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Big East talks expansion; contacts UH, SMU

Posted on: October 18, 2011 10:25 am
Edited on: October 18, 2011 2:43 pm

Officials at Houston and SMU have both been contacted by Big East commissioner John Marinatto and have been told the league wants to discuss with them further about joining the league, sources told

The Houston Chronicle reported Monday night that Houston had been extended an invitation. However, league sources said no official invitations have been extended to any teams. The Big East also released a statement Saturday that no invitations have been extended.

On Tuesday afternoon, Marinatto held a media teleconference, but would not identify specific schools but did admit he's had preliminary discussions with several schools.

Those schools are Boise State, Navy, Air Force, UCF, Houston and SMU, sources said.

Marinatto said he's confident the Big East will remain an automatic qualifying BCS conference when the new cycle begins in 2014 and didn't provide a timetable on adding teams to replace TCU, Pittsburgh and Syracuse.

"Stay tuned," he said. "We're not rushing ourselves to meet anyone's deadline. The sooner, the better."

Marinatto reiterated that the Big East would not allow Pittsburgh or Syracuse to leave the league early and must honor the 27-month exit agreement. Pitt and Syracuse will remain in the Big East through June 30, 2014, meaning the Big East could have a 14-team football league in 2013 if necessary, Marinatto said.

A college football industry source indicated the fact the ACC has to wait until then is not a big deal to the league. "It just gives the ACC more time to get organized and get their schedules set," the source said.

On Monday night, the Big East’s presidents and chancellors voted unanimously to increase the league’s exit fee to $10 million, but the increased fee is contingent on either Navy or Air Force joining the league as football only members, sources told

Marinatto confirmed the increase in the exit fee, but would not identify the school that would trigger the increased exit fee.

The increased exit fees from $5 million to $10 million for the football schools were something Navy and Air Force wanted before committing to the Big East.

"I don't think anyone will be blindsided or feel bushwhacked when this process is complete," Marinatto said.

Navy, Air Force and Boise State are interested to joining the Big East because of the league's automatic qualifying BCS status, but wanted a bigger financial commitment from the remaining members (Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida and West Virginia).

Sources said Houston and SMU – along with UCF – are prepared to accept an invitation to join the Big East as all sports members once an official invitation is extended.

UCF met with Marinatto and other Big East representatives in Cincinnati on Friday. Boise State officials spoke via telephone with the Big East on Thursday.

Marinatto is in the process of scheduling a meeting with Houston and SMU officials in the coming days in New York, sources said.

The Big East wants to get to 12 football teams with the addition of Navy, Air Force and Boise State as football-only members and Houston, SMU and UCF as all-sports members.

However, the Big East still could lose a school if Missouri leaves for the SEC. The New York Times reported Monday night that Missouri’s departure from the Big 12 to the SEC is “inevitable and imminent.” If so, the Big 12 could target either Louisville or West Virginia or even add both teams. BYU also remains an expansion candidate for the Big 12.

Marinatto said the Big East would move quickly in expanding and "is not going to pause" and wait on "the Missouri situation."

Marinatto also said he has not been contacted by any other conferences interested in any Big East schools since TCU left for the Big 12. When the league gets to 12 schools, Marinatto said it's a possibility the Big East could hold its football championship game in New York, similar to the Big East basketball tournament.


Since: Oct 12, 2011
Posted on: October 18, 2011 9:18 pm

Big East talks expansion; contacts UH, SMU

IM4WVU  I agree completely with most of what you say.  I wanted the Big East to add ECU after 2003.  They may not be in the biggest market in the Carolinas, but at least they would give you a presence in the backyard of the enemy.

I don't think you can lay the blame for the Big East implosion on the bball schools though.  The all sports schools could have left at anytime but for whatever reason chose not to.  Former commsioner Tranghese said the bbal schools always did what the football schools wanted, always gave them what they said the needed, and never made demands of them, and frankly, I believe him.  I think there are 3 reasons the Big East is falling apart.  Here they are in no particular order:

1 - The hybrid nature of the league including the Notre Dame association.  The way I see it you have to blame on all the schools here.  I don't think the basketball schools or Notre Dame were holding a gun to anyone's head.

2 - A lack of planning, vision, and forward thinking from the league leadership.  I think Marinatto woefully underestimated his competition.  I think he thought everyone would play nice and be all gentlemanly like and, obviously, he was just plain wrong.  Here again I think you have to blame all of the schools for this one.  After all, they hired him.

3 - The football teams didn't win enough games (specifically non-conference and bowl games) to earn the respect the league needed.  There is no one to blame here but the football schools.   I am a WVU fan so I guess you have to take this with a grain of salt, but for the last decade the only team that consistently pulled it's own weight in this regard is WVU, and it takes more than one team to make a conference succeed.     

Since: Oct 12, 2011
Posted on: October 18, 2011 8:33 pm

Big East talks expansion; contacts UH, SMU

The Big Least is done in football and will be in basketball if uconn leaves
No way Canes.  If all the football playing schools leave Big East basketball will still be strong and still very competitive with the likes of the ACC.  Notre Dame will stick with them and they will add some other eastern catholic schools with solid basketball tradition to the mix.  Here's what it could look like:

Current members:
Notre Dame (6)
Georgetown (5)
Providence (2)
Villanova (6)
St. John's (1)
Marquette (7)
DePaul (1)
Seton Hall (2)

Probable New members:
Xavier (9)
St Joeseph's (4)
Sienna (4)
Mount St. Mary's (1)

Possible New members:
La Salle
St Bonaventure

(*) = NCAA Tournament apperances in the last 10 years

Since: Mar 8, 2008
Posted on: October 18, 2011 8:27 pm

Big East talks expansion; contacts UH, SMU

You Big East basketball homers just don't get it... basketball has ruined this conference as far as football is concerned (due to the commissioner's paying more attention to it than should be given) and to fix this conference... the focus has to be on football which brings in the money and the TV contracts.  At this point as a West Virginia fan, I just hope this whole fiasco ends soon.

If the Big East can bring in legitimate football teams such as Boise State, Houston and SMU then I don't care if they even have a basketball program quite frankly.  Sorry to hurt your feelings Big East basketball-only schools.

Personally I would love to see ECU added as well as we have had a good rivalry building with them and the North Carolina market would indeed be helpful.

As for some of you other ACC posters... the only decent football team that the ACC has gained from the Big East has been Virginia Tech.  Boston College, Miami, Pitt and Syracuse... go figure.  What has the ACC done in BCS games since taking the first wave of Big East teams?

I don't like or condone what is happening in college football right now but as one lone fan, cannot do much to stop the madness.

Since: Oct 12, 2011
Posted on: October 18, 2011 7:43 pm

Big East talks expansion; contacts UH, SMU

Buford, there are plenty rumors about ACC teams going to the SEC.  I have heard rumors about VA Tech, Maryland, GA Tech, Clemson, and FL State.  FSU and VT are the 2 I've heard about the most, followed by MD.  I'd put my money on FSU and MD.  The SEC has always wanted FSU and MD is in a top level TV market and the athletic department is broke.  Many also speculate that they are not happy in the ACC - sick and tired of tobacco road, similar to the way TX A&M and Missouri are sick and tired of the Longhorns.  No one ever talks about Miami, but if FSU doesn't pan out and if the SEC really wants a second FL school, why wouldn't they go after them?  They have been known to leave a conference for greener pastures.  From what I can gather SEC money is currently nearly triple ACC money.  Maybe the ACC is able to close the gap some, but I still think the SEC will still be able to at least double whatevere deal the ACC gets.  How can you seriously think any of the schools I mentioned wouldn't leave for double or maybe even triple the money, not to mention the prestige and recruiting boost? 

Since: Aug 17, 2011
Posted on: October 18, 2011 6:51 pm

Big East talks expansion; contacts UH, SMU

The Big Least is done in football and will be in basketball if uconn leaves.

Since: Sep 11, 2010
Posted on: October 18, 2011 6:46 pm

Big East talks expansion; contacts UH, SMU

That first paragraph was copied from canesguy earlier post.  sorry should've italisized it or something.

Since: Sep 11, 2010
Posted on: October 18, 2011 6:45 pm

Big East talks expansion; contacts UH, SMU

I am sick of hearing what a great addition East Carolina would be.  Not true, they are horrendous in basketball and have lost more than once to teams like Marshall.  Get over it, the only reason you would be invited to the Big East is out of complete desparation.  Big East is more desparate than ever now with losing Miami and VT in 2004, Boston College in 2005, Pittsburgh and Syracuse  soon and even a new member is gone before joining in TCU.  Even if ECU is invited, the Big East is just Conference USA again for football once WVU goes to another conference anyway!

canesguy, what exactly do you have against ECU and why do you even care?  I've reminded you once and I'll do it again, ECU beat your beloved canes twice in the '90s once when you were ranked in the top 5 or 10 in 1999.  ECU is consistantly on top of CUSA in Fball, winning the conference in '08 and '09.  And as someone else has mentioned (sorry didn't get the name), ECU has a winning record against UCF, Houston, and SMU all of whom have been or will be invited to the big east.  It has nothing to do with football talent or tradition and everything to do with $$$.  Wake up and smell the coffee.  The big east is about to implode.  Louisville all but gone.  WVU will jump at the chance once they're invited, and the rising of the exit fee is a desperation attempt to hold Cincinnati in place because from what I've read their revenues aren't that strong.  If Boise rejects the big east's football only invite because of the MWC pressure to boot their non-football sports I think the big east is all but done.

Since: Aug 22, 2007
Posted on: October 18, 2011 6:22 pm

Big East talks expansion; contacts UH, SMU

SMU in the Big East....yeah because that makes perfect sense.  All this moving around is dumb.  Don't you want your competition to be close to you so that it builds rivalries?  What current Big East schools are going to make the trip to SMU?  The Big East should just fold, it's a joke anyway

Since: Dec 19, 2006
Posted on: October 18, 2011 6:04 pm

Big East talks expansion; contacts UH, SMU

So West Virginia, Louisville, Syracuse, and Pitt might all be gone in 2014, being replaced by Army, Navy, Houston and Air Force?  And how does this help the Big East keep its BCS bid?

Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: October 18, 2011 5:45 pm

Big East talks expansion; contacts UH, SMU

Your stupid

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