Matthew Manuri: Conference Realignment Roulette
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After watching Connecticut win a national championship Monday night the first thing that came to mind was 'how do you like them apples'?
The American Athletic Conference - considered a non-power five or 'best of the rest' - took home its first national title during its first year of existence. It is safe to say UConn is making the American look extremely good on a national level.
As proud as I am of UConn's accomplishments on the big stage, I also understand USF cannot remain in the American conference if the Bulls plan to remain relevant nationally. Many analysts have made statements suggesting conference realignment has come to an end, but in my honest opinion I believe one more shift will snag the initial leftovers from the Big East realignment raid.
Realistically, how do you leave a team out coming off a national championship, a school in Cincinnati - that has won countless titles and big games - and a rejuvenated USF that is now built to last with a brand new infrastructure across all sports?
USF has football coach Willie Taggart destroying current peers on the recruiting trail; new men's basketball coach Orlando Antigua coming in from Kentucky, golf led by Koepka, soccer with annual MLS draftees, Jose Fernandez leading women's hoops to numerous post-season appearances, freshly renovated Sun Dome with the Muma Center, gorgeous baseball and softball facilities... Literally the only item missing is an on-campus football stadium, which unfortunately in USF's case carries more weight than all else combined.
After seeing the positive outcome of his decision to hold the Spring Football game on campus, I sincerely hope new Athletic Director Mark Harlan sets his sights on making an on-campus stadium a reality. What are your thoughts on USF getting and on-campus stadium? And odds the stadium is built in the next five years?
Matthew Manuri is a blogger and a USF grad who passionately follows USF sports. You can follow him on twitter @mcknurkle