The Big East is dead. So now what might happen to George Mason in all this?

UPDATE: Xavier and Butler are leaving the A10 to join the new league being formed by the seven departing Big East Catholic schools. Still more teams to join.

Well the Big East’s “Catholic 7″ are definitely breaking away from the conference, now they just need to decide when and how to do it, USA Today reports. Despite how some fans of the Big East feel about what’s happening, there is going to be one hell of a new basketball conference formed. There are winners and losers in all this involving some big programs and other conferences, but how might this all affect George Mason? It’s too soon to tell but Mason’s name has been throw around in the talk of other teams that could be plucked if the Catholic 7 did in fact form a new league. 

Perhaps the Atlantic 10 loses members like Xavier, Dayton, St. Louis, and Butler to the new league and then George Mason gets invited again to the depleted Atlantic 10. Would that be a better situation than the current CAA? Good question, and something the Board of Visitors would probably have to consider. Others could also join this new league, SB Nation’s Rumble in the Garden blog has a great breakdown of all the possible additions that could join the Catholic 7.
Last May I wrote why it made sense for VCU to make the bold move and for George Mason to stay. With these recent events it seems like maybe, just maybe the Mason administration predicted this storm coming. A quote today from Daily Press writer David Teel seems to back up that point:


The Big East basketball divorce and potential poaching of A-10 is why outgoing AD Norwood Teague recommended #VCU sit tight for a year.
— David Teel (@DavidTeelatDP) December 13, 2012

I don’t think it’s crazy to think Mason’s AD Tom O’Connor had similar thoughts on the subject. I don’t know for you sure but boy is this getting interesting. No matter what happens it seems there could be an opportunity for George Mason to be in a better situation than the current CAA. 
  • Andy Minor

    I think we’d be more in line to join a gutted A-10 than the new Catholic League. I doubt GTown (given their historic avoidance of playing Maryland) wants a new in-conference rival in their own backyard and in their own TV market. What’s more, I think the Catholic league would be a little lob-sided in favor of GTown, Marquette, and St. John’s (and even St John’s is a stretch some seasons). It would take a few years to recruit the necessary talent to compete for a conference championship.

    Personally I’d rather compete for a title in a “weaker” conference then get slugged at in a weighted conference where we were an afterthought.

    Knowing our administration, though, we’ll probably stay, and the CAA will eventually just be Mason, JMU and W&M playing a micro tournament on the court in Tom Yeager’s back yard.

  • Bentley

    While Mason is a logical name for sports writers to throw out there to join this new conference, there isn’t much with Mason a new top tier conference would want. As much as it pains me to say, we have weak attendance with rows and rows of empty seats in plain TV view and zero local media coverage. The final four is a distant memory now and the way we (didn’t) capitalize on the the national run as far as upgrading the program and basketball facilities and willingness to pay the school icon and all time leader in CAA wins (Larranaga) or his assistant coaches tells any perspective suitor where Mason stands in priority for sports.

    Mason doesn’t fit the profile for fan base, TV audience, or ticket sale for a top tier conference, and I don’t see the BOV approving a move to the A10. No, Mason will stick with the CAA as it continues to sink in national profile. Once upon a time the CAA bid always got stuck with a 13-15 seed in the NCAA tournament. We saw them get beyond that with multiple bids and Mason even get an at large as a lower seed just 2 years ago. But now the CAA is hitting rock bottom and this year’s autobid winner will be a 15 or 16 seed. Sad fall after such a great rise. Sad missed opportunity for Mason to have something special and consistently join the local basketball conversation with Georgetown and Maryland.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=502681121 Doug Economou

    I agree with Andy. As much as I would love to join this new conference, I don’t see why it would want Mason. With Butler and Xavier leaving the A10, it’s more realistic to fill one of the two spots in the A10.

    Either way, Mason fans want OUT of the CAA for something more competitive.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=507175946 Ric Andersen

    The BOV would definitely approve a move to the A10. They would have last time, except the A10 never had an opening for GMU. The A10 had two spots, and GMU ALWAYS ranked behind Butler and VCU. Read carefully GMU’s preemptive statement and all the news stories. They never were invited. And of course they won’t be invited to the new Big East/Catholic 7. But, and this seems obvious, the A10 WILL invite GMU after they lose Xavier, Butler, and possibly Dayton and St. Louis. We were the third choice then, first choice now for the A10. This Big East split is extremely good for GMU.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=701921774 Monèt Sutton

    I think the reason our attendance kind of sucks is because we’re still in the CAA. No one in the CAA scares us so no one is going to go to a CAA game. I mean look at the UVA game, the place was PACKED then. We need a slightly tougher a conference. Though I think it’s more logical that we might go to the A-10 because I don’t see why this new Catholic conference would want us with our inconsistent playing