A fond farewell to the Big East blog

Of all the blog posts I've written since becoming ESPN.com's Big East blogger in August 2008 -- more than 5,400, but who's counting? -- this it the oddest and the hardest one to write.

Because it's my last one.

I am not leaving ESPN.com or even the blog network. But when I return from vacation after next week, I will be joining Adam Rittenberg on the Big Ten blog as we beef up our coverage there. Don't worry, the future of the Big East blog is in fine hands, and I'll let my successor handle those introductions coming up soon.

Before I go, I wanted to say thanks to all of you for reading, debating, challenging, criticizing and devouring my work here. I wondered when I first started this job whether Big East fans were interested enough in the league as a whole to support this kind of enterprise, whether, say, Connecticut fans would give a hoot about what was going on with South Florida. You have proved that just because this league lacks tradition and at times national respect, it does not lack passion or enthusiasm.

I've always identified with the underdog, and so I've had fun covering a league that's always trying to prove itself, sometimes successfully and sometimes not so much. I know it's a little ironic that we spent most of last summer wondering whether the Big Ten would poach teams from the Big East, and the league only ended up with its blogger a year later.

Feel free to follow me over in the Big Ten neighborhood if you're interested. But I know most of you will stay right here, reading about the teams you care most about. I feel privileged to have been a part of that the past three years.

Thanks for listening.