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Tag:Big East Expansion
Posted on: November 29, 2010 10:08 am
Edited on: November 29, 2010 10:18 am
 

Report: TCU accepts offer from Big East

Posted by Chip Patterson

After another release of the BCS standings moved us one step closer to an Oregon-Auburn national championship, TCU reportedly sealed the deal to make the jump to a BCS conference.  Brett McMurphy of AOL Fanhouse is reporting Monday that TCU has accepted an invitation to become an all-sports member of the Big East Conference.

TCU will join the league on July 1, 2012, and begin conference play in their new conference for the 2012-2013 school year.

For the Big East, the move comes just in time.  The current four-year evaluation period for the BCS ends in December 2011. While the Big East has not produced the contenders to warrant their AQ status in recent years, TCU's arrival will strengthen their prominence on paper significantly.  When the BCS heads get to crunching numbers, the Big East will get to report TCU's accomplishments (including their three Top 11 BCS finishes) along with the rest of the conference.  

For TCU, it is a perennial chance to arrive unaided in a BCS Bowl.  Not only does the Big East control an automatic bid to the Fiesta Bowl, but playing a full conference schedule against BCS AQ opponents should create a boost in the Horned Frogs' strength of schedule.  Many will argue that the current state of the Big East would not provide much of a boost, but the Horned Frogs will take their chances now with an automatic bid.  TCU also gets a huge boost by getting to add their other sports to an already massive conference in the Olympic sports.  While no one is expecting TCU to make an immediate play for the Big East basketball title, but playing in a league that garners so much more national attention will help raise the status of all of the Horned Frogs' sports teams.  

Posted on: November 3, 2010 7:36 pm
 

UCF, TCU say no Big East contact yet

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

By now, virtually everyone in the college football world expects the Big East to proceed with all possible haste in its expansion from eight to ten teams in football. The only school confirmed as a target to date is Villanova , which could have a reserved spot if it decides to make the finanical commitment to make the jump from FCS to FBS competition.

But for all the discussion surrounding TCU and UCF -- who virtually everyone also expects to be the conference's top two targets if Villanova declines, or possibly regardless of what the Wildcats decide -- they might as well be confirmed targets. Official confirmation, however, hasn't come just yet. The report out of Fort Worth today:

TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte said he has not been contacted about the expansion.
And out of Orlando :

UCF Athletics officials released a statement Wednesday that said, “There has been no contact between UCF and the Big East Conference. We continue to be a proud member of Conference USA.”
The former statement may not be entirely accurate , as reports as far back as September suggested the Horned Frogs and Big East were in the most preliminary of discussions. For now, it looks like any Big East expansion announcements may come quickly by conference expansion standards ... but they won't be instantaneous, either. Barring some unforeseen thunderbolt from the league office, the biggest news on TCU's campus this week will still be the showdown with Utah .

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: November 3, 2010 4:45 pm
Edited on: November 3, 2010 4:55 pm
 

Previewing Week 10 in the Big East

Posted by Chip Patterson

The Big East has been busy making headlines this week with the announcement of planned expansion to ten football-playing schools.  The announcement solidifies many reports and has started speculation on everything from school selection, to timeframe, and even the potential changes to the college football landscape.  Seems fitting that the Big East would choose this week to make their most significant off-field announcement, because there is very little action on the field in Week 10.

Last week, Pittsburgh and Syracuse separated themselves from the rest of the conference by picking up their third conference victory.  Behind them is 1-1 Rutgers, and the rest of the conference is tied at 1-2.  The Panthers are not only a half-game ahead of the Orange, but also own the tiebreaker against Syracuse and Rutgers thanks to victories earlier in the season.  With only a month left in conference play the conference race is not over, but PIttsburgh does carry their own fate from here on out.  It would require two conference losses for the Panthers to be in jeopardy of losing the automatic BCS berth, and even then another team would have to win out.    

But the conference still holds six bowl ties, and every team is still technically capable of making the postseason at this point.  Most of the games left on the schedule are all conference games, and with seven teams 4-4 or better, each game will hold extra importance to anyone hoping to play football in December.  So while it may be hard to chase down conference-leading Pittsburgh, there is still plenty to play for.  The Panthers get Week 10 off, as does West Virginia, Connecticut, and Cincinnati.  

Wednesday - Rutgers at South Florida -  While they try to keep their focus on the field, it is impossible to ignore the health of defensive tackle Eric LaGrand, paralyzed while making a tackle against Army on October 16.  Thankfully, LaGrand was transferred from the hospital to a rehabilitation center on Wednesday, which as about as good as news will come on that front.  With a win, South Florida could come within a game of bowl eligibility.  It has been an up and down season for first-year head coach Skip Holtz, and a postseason berth would put a happy ending on his trial run with the Bulls.  I expect quarterback B.J. Daniels to build on his four TD performance against Cincinnati with another big outing.  PICK - South Florida 28, Rutgers 21 

Saturday - Louisville at Syracuse - Louisville could be without Bilal Powell, the conference's leading rusher, but will get backup Victor Anderson back for the first time in three games.  The Cardinal rushing attack is ranked among the top 25 in the nation, but they will face their greatest challenge against the Syracuse defense.  In the six Syracuse victories, the Orange have held their opponents to 14 points or less.  They have complimented that defense with a patient and effective rushing attack of their own, headed by Delone Carter and Antwon Bailey.  Syracuse has been clicking recently, and already looks like a different team than the one that got throttled 45-14 by Pittsburgh.  The Orange have been successful on the road, and I do not see them changing their execution at home.  PICK - Syracuse 19, Louisville 14   
Posted on: November 2, 2010 10:11 pm
Edited on: November 2, 2010 10:20 pm
 

Where should the Big East look first?

Posted by Chip Patterson

As you probably know by now, the Big East has decided to expand the number of football playing teams in the conference from eight to ten. This decision was reached during a regularly scheduled meeting of the athletic directors and presidents of all sixteen conference schools in Philadelphia.

The decision was unanimous, and conference commissioner John Marinatto indicated that the evaluation of potential expansion candidates will begin immediately. However, the unofficial evaluation process has been ongoing for some time. The conference approached Villanova, a member of the Big East in the other Olympic sports, back in September to discuss a move from the FCS, though no official offer was extended.

Villanova appears to be an easy selection for one of the two new spots in the conference. The addition of the Wildcats would be as painless as it comes for the rest of the schools, but that does not mean it would be free of roadblocks. The NCAA requires a two-year transition period for a school to move from the FCS to the BCS, and there is some concern as to if Villanova could replicate the success that brought them an FCS National Championship immediately against BCS-caliber opponents. In all likelihood, Villanova winning the FCS National Championship was one of tipping points to accelerate the discussion of the jump to join their Big East brethren on the gridiron.

For the Big East to fill both spots in the planned expansion, they will likely have to bring in a school from outside the conference in the other Olympic sports. Making that move will take the work of some big guns, like former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue. Tagliabue has been hired as a consultant to help with the deal, among other things the formation of a possible TV network.

One giant boost to the television value of the conference would be the addition of TCU. Rumors of discussions between TCU and the Big East began to circulate back in September, with both sides remaining ambiguously mum on the issue. Now with the blessing of the Board of Directors, those discussions can (and may likely) become serious fast. Under head coach Gary Patterson, the Horned Frogs have become perennial powerhouses on the national college football scene. In addition to bringing national interest, TCU would also bring the Big East to the football audience in the Dallas/Fort-Worth area.

But would this be a good move for TCU? The greatest appeal the Big East can offer is an automatic bid to the BCS, though some have argued that with the future arrival of Boise State, Nevada, and Fresno State, the Mountain West Conference may be on their way to gaining AQ status. But as the teams shuffle, there are no promises that new MWC will carry the same weight as it has in recent years.

Sources have also reported Central Florida, Houston, and Temple as other possible candidates for the two new spots in the Big East. Central Florida and Houston would be able to offer the major markets that the Big East would prefer in order to negotiate a major television deal. Temple also is a former Big East conference member.

There is still plenty of negotiation ahead, but in my opinion the best move for the Big East would be to TCU and Villanova. If the Horned Frogs join the conference only for football, then no adjustments would be necessary for the rest of the Olympic sports. It would be an immediate upgrade for the conference to gain a program that has finished ranked in the Top 25 seven times since 2000.
Posted on: November 1, 2010 11:24 pm
 

Report: Big East to talk expansion in meeting

Posted by Chip Patterson

On the field, the Big East has failed to make a dent in the national scene this year.  The conference has been openly criticized by many, and with just a month left in regular season play there is not a single Big East team in the current Top 25.  Off the field, the presidents and athletic directors are gathering this week to work on changing their reputation.  It is being reported by several sources that one of the hot topics to be covered in this meeting is a "probable expansion."

The regularly scheduled meeting will likely be tense with debate as the football-playing members of the conference will be pushing to expand the eight team conference, possibly by including current national powerhouse TCU.  A New York Post report indicated that TCU and Central Florida are both very interested, with Houston, Temple, and Villanova also being mentioned as leading candidates.  

"The goal is to get the presidents' blessing to seriously pursue teams," said one Big East athletic director. "I don't think we're going to get pushback on that."

If they do get the green-light, sources are reporting that invitations could be offered by the end of this college football season.  But getting everyone involved to rally around expansion may not be easy for the non-football schools in the conference.  Adding a team to the football conference would likely mean adding them to the already vast 16 team conference from many of the non-football sports.   
Posted on: September 30, 2010 10:48 am
Edited on: September 30, 2010 4:08 pm
 

Report: Big East, TCU have met, discussed move

Posted by Chip Patterson

Two days after our own Dennis Dodd passed along the reports that the Big East was targeting TCU for membership, and a day after athletic director Chris Del Conte issued an ambiguous "no comment" on the issue, it is being reported that the two sides have met and discussed a possible move that would bring the Horned Frogs to the Big East.

Del Conte has been unavailable for comment to the media while away on business in New York and Philadelphia, but the Dallas Morning News is reporting that discussions have already taken place, even within the last month.

TCU has met with Big East officials within the past 30 days to discuss the logistics of a move by TCU in either the 2011 or 2012 seasons, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

Del Conte, TCU's sports information department said, was in Philadelphia for meetings about Mountain West Conference television contracts with MWC commissioner Craig Thompson.

One source said Villanova, which was invited to join the Big East in football several weeks ago but has yet to decide if it's interested, is potentially a modifying factor regarding TCU joining the conference. It's unclear whether a move by Villanova, which currently plays in the Football Championship Subdivision, to the Football Bowl Subdivision (previously known as Division I) Big East, would enhance or detract from TCU's possible inclusion. Villanova already competes in the Big East in other sports, including the 16-team basketball conference and the 12-team baseball conference.

TCU joined the Mountain West Conference back in 2005, and would be anxious to make another move with the departure of Utah and arrival of Boise State after this season.  The Mountain West was excited to get the Broncos with hope of getting AQ status, but those discussions have faded. Now, the Horned Frogs best option may be to revitalize a conference that many feel are on the verge of losing their AQ status.

The Big East has openly admitted to constantly evaluating options for expansion and new television deals.  Bringing in TCU would open up Big East football to a whole new market, and likely would bring with it a more lucrative television deal.  

Aside from the obvious geographical concerns, there are also identity issues that could be caused by adding a Texas school to the Big East.  Though after adding DePaul and Marquette to the conference for basketball, it is clear the Big East has no problems reaching out to the Midwest.  Several alternative conference names have been suggested, and we here at the College Football Blog are open to more.  Drop your new conference name suggestions in the comments below, or tweet them to us @CBSSportsNCAAF.

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