Our friends in Storrs have a great idea to bring them back to basketball relevance: join the Big East in all sports but football, and leave their football program in the AAC.
They would get the best of both worlds — a basketball conference filled with rivalries and tradition, and a football program that’s still competitive at a high level of FBS. And the member schools of the American should respond by kindly telling them to go to hell on a light rail.
Huskies, and we say this with love because those of you we know we really like... no one wants your football team. Certainly not the American. And likely no one else outside of FCS’s Yankee Conference either.
In 2010 UConn won the Big East with an 8-4 record, slithering its way via magic to the Fiesta Bowl where they got thrashed by Oklahoma in front of dozens of Huskies fans who made the trip. They are 24-49 since and haven’t had a winning season. They started Bryant Shirreffs start at quarterback for MULTIPLE SEASONS! They made up a trophy with a school that wanted nothing to do with it and became a national laughingstock.
So why should we get stuck with your crap while the programs that are worth a damn (both basketball teams, men’s soccer, miraculously baseball) go somewhere else?
The most apt comparison here is Great Britain leaving the European Union via Brexit. The voters of the Crown voted to leave the EU because they didn’t like immigration and work rules, but still wanted all the free trade. That’s... not how this works. When you join the association, you are forced to accept it, warts and all.
The American is certainly flawed. It is Purgatory, and we’re all trying to hang on as best we can until a better solution comes along. But we’re all in this together, and if that’s not good enough for you... screw off.
This isn’t a negotiation. Either stay put, or leave and take your football team with you. And enjoy filling out that Rentschler Field lease until 2023.
Since we started writing this, both the Big East and UConn are denying this, so either this is a trial balloon that got shot down, or someone leaked their actual intentions and the backlash hit pretty hard.
But if this did come to pass, the American office in Providence should follow the lead of Brussels and accept no compromise deals here.