Senior Columnist

'Premature' to assume Big East schools will retain BCS bid in 2013

Bill Hancock, the BCS executive director, told it is "premature and inappropriate" to determine whether the 12 remaining Big East football schools will receive an automatic bid in 2013.

Hancock made the statement in an email after being asked about the future of the Big East football schools following the breakaway of the seven basketball schools. He did not elaborate.

College football remains in a state of flux after those seven private Big East basketball schools decided to break off from the rest of the conference. The remaining 13 football schools include current Big East members UConn, Cincinnati, Temple and South Florida. Joining them on July 1 are six Conference USA schools, Boise State, San Diego State and Navy. Navy is not scheduled to join until 2015.

If there even is a Big East to join.

Two sources close to the situation said they didn't see any reason why the 12 schools wouldn't get a BCS bid. Next season will mark the last year of the BCS. The Big East is guaranteed an automatic bid for 2013 but not going forward in the playoff era beginning in 2014.

Hancock's statement might have more to do with the subject not being vetted among the commissioners yet, more than anything.

"I think everybody's cycle would run through next year, and the Big East, regardless of their status, would receive their AQ," said one BCS official close to the situation. "They [nine other schools] didn't join the Big East for the automatic bid. Are they going to get it for one year? That's what everyone's expectation is."

USA Today reported Thursday that the football schools would likely retain the automatic bid. This season, that bid went to Louisville, which is playing Florida in the Sugar Bowl.

Anyone in need of a credential from all the BCS title games? Dennis Dodd has them. In three decades in the business, he's covered everything from the Olympics to Stanley Cup to conference realignment. Just get him on campus in a press box in the fall. His heart lies with college football.
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