So was there something Tranghese could have done years before? The Big East never had the strength in football of other conferences from the start and each raid depleted it.
"Gone out and gotten Alabama," he said with a laugh.
What, You Again?
This time the ACC got raided. When Maryland announced in November it was leaving for the Big 10, Swofford was forced to act. UConn immediately became the favorite, but soon Louisville was in the mix. The Big East got raided, too; but when does it not? The Big 10 also grabbed Rutgers.
Tranghese said he felt the Big 10 would have left the Big East alone, feeling that strong Eastern football only helped the overall college scene, but by this time it had no choice. It needed to act to protect itself.
So what would the ACC do this time? Could this be the Huskies' way out to some sanity? UConn fans sat and waited. UConn had the academic edge, and many felt that was going to be key among the ACC presidents. But football, just like those warning signs 20 years ago, was just too powerful once again. And Louisville has been better recently.
"We felt that what the ACC needed most was to add the most exciting sports programs that we could," said North Carolina Chancellor Holden Thorp, chairman of the ACC Council of Presidents.
And by that he meant more football buzz. UConn was stung again, the second time in 14 months that UConn was considered but bypassed by the ACC.
UConn President Susan Herbst could only speak to timing, helplessness.
"Conference realignment has so many pieces that are out of the control of us and most individual universities," Herbst said. "The only thing we can control is to try to put ourselves in the best place academically and athletically."
Where Do We Go From Here?
DeSchriver sounds a similar chord to Herbst. Many things are out of the control of the individual institution.
"I am not really sure what UConn could have done to make itself more attractive to other conferences," DeSchriver said. "The one area where, in hindsight, UConn may have regrets is its aggressive fight against the ACC a decade ago when Miami, Virginia Tech, and BC left the Big East. I must believe that there are still some negative feelings toward UConn by some in the ACC due to the previous lawsuits."
At some point the ACC might have no choice but to go to UConn. Superconferences might be the way of the college world sooner rather than later.
"Within 10 years, it is possible that we see five major conferences with 14, 16 teams," Deschriver said. "The next question beyond that is if these five conferences remain as part of the NCAA or do they break off to form their own association. By doing this, they would control their own destiny and increase their level of autonomy. Currently, they still are somewhat controlled by the NCAA and [NCAA president Mark] Emmert.
"I am skeptical that the commissioners of the big five conferences really enjoy having this oversight by the NCAA. Also, I do not think the major Division I programs enjoy subsidizing the spending for Division II and Division III championships. Does Alabama or Ohio State really want to subsidize the costs associated with sending a Division III athlete at Trinity to compete in the NCAA track and field championship or any other sport?"