As outrageous as the Big East’s latest expansion is, encompassing SMU in Dallas, Texas, the University of Houston, Boise State and San Diego State, it’s not like it’s the first conference or division in sports to have flawed geography that clashes with its name.
If you look at the NFL, the Arizona Cardinals were part of the NFC East until almost a decade ago and the division still contains the Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis doesn’t really belong in the AFC South, Kansas City is kind of a stretch for the AFC West and St Louis is an awful lot farther east than any other team in the NFC West. In baseball, the NL Central contains Houston (which is at least moving to the slightly more logical location of the AL West in 2013) and Pittsburgh.
The NHL’s about to go to a fairly different organizational setup but as of right now, Boston shares a division with Buffalo (at least eight hours away by car) and three Canadian teams, the Atlantic Division features Pittsburgh, which is a lot farther from the Atlantic Ocean than say, Boston, Winnipeg, which is located in the middle of Canada, plays in the Southeast Division, Dallas, which is nowhere near the Pacific Ocean, plays in the Pacific Division and Denver and Minnesota’s NHL and NBA teams are somehow both division rivals.
Not that the NBA’s any better. Toronto’s team is somehow in the Atlantic Division, New Orleans is in the Southwest Division and three years after moving from Seattle, the Oklahoma City Thunder are STILL in the Northwest Division. Don’t forget college basketball’s Atlantic 10, which includes the likes of St. Louis University among its members, who number significantly more than 10.
So while I should be surprised that a conference called the Big East is about to add a school right next door to the Pacific Ocean, I can’t say I really am. Now if Syracuse moves to the Pac-12….