Blog Entry

Big East wants 12 members, but who will it get?

Posted on: October 10, 2011 12:42 pm
Edited on: October 10, 2011 12:51 pm
Big East presidents and chancellors Monday authorized Big East commissioner John Marinatto “to engage in formal discussions with additional institutions and are considering moving to a model that includes 12 football playing schools.”

Now the question is: what schools will make up those 12?

With TCU gone before it even got here and Pittsburgh and Syracuse headed to the ACC in 2014 (and they hope even earlier than that), that leaves six football members – Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida and West Virginia.

For now.

That number could reduce further if Missouri goes to the SEC. Louisville and West Virginia is considered the strongest candidates for the Big 12 now that BYU apparently is no longer as highly regarded by the Big 12.

Navy, Air Force and Army remain the prime targets of the Big East as football only members. However, with the news that the Big East is pursuing 12 football schools, if the league went to a nine-game league schedule, that actually might not be an attractive option for the academies having only three non-conference games.

Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk told Monday the Midshipmen continue to monitor the Big East and that joining the league remains an option.

Other Big East targets are Temple, of the Mid-American Conference, and a number of Conference USA schools headed by Central Florida and East Carolina.

The Newark Star-Ledger reported Sunday that Boise State was a possibility as a football-only member. Last month in a Big East presidents meeting, the Broncos were brought up as an expansion candidate, but the consensus was the school was too far away and there were concerns with their recent NCAA issues, a source said.

However, that was before TCU announced it received a Big 12 invitation, which the Horned Frogs will formally accept Monday night. Does that mean the Big East is warming to Boise State - or that desparate for members?

As far as any problems in having a 12-team football conference and a resulting basketball membership of up to 20 schools, a league source told me the size of the basketball membership is not a concern.

“You can have 50 teams in basketball (in the conference),” the source said. “It doesn't matter. That's why they have the NCAA tournament.”

The reality for the Big East is, other than continuing to pursue the academies, it must wait to see what happens with Missouri and the Big 12/SEC and the resulting dominos before proceeding further.

During Monday’s teleconference, the presidents were “still discussing appropriate figures” for increased withdrawal fees, an individual on the call told

The withdrawal fee is currently $5 million and a school must provide 27 months notice.

Last month Marinatto told that the league will not allow Syracuse and Pitt to leave before their 27-month withdrawal requirement expires, keeping them in Big East until June 30, 2014.

On Saturday, Air Force athletic director Hans Mueh told the Denver Post “our interest is high in the Big East. That's fair to say. This stuff is moving fast.”

Air Force has to decide whether to remain in a comfortable situation in the Mountain West or leave for an uncertain future in the Big East, once an automatic qualifying BCS league that may or may not still be an AQ BCS conference when the new BCS cycle begins before the 2014 season.

Even with the league holding a second conference call in four days among officials from representative from the remaining Big East schools, there wasn’t much accomplished said one frustrated individual on the call.

“Nothing accomplished,” he said.


Since: Sep 27, 2008
Posted on: October 11, 2011 8:44 am

Big East wants 12 members, but who will it get?

Living here in New England. I would say UCONN is headed to the ACC. I know they are also talking Rutgers, but don't count out So. Florida. With no Byu, the big 12 will look to Boise State, West Virginia, Cincy, ot Louisville. The Mountain West and Wac should conbine for football. CUSA and the remainder of the Big East should combine along with the Military acadamies. If the ACC wants the strongest basketball conference, I am surprised they would want Rutgers over a West Virginia or Louisville.

But if UCONN, and the others stay, I would like to see the Big East go to 12 teams. The remaining 6 and Navy, Air Force, Temple, East Carolina, UCF, and either  SMU, Army, or as a last resort Memphis. The conference doesn't need their perpetual NCAA issues with the mens basketball program.   


Since: Dec 9, 2006
Posted on: October 11, 2011 8:34 am

Big East wants 12 members, but who will it get?

Why does the Big East want to wreck CUSA again just to save their hides?? Breaking info: These CUSA schools are not gonna make you better. You stink now and will stink even more once Louisville goes to the Big XII and WVU will not stick around to play these panzies. They will eventually get an SEC invite once Mizzou decides to stand pat and look for Memphis or Cincinnati to get the 12th spot in the Big XII. I'm sure UCF, East Carolina and others are licking their chops to go o the Big East but what are they really going to??? Who's gonna be left thats worth a crap? Big East will drop to the second tier with CUSA, MAC, Sun Belt, WAC and Mountain West. After Big XII gets back to 12, the SEC gets their 14th, the Big East should just give it up and the remaining football schools should look for new homes. Why keep this mudball rolling??

Since: Feb 15, 2009
Posted on: October 11, 2011 8:19 am

Big East wants 12 members, but who will it get?

What a joke of a conference the BIG EAST is in football already.  12 teams?  Haha!   This is downright laughable!  

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: October 11, 2011 8:00 am

Big East wants 12 members, but who will it get?

Kansas, K-State, and Iowa State aren't going anywhere. The Big 12 will take Louisville,West Virginia, and maybe even Cincy.

Since: Aug 19, 2009
Posted on: October 11, 2011 7:03 am

Big East wants 12 members, but who will it get?


Since: Dec 2, 2007
Posted on: October 11, 2011 6:09 am

Big East wants 12 members, but who will it get?

I still say the BEast is dead.....what would this new "BEast" look like without WVU, Pitt, Syracuse?  USF, maybe Navy, ECU, and Cincy as their potentially strongest teams?  Wow!!! And that's an AQ conference?  Man, if I'm the MWC I'd be circling the wagons and petitioning for an AQ status as they'd be much more worthy of it than this hodgepodge of CUSA castoffs and former MAC/former BEast teams.  Just accept it and die gracefully.......

Since: Jan 19, 2008
Posted on: October 11, 2011 5:52 am

Big East wants 12 members, but who will it get?

Let me tell you what's the truth. I can't believe what I am reading. The conference that began as a basketball conference and went to the top doing it is now saying basketball is to take scond fiddle to football. Apparently we can have as many basketball members as we want. Isn't that what the NCAA Tournament is for? So I guess we will have 20 or so basketball members with all of them playing whoever the want and all come together in the NCAA tournament. As I said earlier and as I will continue to say, heads should roll in the office of the Commish including the Cimmish himself. We got into this mess (and mess it certainly is) by sitting back and worrying about the pissy ants while the elephants were stomping the garden. To me the elephant in the Big East is basketball and always will be. And we also hear that maybe the BIg East tourmament might not be at Madison Square Garden. Hell, that IS Big East. The problem is that football returns money. For me I am for having the basketball only membetrs go their own way, add schools like Xavier, St. Louis and Detroit and call it the Big Pope.

Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: October 11, 2011 5:48 am

Big East wants 12 members, but who will it get?

This is the best post on a Big East rebuilding plan that I have seen.  Theis clown who is the commissioner doesn't have vision or guts.  Mizzou, K, K St. and Iowa St. would be awesome, especially for getting the basketball back to level that is lost with the Syr. pitt defections.  It is time to go to war!

Since: Oct 11, 2011
Posted on: October 11, 2011 2:27 am

Big East wants 12 members, but who will it get?

They voted to get rid of Temple a few years ago, now they're begging for them back?  Stupidest thing they ever did was denying Penn State when they started up.  A core of Penn State, Pitt, Syracuse and BC back in the mid 80s would've let them establish a legitimate football conference maybe without needing Miami or Virginia Tech whose subsequent defections began the demise of the conference.  Penn State would obviously have been the lynchpin, and they could've added on the middle tier football schools like West Virginia, Rutgers, Louisville and Cincinatti to give them 8 football schools.  Eventual membership to UConn when they transferred from I-AA and maybe influencing Villanova to make the same jump would be 10.  Most important, BC would've had a better chance to reach a good bowl if they never defected because they were so determined to stay with Miami.

Since: Oct 11, 2011
Posted on: October 11, 2011 1:30 am

Big East wants 12 members, but who will it get?

Please no UCF.  UCF is a complete joke, the most over-rated team in the country.  All they do is beat up on crappy and mediocre teams; last year they did not beat a single team with a winning record. They have only beaten a small handful of BCS teams, none of them with winning records.  UCF brings absolutely nothing to the Big East. Guess who owns the Orlando media market?  That would be the Gators, not UCF.  Even with 50,000 students and over a million people in the Orlando metro area, UCF still could not fill up their stadium for the CUSA championship game last year.

UCF has done absolutely nothing, yet some of their fans think they are too good for the Big East, and should hold out for the Big 12, ACC, or SEC.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or