Blog Entry

Boise St., 3 others could join Big East by Friday

Posted on: November 1, 2011 5:32 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2011 7:57 pm

Nationally ranked Boise State and Houston along with SMU and UCF could be added as Big East members by Friday, college football industry sources told

On Tuesday in Philadelphia, the Big East’s presidents and chancellors authorized league commissioner John Marinatto to issue invitations to those schools – along with Navy and Air Force – sources said. 

However, Boise State, Houston, SMU and UCF prefer to be announced as league members together and must wait until Boise State’s board meeting on Thursday. There have been no “official invitations” extended to the schools, but Marinatto has been in constant contact and spoke to representatives of all six schools after Tuesday’s meeting.

Boise State would join as a football-only member, while UCF, SMU and Houston would join as all-sport members beginning in 2013. 

Following Tuesday's Big East meeting in Philadelphia, representatives from those four schools – plus Navy – held a conference call. All four schools are “100 percent” on board in joining together with the only possible hang-up being Boise State finding a conference home for its Olympic sports – most likely the WAC or West Coast Conference.

Navy has told the other schools on Tuesday's call it “is definitely in” and Air Force is expected to join once Navy commits to the Big East, a source said. 

On Oct. 23 in Washington D.C. Marinatto met with representatives from Boise State, Houston, SMU, Navy and UCF. Since then representatives from the general counsels at Boise State, UCF, Houston and SMU have been working together in concert to negotiate several details, including entrance and exit fees upon joining the Big East.

TCU’s entrance fee to join the Big East was $2.5 million and the new members’ entrance fee is expected to be the same. However, the schools actually don’t pay that amount up front – it’s usually taken out of league revenues over a five-year period.

The addition of those four schools will help offset the recent announced departures of Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the ACC and TCU and West Virginia to the Big 12.

TCU, which left the Big East before ever playing in the league, will join the Big 12 next season. Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia can not leave before July 1, 2014. However, West Virginia filed a lawsuit against the Big East on Monday so that the Mountaineers could join the Big 12 next year and would not have to honor the league’s 27-month requirement before leaving.

The league’s presidents and chancellors discussed West Virginia’s lawsuit during Tuesday’s meeting in Philadelphia.

“In light of the lawsuit filed by West Virginia yesterday, the Presidents also discussed and confirmed our continuing commitment to enforce the Conference’s 27-month notification period for schools choosing to leave,” Marinatto said in a statement. “The Conference believes these claims to be wholly without merit and will explore all its legal options to protect its interests and to ensure that West Virginia lives up to its obligations.”

Bringing Boise State on board would help the Big East’s bid to retain status as an automatic qualifying BCS conference, when the new cycle begins in 2014. Since 2006, the Broncos are 68-5 with two undefeated seasons. Boise State (7-0) is ranked No. 5 in this week’s BCS standings, while Houston (7-0) is No. 13.

The addition of Boise State, Houston, SMU, UCF, Navy and Air Force would give the Big East 11 football schools in 2014. The Western contingent of schools also is pushing to bring BYU in as the Big East’s 12th-football playing member. If the Cougars, who are currently an independent, are not interested, Temple is the leading candidate as the league’s 12th member, sources said.

However, the league’s presidents on Tuesday did not officially discuss any candidates beyond Boise State, Houston, Navy, UCF, Air Force and SMU, a source said.

If Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia must stay in the Big East until 2014, the league would have 15 football members in 2013 – Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida, Boise State, Houston, SMU, UCF, Air Force, Navy, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and BYU/Temple.

In 2014, a 12-team Big East likely would be split into one of the following two six-team divisions based on BYU or Temple joining.

If BYU joins: West – Boise State, Air Force, BYU, Houston, SMU and Louisville; East – Cincinnati, UConn, Rutgers, South Florida, UCF and Navy.

If Temple joins: West – Boise State, Air Force, Houston, SMU, Louisville and Cincinnati; East – UConn, Rutgers, South Florida, UCF, Navy and Temple.


Since: May 7, 2009
Posted on: November 2, 2011 1:43 pm

Boise St., 3 others could join Big East by Friday

Sort of a lose/lose:  Boise gains no respect for its football and the academics of the Big East really start to smell. 

But, hey, the good news:  East coast football is so bad that this has to help the ratings.  I'm sure the media will talk about the "Western and Southern football powers, BSU and SMU, are now part of the Eastern Superconference, which will get 2, maybe 3, automatic BCS bids."

Since: Nov 7, 2009
Posted on: November 2, 2011 1:41 pm

Boise St., 3 others could join Big East by Friday

I'm sorry, but this will be yet another lateral move by Boise.  I'm beginning to think that Boise St is avoiding a move to a strong conference because it will mean that they lose more often.  If they started losing 2 or more games every season then their allure would vanish. 

The New Big East will not be like running with the big dogs.  Even with WV and Pitt it still is a 2nd rate BCS Conference.

The best move would have been Boise St moving to the Pac-12.  Boise St fans claim that the Pac-12 didn't want them, but it's hard to believe a deal couldn't have been struck, considering the additional ratings and additional quality games that there entrance into the pac-12 would have created.  Of course, look what is happening to Utah.  Like I said above, Boise St I think is trying to avoid the same thing happening to them.  It is far more lucrative for them to make BCS bowl games as an at large than to tarnish there reputation with multiple losses per year.

Boise St is a good team, but in a good conference good teams don't go undefeated, only the very best of the best can do that.

Since: Nov 19, 2008
Posted on: November 2, 2011 12:43 pm

Boise St., 3 others could join Big East by Friday

All this talk about Boise "running with the big dogs" is nonsense. Look at what will be left of the Big East after all the defections. Who exactly are the "big dogs"?? Rutgers? UConn? SMU? I mean c'mon, that is a minimal upgrade from their current garbage schedule. Only now, we will have to hear that team and its fans whine even more. The Big East should lose their BCS bid once SU, WV, and Pitt leave, and just have 5 AQ conferences and 3 at-large teams for the non-title games.

Since: Jan 12, 2007
Posted on: November 2, 2011 12:41 pm

Boise St., 3 others could join Big East by Friday

Love how the Big East is clamoring for new members to get in as early as 2013 while they are trying to keep anyone from leaving until July 2014.  How is that fair?  If I had to make a ruling its either wait until 2014 to accept your new members or let the departing members out in 2013.

This move smacks of a conference desperate to survive and not sure how Idaho or the Texas schools for that matter are in the East...east of what?  The Pacific?  At least change the name.  For many of these schools it sounds like college kids missing more class, traveling far to away conference games.  Its not like Duke traveling to North Carolina.

Since: Nov 13, 2006
Posted on: November 2, 2011 12:29 pm

Boise St., 3 others could join Big East by Friday

this is a very smart move for all of these teams.  Boise State will finally be in a BCS conference and we will see if they finally can run with the big dogs.  This is also the same with University of Houston.  personally i am happy with this also.  an electric offense like this in the big east will be much better for the conference after losing West Virginia.  Good moves Big East.

Since: Nov 17, 2007
Posted on: November 2, 2011 12:20 pm

Boise St., 3 others could join Big East by Friday

WVU is suing to get out without a penalty? Sounds like they took a lesson from Rich Rodriguez...

Since: Oct 26, 2011
Posted on: November 2, 2011 12:13 pm

Boise St., 3 others could join Big East by Friday

To EarthXX,
;     &nbs
p;    You hide and see what Notre Dame does.They want in Right NOW,but its up to TEXAS,and OKL.Notre Dame Has little appeal anymore.You hired Barney Rubble as your Coach,and HIS BS has CAUGHT up with him.I told the People at Cinny,you got a better Coach in Butch Jones,than you lost In Barney Rubble.He is nothing but a Job Jumper,and this LAST Jump GOT HIM.NOTRE DAME KILLED THE BIG EAST,and they KNOW it.NOW THEY WANT OUT.The Big Ten is still in love with them,that would be fitting.An Overated Notre Dane to a Overated Big Ten Conference.PRICELESS.

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: November 2, 2011 11:57 am

Boise St., 3 others could join Big East by Friday

The Big East is damned if they do and damned if they don't.

The Big 12 will remain content at 10, but if the Big East expands to 11 or 12 teams.  The Big 12 will then take some combination of Louisville, Cincy, and Notre Dame.

As long as the Big East sits still, the Big 12 won't raid them.  But, the Big East cannot survive if they sit still.

Maybe, the plan is to be a 10 school league knowing full well Louisville, Cincy, and/or Notre Dame is out the door once the new teams sign.

Since: Aug 26, 2011
Posted on: November 2, 2011 11:55 am

Boise St., 3 others could join Big East by Friday

Marinatto is a joke, he only did this as a reaction to WVU suing his conference that he has fumbled with at every turn. He had well over a year to do what he is now doing. This would have more than likely kept the 4 schools that now left if he did this to begin with. He also fumbled the TV contract that made Pitt and Syracuse leave. But now he is trying to keep hostage 3 of the 4 who want out for his horrible job at being a commissioner who allowed the basketball only schools to make football decisions. Do you really think the Big East will be better with WVU and TCU gone? WVU has been the main player in football for the past 7 years. The only school that has shown any light of succeeding lately has been Cincy, you can't tell me Rutgers has because they have done nothing for the past 5 years ('06 was your only good season and you still didn't win the conference). USF constantly is a let down, UConn football somehow got completely worse, the Ville is up and down too much.

Marinatto, stop holding the teams that don't want to be there hostage.

Since: Dec 13, 2007
Posted on: November 2, 2011 11:48 am

Boise St., 3 others could join Big East by Friday

WOW this is great to see ranked teams in a BCS Conference... Money, the BCS, TV Ratings, Fan Greed and everything else make college only second to the NFL.

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