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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

AP Source: Big East readies invites

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— The Big East is ready to start adding members after spending the last month and a half losing them.

A person familiar with the decision told the Associated Press the Big East will invite Boise State, Navy and Air Force for football only and SMU, Houston and Central Florida for all sports in upcoming days. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the conference was not ready to announce its plan.

Commissioner John Marinatto declined to elaborate on the Big East’s next moves after meeting with the league’s presidents at a Philadelphia hotel Tuesday. He said he expected the targeted schools to accept, but details still must be worked out with each.

“As we’ve learned over the last two months, don’t believe anything anybody tells you. Nothing’s done until it is over. So I’m obviously being very cautious and that’s why I’m reluctant to say names of schools,” he said.

Marinatto did acknowledge the league intends to expand west.

Boise State and Air Force, both in the Mountain West Conference, and SMU and Houston, members of Conference USA, would be in the Big East’s western division, along with Louisville and Cincinnati. Navy, an independent, and UCF, also from CUSA, would be part of the league’s eastern division with Connecticut, South Florida, Rutgers and another school. The league would then likely play a conference championship game.

The Big East has been working on a plan to add those six schools and reconfigure as a 12-team football conference since not long after Syracuse and Pittsburgh announced Sept. 18 they would be leaving for the Atlantic Coast Conference.

“We got reaffirmation from our members that that was the way we wanted to go,” Marinatto said. “It was probably a very small part of our meeting today, where they just reaffirmed everything we had been talking about and authorized me to move forward with formal discussions to get this all wrapped up as soon as possible.”

Exactly when was unclear.

“We have not received an invitation from the Big East. However, we understand the things are moving in that direction,” UCF spokesman Grant Heston said.

Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk said Tuesday he had not yet heard from any Big East officials.

A couple weeks after the Big East found out about Pitt and Syracuse, TCU announced it was backing out of a commitment to join the league next year and instead accepted an invite to the Big 12.

Then last week West Virginia accepted an invitation to the Big 12, stripping the Big East of its most successful football member in recent years. So even with the six potential new members, the Big East still needs another school to get to 12 for the long term.

Temple and Memphis are being considered, the person with knowledge of the Big East’s decision said.

Marinatto said again that the Big East intends to enforce the league’s 27-month notification period and will hold Pitt, Syracuse and West Virginia in the conference until July 2014.

The ACC has said it will not challenge the Big East’s rules, but the Big 12 needs 10 teams to fulfill its television contracts in 2012 and has said it expects West Virginia to replace Missouri and join the league next year.

Even with new members ready to commit, the Big East might not have enough football teams next season without Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia.

According to Conference USA bylaws, UCF, SMU and Houston would not be able to compete in the Big East until 2013.

Comments

shelleysue 10 years, 8 months ago

What is the Big 12's reason for not wanting to expand back to 12 teams? I'm not sure I understand this. If it's all about money, why wouldn't the Big 12 want a championship game?

jaypul 10 years, 8 months ago

Each team that the league adds after the initial 10 would have to be able to generate revenue equal to that or greater than what each existing team gets in order for it to make sense for the existing 10. If they don't, adding more teams would end up costing those 10 money.

LogicMan 10 years, 8 months ago

In a perfect world, yes, but in this environment stability matters even more. So if adding one to four more teams provides that stability, and if the cost per existing team is low, the Big 12 should pounce.

And right now.

The Big East is attempting to raid the Mountain West and C-USA; if we are interested in any of those three conferences' teams, e.g., Louisville, Cincinnati, New Mexico, Colorado State, Wyoming, etc., we need to act quickly. And nothing says those teams have to get an equal share at first; NU has a waiting period in the Big 10 and they were still eager to join.

shelleysue 10 years, 8 months ago

I would really like to see Louisville and BYU join the Big 12.

Steve Brown 10 years, 8 months ago

If we want Louisville or Houston time to act is now, don't let BEast eat into our geography.

Say UWV is 'forced' to stay until 2013 to obey bylaws then why cant we 'force' Tigers to stay another year so B12 doesn't default on our TV contract.

If we go to 12 teams it may mean a smaller cut of the pie, yet when wonderlust Horns and Sooners fly away in 4-6 years the remaining 10 would be more likely to be stable. Right?

I'm not smart enought or informed to figure out right path, yet really glad Chuckie is at the helm over Beebe.

dmg97102 10 years, 8 months ago

Like all court cases, the WVU case is going to get held up in court for months, and MU can't leave until it gets sorted out. Because the Big 12 can't honor it's TV contract, MU might get sued if it leaves. I'm guessing we won't know anything until next spring which will make it too late for MU to leave, so MU will have to stay or pay a huge fine to leave. We should make them pay the fee, and then pick up BYU, who can come over at anytime since they're an independent.

We should invite BYU for next year to get to 10. Then wait for WVU in 2 years, and invite Louisville to come on board in 2 years also to get back to 12.

Gary Wirsig 10 years, 8 months ago

I know that with conference realignment, new geographical paradigms are being set, but Boise State to the Big East seems ridiculous.

LogicMan 10 years, 8 months ago

What's happening to the MWC is unfortunate. They are no Big 12, but they do have a long history of sticking together. It's too bad we couldn't have made a deal with them -- they had to turn to C-USA which itself is getting picked apart.

The silence from the Big 10 makes me wonder if they are quietly working a big deal, or more likely that they are asleep at the trigger.

142466 10 years, 8 months ago

I agree with your post. I would add this: "Boise State to Big 12 would have made much more sense. " Big 12 could have added a strong FB school and by so doing would have made it more likely that BYU would enter.

Don't get hung on academics.

60 years ago I attended KU for 7 years. And long ago I taught for several years at a Kansas college. I know, as well as anybody else, that higher education standards have slipped in the last several years. But I fail to understand how the addition of only one school (Boise), with less than a stellar academic history, but with an excellent fb program, good geography (especially if BYU eventually enters), an excellent growth trend, and accredited academics, in good standing, to a 12 team athletic league would hurt KU's academic standing. What's going on academically in Ames, Iowa , Norman, Okla, Austin, Tex, and Boise, Idaho, or Palo Alto, Cal has little direct impact on KU academics. If KU has academic issues, then focus on Mt. Oread. Don't foolishly look to memberships in a FB league to solve those issues. We're talking about membership an athletic league here, not a debating society.

Looks like the other potential B12 entrants are going elsewhere, too, now. Sad, sad. UT is giving orders and getting away with making their own special rules. Make sure OU is on our side and then call UT's bluff. Do it. KU's athletic survival is at stake.

Until the B12 gets back to 12 members, neither KU, MU, nor KSU should even dream of being B12 football champions. And they better all understand that the B12 has no long-term prospects without 12 members, preferably 14.

142466 10 years, 8 months ago

While I've got the floor, I'll add this (I attempted to post this a few days ago, but I guess iit offended somebody). The firing of Mangino was the stupidest, most unwarrented, and most injurious act ever done by a KU AD. And back on the day it was perpetrated I said the same thing.

In that post I attempted to exlpain how the 2d most foolish act by KU Athletics, the firing of Jack Mitchell in the mid 60's, and the firing of Mangino were very similar. The point that I attempted to prove in that post was that KU football, over its life, has followed the same harmful cycle, over and over. We get a coach who delivers gradually improving W-L seasons, but all rather mediocre, then 1 excellent season, followed by 1 or 2 mediocre seasons, maybe even 1 poor one, at which time he is fired. Next, KU goes through several short-term horrible coaches, until we finally luckilly find a coach who consistently delivers mediocre records. The cycle starts anew.

My advice then, now, and will always be-----Accept Football Mediocrity (approx. .500 seasons). Be thankful. Don't expell the coach who is delivering it. You'll be sorry, because by so doing you will have ushered in 3or4 consecutive calamitous seasons.

Mediocrity is KU's long-term FB fate. For several reasons. I'm tired of typing. You all know the reasons.

SEC FB excellence is it's fate, too. It's that league's reward for having finally, begrudgingly but in the end, sincerely, accepted the changes wrought by the great American revolution that was the 1960s. Let them enjoy it. It's a satisfying trade.

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