Conroy moves up (?), Ellis moves out; ECU to join CofC in CAA?

Tuesday was a newsy day for former Citadel coaches Ed Conroy and Ellis Johnson, with ramifications that might be felt close to home.

Ex-Citadel basketball coach (and player) Ed Conroy, now at Tulane, will soon find himself coaching in the Big East, as that league announced it will add Tulane in all sports and East Carolina in football.

The move is gratifying for Conroy and the Green Wave, but the problem is, the Big East ain’t what it used to be. In fact, it’s pretty much Conference USA, the league Tulane is leaving, with a different name. The new Big East is going to include Tulane, ECU, DePaul, Marquette, Louisville, Cincinnati, Memphis, South Florida, Central Florida, Houston and SMU.

Sounds like CUSA, or the old Metro Conference, for fans of a certain age. The Twitterati are proclaiming that the Big East is now a mid-major league.

Meanwhile, former Citadel football coach (and player) Ellis Johnson finds himself out of a job after one year at Southern Miss, a disastrous 0-12 season. Johnson was fired Tuesday, but will be just fine — he is owed $2.1 million in buyout money, and there are plenty of defensive coordinator jobs open in the SEC — Auburn, Kentucky, Tennessee, etc. There might even be one at Johnson’s old stomping grounds in Clemson, if these Brent Venables to Florida State rumors are to be believed

RT @DaveSittler: Brent Venables reportedly could replace Mark Stoops as FSU D-Coord.”

Also meanwhile, ECU’s departure from CUSA to the Big East in football leave the Pirates’ other sports looking for a home. Reports say that ECU is interested in joining the Colonial Athletic Association in basketball, baseball and other sports. That would be good news for College of Charleston as it joins the CAA, boosting the Colonial baseball brand and providing the Cougars another travel destination south of Philly.

Also also meanwhile, I don’t think the SoCon has to be immediately concerned about losing Georgia Southern and/or App State to CUSA. By my count (and it changes daily), CUSA has 11 football teams on board for 2013, with Charlotte set to join as a 12th member in 2015.

I have CUSA football looking like this next year: ODU, Fla. International, La. Tech, North Texas, UT-San Antonio, Marshall, Rice, So. Miss, Tulsa, UAB and UTEP, with Charlotte on board in 2015. Unless CUSA wants to go to 14 or 16 teams pretty soon, I don’t see where GSU or App fits in.

But who knows? Nothing is certain in a world where Tulane (in New Orleans) is in the Big East, and New Orleans’ AAA baseball team is in the Pacific Coast League.



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