Blog Entry

Big East plotting football, hoops divisions

Posted on: October 11, 2011 1:50 pm

Officials from what’s left of the Big East’s dwindling football membership had another conference call on Tuesday morning and there remains no specific timetable on adding UCF, but “appears an invitation is forthcoming” for the Knights, the league’s No. 1 target.

The presidents, chancellors and athletic directors continued to discuss potential expansion candidates. Among those mentioned were UCF, Air Force, Navy, Temple, Houston, SMU and Boise State, a league source told

While Commissioner John Marinatto said in a statement Monday the league would consider a model with 12 football members, part of Tuesday’s call was discussing the possibility of splitting the football and basketball conference into divisions, once the football side is replenished.

Navy, Air Force and Boise State are being considered as football members only, while UCF, Temple, Houston and SMU are at the top of the list as all-sports members so it’s unknown right now how large the basketball membership could grow.

The Newark Star-Ledger reported one proposed alignment discussed at Tuesday’s meeting consisted of Rutgers, UConn, South Florida, UCF, Temple and Navy in an East Division with West Virginia, Louisville, Cincinnati, Air Force, SMU and Houston in a West Division.

However, there remains the very real possibility Louisville and West Virginia may not be in the league and bound for the Big 12 if Missouri leaves for the SEC or the Big 12 expands to 12 teams.

What make Temple, SMU and Houston attractive to the Big East, one source said, is their respective television markets. Philadelphia (Temple) is the nation’s No. 4 market, Dallas (SMU) is No. 5 and Houston is No. 10.

Beyond Navy, Air Force and UCF, a league source said “no one team is definitely next” as an expansion candidate.

There also appears to be conflicting opinions on pursuing Boise State. Some league members support adding Boise State because of the Broncos’ recent success, which would help the league with its future BCS status. However, others believe Boise State, located nearly 700 miles west of Air Force and nearly 2,200 miles from Tampa/USF, is simply too far to consider.

Boise State president Bob Kustra said in a statement Monday that the Broncos “are looking forward to their inaugural season” in the Mountain West Conference and he “has great confidence in the future direction of the Mountain West.”

“While we are certainly flattered to be mentioned in connection with other conferences and we hold those leagues in high regard, our current focus is on continuing to build the outstanding athletic programs that have helped make Boise State a popular and compelling national brand," Kustra said.

“The landscape of college athletics is exceptionally fluid, and we are continuing to monitor the situation. We are confident that Boise State will be well positioned for future success, and we will evaluate our status with the best interests of the entire university in mind. Boise State’s athletic achievements, academic and research successes, popularity, and vision for future growth make the university an extremely valuable conference partner.”

A league source also told that Army is no longer being considered as a candidate by the Big East. “They’ve been honest with us and that they’re not interested because of the challenges they had previously in Conference USA,” the source said.

Army was in C-USA from 1998-2004. The Cadets were 9-41 in C-USA play and finished last in the league five of the seven seasons.


Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: October 11, 2011 3:49 pm

Big East plotting football, hoops divisions

Just add all three service academies as football-only, along with Temple, UCF, and Houston or Memphis.  If they add upwards of 4 or 5 pathetic basketball programs the non-football schools needs to get some sense and bolt, add Xavier, Dayton, and Butler and have their own conference that isn't diluted with poor programs.

Since: Aug 16, 2011
Posted on: October 11, 2011 3:44 pm

Big East plotting football, hoops divisions

Does the Big East seriously think that they will retain their automatic BCS bid?  Seriously?  Isn't it time to acknowledge the obvious and drop football, allow the remaining 6 football programs to seek membership in viable football conferences?  The Big East is a wonderful basketball conference, and they should focus on maximizing what they do best.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: October 11, 2011 3:26 pm

Big East plotting football, hoops divisions

Even if you somehow form a football conference, you'll lose your AQ BCS bids and in turn, your leftover football schools will bolt leaving you in limbo.  The Big East is about to be on the same level as the MAC.  UConn, WVU, and Louisville will leave all in good time. 

Since: Oct 11, 2011
Posted on: October 11, 2011 3:23 pm

Big East plotting football, hoops divisions

BYU has higher average attendance last season than all of those teams, I watched the ECU UCF Game on tv and there was an announced attendance of 40,073 but it looked like the fans had an aluminum out. Even the UCF announcer calling the game for CSS said "There are a few empty seats for today's game because of Florida Georgia" Big East wants a fan base that will not show up for a major divisional game because two other teams not related to the university is playing an annual neutral site game. I am biased like everyone else in this idiotic argument of college football realignment. Reason, logic, common sense and good thinking do not belong. a full 50,000 seat stadium or 49,000 in a 50,000 is much better than having most of your "fans" at another . game. I Would be afraid to be in UCF's stadium if it was expanded to 56,000. it already shakes due to cheap aluminum construction. But you don't have to worry you have the nod according to lots of people as the best fit for the BE and enjoy it, UCF did not earn it and the tv's will be watching other games.

I don't believe the academy are any good, they might bring in the all mighty tv but they can't recruit because of their requirements. The triple option will be figured out once they play league play a time or two. SMU and Houston are flashes in the pan and don't make noise but once every ten years. They are in texas so they cant complete against UT, TAMU, OK, Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texas. Nova stinks, they play in a cracker jack box of Division II mediocrity. Temple is the same thing only they play in Eagles stadium but the Eagles will have a tough time filling it. 

ECU and UCF are the most qualified to go and one does not have Disney world in their backyard.  But am just like this guy blogging and speaking of information i believe to know as facts but not 100 percent. The fact of the matter is, once the announcement comes out. Because UCF going to the Big East has been supposedly been announced each week for the last year. I will wait to see an official Big East announcement.

Since: Dec 13, 2007
Posted on: October 11, 2011 3:20 pm

Big East plotting football, hoops divisions

Can someone please explain why East Carolina is on the outside looking in?  Top 3 attendance outside the AQ schools.  Big untapped TV market of Raleigh, TideWater and Charlotte. Strong facilities and a strong out of conference schedule year in year out.  SMU and UCF are riding a high and at the moment ECU is in flux.  This stinks just like 03-04 expansion.  

Yes, I'm a Pirate fan but ECU as a better overall sports program for the Big East.  Champion Baseball and olympic sports.  This is appauling.  Hitching on to Service Academies and  former schools is terrible.

Since: Oct 22, 2008
Posted on: October 11, 2011 3:10 pm

Big East plotting football, hoops divisions

Real_Zeel, perhaps you should look at your TV schedule more closely as every UH game this year has/is on TV.  Additionally we are averaging 31,000 (32,000 capacity) per game.  Last year UH sold out every home game.  UH is also close to breaking ground on a new 40,000 (expandable to 50,000) seat stadium. 

Since: Sep 20, 2011
Posted on: October 11, 2011 3:05 pm

Big East plotting football, hoops divisions

This so called "Source" that everyone writing articles keeps mentioning seems to not be in the same meetings.  Why don't you people quit making up news so people will read your crap.  You don't have ANY idea which teams are being looked at then the next guy.  So idiot in Orlando lies and says the Big East called and it's on the front page of every newspaper from New York to Japan. 

The Big East is the worst AQ conference in the country because they do stupid stuff like wanting Temple who they kicked out for sucking and now looking at UCF who this season is the 7th best team in Florida, can't draw a sell out crowd of 40,000 people when they give away tickets and have the worst fanbase in the state of Florida.  IF the BE wants to survive they better add some football teams that will win games and draw ratings.  TV Markets are the most stupid thing in the world when NCAA football is a global sport that has no markets, only fans and people that watch teams.  If you can't fill up your home stadium there sure as heck isn't any demand to see you on TV.

Since: Jul 20, 2007
Posted on: October 11, 2011 3:00 pm

Big East plotting football, hoops divisions

Actually UCF's stadium capacity is about 45,000, not 35,000. With potential to expand to 56,000. Their average attendance for last season was just under 40,000. That's not great. But when you consider UCF plays a home schedule with teams like Rice, Tulane and Memphis, its not that bad either. And last season Florida and Georgia played on 10/30 in Jacksonville. That same day UCF hosted ECU and drew 40,073.

Why don't you check your facts before you criticize his reporting. 

Only 3 non-AQ schools had a higher average attendance last season (TCU, ECU and Air Force).

If UCF is such a bad choice then who do you propose would be a better choice out of the pool of non-AQ teams available?  

Since: Oct 11, 2011
Posted on: October 11, 2011 2:58 pm

Big East plotting football, hoops divisions

Wow, I can't wait for those riveting UCF-Temple and Rutgers-Navy divisional matchups.  Other than the potential USF-UCF rivalry, I can't see any other matchup drawing much interest at all.

The West division looks halfway decent, but the East is just godawful. **** you Pitt and Syracuse for ruining this conference. 

Since: Oct 11, 2011
Posted on: October 11, 2011 2:52 pm

Big East plotting football, hoops divisions

Sad part is East Carolina gets a decent share of football Tv's from Eastern North Carolina, Tidewater Va, Charlotte, and Raleigh metro areas but when they bring up TV they never mention that. That is a little site that explains the East Carolina Market.

Big East only knows market because they are mainly in the North East, They do not understand that there are areas outside markets that enjoy college football. That support and follow their team to away games. Also everyone fails to mention there is not a single team in the SEC with a large market. SEC has the highest TV ratings, largest attendance numbers and most championships. Why is that? Mostly because until recent memory the south has not had NFL competition and College was the only game in town. I would bet everyone in the SEC minus Vandy outdraws the Falcons even when they have a good year. SEC never used market in their argument for expansion, they used what team would bring in fans, money and attention. While i think TAMU will not do any better in the SEC they bring a new fan base and tv's from texas that watch the games not a city that no one watches.

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