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Big East adds Tulane and East Carolina, can't nab BYU

The Big East is adding Tulane in all sports as part of an effort to snare a big TV deal. (Getty Images)

In 2014, Tulane is joining the Big East in all sports while East Carolina is a football-only add, per sources with direct knowledge of the situation. Should be finalized today.

In larger scope, the Big East might need more than Tulane and East Carolina to flip a sizable TV contract.

It really needed BYU, and talks between both sides resurfaced in light of the playoff distribution model that doesn't favor BYU's independence. But a source with direct knowledge says despite progressive conversations, BYU has decided not to accept the Big East's latest invite.

Air Force doesn't have any plans to join the Big East at this time, according to a source.

The Big Ten's poaching of Rutgers from the Big East has forced many schools to re-evaluate the Big East's TV viability.

Big East officials were not available for comment on the matter. BYU and the Big East were reportedly close on a deal year ago until the Cougars refused to relinquish television rights.

As the Big East navigates a media rights negotiation with several networks, keeping Boise State from returning to the Mountain West will be a priority as the Big East continues its expansion beyond the Northeast.

There's likely at least one more Big East defection in play. The ACC plans to add a team and UConn/Louisville are the favorites. Cincinnati is still under consideration, I'm told.

If the ACC takes UConn, the best academic/TV market of the bunch, that leaves the Big East as C-USA Lite in football: Boise State (if it stays), San Diego State (if it stays), Louisville, USF, UCF, Temple, East Carolina, Tulane, SMU, Houston, Memphis, Cincinnati.

ECU draws about 50,000 fans per home game and can play a little bit but is not a national brand. Tulane was going on 365-plus-days without a win before beating SMU in October.

 
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