ACC loses multiple times over to the MAC and Conference USA.
The Washington Post made note of the Big East's unpredictable rise in September, and the part about the "ACC's expense" can only have grown worse in the interim: at what other juncture in history could Rutgers be unanimously regarded more highly than Miami and Florida State? 1869? The ACC's self-cannibilization, where perpetually schizophrenic NC State and Georgia Tech are sniping the presumptive frontrunners, where Big East refugee Boston College can be counted a division favorite, but the vaunted Florida schools cannot, pales in the coming November round robin among West Virginia, Louisville, Rutgers and Pittsburgh. Or are you excited about the NC State-Georgia Tech championship game currently on track?
Rutgers relives the good old days
With the BCS' expansion to a fifth game, two years after it was seriously and rightly questioned whether the Big East deserved one big money bid, the league could easily earn two - which is at least one more than the Super Conference that nearly dismantled it will be able to claim.