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: Oct 23, 2011
Posted on: November 2, 2011 11:26 am

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

I agree this has been crazy but I would not make a big deal that these schools are nonAQ... really Duke? Indiana? Kansas? Mississippi? Colorado?  you think they are better football schools than Boise, Houston,  Navy?  Really?  I could name others, but the point is that a school within an AQ division is not always a stamp of quality!

Since: Nov 2, 2011
Posted on: November 2, 2011 11:22 am

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

ESPN needs to be sued its all because of their greed and the money they are dumping in to college football not the BCS

Since: Mar 25, 2008
Posted on: November 2, 2011 11:16 am


I wish The Big East well.but i think this league is A DEAD MAN WALKING.Might be able to hold on a while with Boise on board.Notre Dame is going to the Big 12 too,then Louisville next or Cinny.It was a Great League at one time.But Terrible leadership at The Top Killed them,no Forward Thnkers at all.Day late,and a Dollor Short.

You really think the B12 will take that plunge and take ND without football?  Big East fans don't think that appearance of weakness worked so great for them.

If you mean ND will join the B12 in football too, you are crazy.  B12 would be third on their list at best.

Since: Oct 26, 2011
Posted on: November 2, 2011 11:16 am

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

The Big East is just doing what they have to do to survive. They are not SEC football royalty so they have to struggle like the middle class. Adding these teams is a great thing to save the conference. The Big East has a lot of potential with some of it's younger programs like USF. Adding Boise St and Houston, who are both nationally ranked can not do anything but good for the fluctuating conference. AFA is a solid program and is better then some of the Big 10 and PAC 12 bottom feeders like Minnesota and Indiana.

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: November 2, 2011 11:11 am

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

This just gets more confusing by the day.  Let's review and see exactly what we have for 2012.  We have Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Rutgers and South Florida in the fold, though everyone except South Florida either wants out of the conference, or has been talked about.  We have West Virginia, Pitt, and Syracuse leaving the conference, and TCU leaving without so much as playing a game.  So there are 5 teams in the conference right now that should be there for 2012.  Now we add Air Force, Boise State, Houston, Navy, SMU, and UCF (all non AQ schools) into the mix and we have 11 teams.  Not 12 or 10 but 11.  So now the Big "North, South, East, and West" must add yet another team, probably Temple, to make an even dozen, IF Losuiville and Cincinnati do NOT join the Big 12.  

The Big 12 would then become the only BCS Conference with 10 teams.  I do not think that the Big 12 wants to be in that position.  The Big East (North, South, and West) may actually force the Big 12's hand and by doing so, destroy it's own conference as far as football is concerned.  The whole thing is really getting ridiculous.  The Big 12 is going to have to make up it's mind, so the Big East knows what to expect.  No matter what, the Big East certainly can not call itself an AQ Conference any longer.  This also opens the door for the merger of the CUSA and MWC into a 16 team super conference.  This is like a good soap opera.  Let's see what happens on Friday.

Since: Mar 25, 2008
Posted on: November 2, 2011 11:09 am

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

Looks like college football traditions are being ripped apart and the NCAA is just standing idly by, watching it all disintegrate.

What is the NCAA supposed to do?  The schools join who they want the NCAA works for the schools.  They should tell their bosses what to do?

It's like complaining that the VP of Advertising is not doing anything to stop your company from merging with another.

Since: Nov 2, 2011
Posted on: November 2, 2011 11:04 am

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

haha this is sarcastic right?

Since: Oct 23, 2011
Posted on: November 2, 2011 11:03 am

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

You are spot on!  I hope the BE begins to deal with the Notre Dame issue and SOON!

Since: Oct 23, 2011
Posted on: November 2, 2011 10:58 am

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

Glad that the BE is finally moving!  I think the divisions should be either national/american as they divide some of their other sport divisions; or black/blue as this is football.   I trust that they know what schools to invite, while I would like to see Army included and a get in or get out to Notre Dame, who knows what conversations go on behind close doors.

Since: Jul 9, 2010
Posted on: November 2, 2011 10:46 am

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

PITT and Syracuse are definitely gone to the ACC, no matter what happens in the BIG EAST.  Both of these schools applied for an invitation and let it be known to the ACC a long time ago that they would accept an invitation if offered. This is a great partnership for both PITT and Syracuse, since they will be in the ACC for ALL-SPORTS and EQUAL REVENUE SHARING.  Every school in the ACC are treated equally in all sports.

One thing that needs to be understood with the BIG EAST Conference.  No matter how much rebuilding the BE accomplishes on the football side and even expanding to 12 football members, it remains a "hybrid" league.  In the BIG EAST there are three different equations; the basketball equation, football equation and the Notre Dame equation. Nothing is equal to all schools in this league, and Notre Dame does not really help the football side, if it did, there would be no question about AQ status. The BE could get along without Notre Dame just like the other 5 BCS conferences do.

There still remains many problems in the BIG EAST after they rebuild, in my opinion.

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