Cincinnati Bearcats sent a Christmas card to each ACC school’s president

Cincinnati Bearcats players celebrate with fans after defeating the Duke Blue Devils in the Belk Bowl at Bank of America Stadium. Cincinnati won 48-34. (Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports)

The Big East is a sinking ship, and Cincinnati has not made any secret of the fact that it is making a leap for the nearest life raft. CBS Sports obtained a copy of the Christmas cards the Bearcats sent to the presidents of every single ACC school.

You read that correctly: Even though Cincy is entrenched in the Big East for the time being, and even though the ACC chose to bring in Louisville to replace the departing Maryland over the ‘Cats, the school’s administration still sent well wishes to the conference it would like to join.

Rutgers, West Virginia, Syracuse, Pitt, Boise State, TCU, Louisville and San Diego State have all recently left the Big East or chose not to join after committing to do so. Further, the conference’s ‘Catholic 7’ has announced it will break off and form its own, basketball-only league.

[Related: DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Villanova will form their own league]

Of course, while cards are nice, everyone knows that Christmas isn’t about “no stinkin’ cards.”

What about the presents?

Cincinnati had one of those for the ACC presidents as well — in the form of a $70 million stadium restoration that will make the Cincinnati football program, already in a big city and a great recruiting base, far more profitable.

At this point, the Big East has fallen so far so quickly that, when the college football playoffs begin in 2014, the league will have been relegated to the kiddy table. A few seasons ago, the Big East was far and away the most competitive basketball conference and also extremely solid in football. However, all of the defections have put the league on the same level as the Mountain West, the MAC and Conference USA — all leagues that must share one guaranteed BCS bid.

Nothing against those schools or conferences, of course.

It’s only that Cincinnati wants nothing to do with them.

CAMPUS CORNER: Texas A&M is also undertaking a massive renovation job of its home stadium