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BAILEY'S TAKE ON PIRATE SPORTS

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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, September 20, 2011

By Brian Bailey

Topsy-turvy ride's destination unknown

BRAIN BAILEY SHOW

Replay Monday night's BRIAN BAILEY SHOW, featuring ECU Associate Head Coach JOHN WILEY. Eastern North Carolina's longest running sports radio call-in show airs each Monday night at 7 p.m. on Pirate Radio 1250 and 930.
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ITEMS OF INTEREST

Topsy-turvy ride's destination unknown
Audio: Ruffin McNeill Game Week Presser
ECU could benefit from conference chaos
Conference USA Scores, Standings & Schedule
Women's soccer, golf teams seize spotlight
Ruff anxious to get past off week
Scheme, talent are upgrading defense
Game Center: Virginia Tech 17, ECU 10
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Conference USA Standings

East Division

SCHOOL

C-USA

ALL

Marshall
UCF
Memphis
ECU
USM
UAB

1-0
0-0
0-0
0-0
0-1
0-1

1-2
2-1
1-2
0-2
2-1
0-2

West Division

SCHOOL

C-USA

ALL

SMU
Tulsa
Houston
Tulane
Rice
UTEP

1-0
1-0
0-0
1-1
0-0
0-1

2-1
1-2
3-0
2-1
1-1
2-1

Scores, Schedule, TV Games

By Brian Bailey
©2011 Bonesville.net
All rights reserved.

Where will the Pirates land? It is certainly the million dollar question facing the Pirate Nation as the latest trip on the conference realignment merry-go-round takes off in fits and starts.

Syracuse and Pitt dumped the Big East over the weekend to head to the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Big East will now look for at least two new members as it tries to survive in this current landscape.

All of a sudden the Big East and the Big 12 appear to be in a race for survival. The last one standing may be left without the coveted Automatic Qualifying status into the lucrative BCS bowls.

East Carolina Director of Athletics Terry Holland and Chancellor Steve Ballard issued a joint statement late Friday afternoon.

In a nutshell, the statement asks all Pirate fans to stay the course. The only thing certain is that nothing is certain, as trite as that sounds.

The most important part of their statement reads this way:

“In these uncertain times, we must remain focused and determined on what we can control and what has brought success to our program thus far. For our coaches and student-athletes, that assignment is to prepare, compete and win in the classroom and on the field, and for our loyal Pirate fans, it is imperative that we continue to fill our stadiums and arenas in Purple and Gold.”

It has to be frustrating for both Holland and Ballard because most of what is going on outside of East Carolina is out of the their control.

Holland has done a masterful job in getting the Pirates ready for possible inclusion in a BCS league. One trip down Charles Boulevard shows just how far this program has come in the last several years.

But will it be enough?

The dream of many would be inclusion in the ACC or the Southeastern Conference. Both are major long shots, especially the ACC.

Word from the SEC is that the league would like to make inroads into the states of Virginia and North Carolina. Virginia Tech is said to be the SEC’s pick, but the Hokies might balk at that $20 million buyout in the ACC.

East Carolina has an SEC type footprint for sure. It’s a small market, college town that loves its college football. The SEC will go after bigger fish to begin with. The Pirates must hope that the league gets down to filling a slot or two late, and that the SEC feels the Pirates could be that fit.

Again, that’s a long shot for sure.

Like the college student trying for his first job, will some league step up and give the Pirates a chance?

I think the most likely scenario is a league combining what is left over from the Big East, the Big 12 and Conference USA.

There was at least one report on Monday that said the Big East and Big 12 were already talking about a possible merger if Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas bolted for what would be the Pac-16.

The question remains. Would the leftovers from the Big East and Big 12, with a couple of Conference USA teams, be worthy of AQ status?

If not AQ status, at the very least a league like this might pick up some sort of easier path to BCS inclusion, though that’s certainly not at all definitive.

Holland and Ballard say to basically “keep on keepin’ on.”

East Carolina is in much better position to land a new home than it was during the last explosion of conference realigning.

Hang on, because things can change at a moment's notice.

It’s a tedious time, where patience will be matched by perseverance as the ECU athletic program marches forward.

BB

E-mail Brian Bailey.

Brian Bailey Archives

09/20/2011 02:55 AM

 

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