Happy new year, college sports aficionados.
July 1 marks the beginning of the collegiate athletic year, meaning that although it’s still summer, there’s a whole lot of excitement right now.
And confusion. Lots of confusion.
If you’ve been busy working on your grilling plans or scouting out the best location to watch fireworks, here’s a brief rundown of what you’ve missed. Get your notebook ready.
Meet the American. (And all the other conference changes.)
Yes, there’s a new conference in town. As of July 1, the Old Big East is now known as the American Athletic Conference. It has a new name, new logo and a slew of new teams … which are apparently difficult for ESPN to locate on a map, as the Sporting News so aptly pointed out in 32-point font.
The basketball-only members of the Old Big East, often referred to as the Catholic 7, are officially now simply the Big East, and they’ve added Xavier, Creighton and Butler to their ranks. Makes you almost wish ahead to basketball season, doesn’t it?
Other significant changes:
- Pitt and Syracuse are now in the ACC. Notre Dame is as well, in every sport except football.
- Conference USA is still that ambiguous mess of schools that no one can remember, except now it’s with almost entirely different teams. Additions worth noting are Middle Tennessee (formerly of the Sun Belt), Louisiana Tech (formerly of the now-defunct-for-football WAC) and the kids from Dunk City themselves, Florida Atlantic. Yes, this means that Conference USA might actually be more entertaining during basketball season than football season. Who knew?
- Speaking of basketball, the Atlantic 10 is now not the hoops powerhouse it once was, after losing Xavier, Butler, Temple and Charlotte. It does add George Mason this season though.
ACC mascots go for a boat ride.
In celebration of the collegiate athletics new year, the ACC decided to take all of its mascots on a boat ride.
As part of the welcoming process to its new members, the ACC held a press conference in New York City on Monday, complete with a photo opportunity with the conference’s new mascots.
Cute story, right? Wait, it gets better.
Louisville, which will move to the ACC in 2014, wasn’t included in the press bonanza, because for the next 12 months, the Cardinals will remain in the Big East … erm, Old Big East … erm, American Athletic Conference. (Sigh.)
And not to say that Louisville is anxious to leave this new American conference behind, but the Twitter account of the Louisville mascot tweeted this photo on Monday afternoon.
— Louie the Cardinal (@LouietheCard) July 1, 2013
Yes, Louie. You’ll be on the boat next year. But for now, enjoy Memphis.
Stanford and Syracuse make a trade.
Wait, trades aren’t allowed in college, right? That’s true … but on Monday, the athletic departments of the two schools known as SU made a blockbuster trade and announced it in as many places as possible.
The trade wasn’t for a player or a coach or even an administrator. It was a Twitter handle.
While it’s nice to see the good favor between the two schools, one has to wonder what the point in all the hubbub about the trade really was … especially when the Syracuse athletic department tweeted that it was still going to use the handle @cuse as its primary account.
Yes, T.J., we’re confused, too.
Happy new year.
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