Big East Invtes 5 Schools with 6th Expected
* It is being reported that the Big East has extended invitations to 5 schools:
UCF (all sports)
Houston (all sports)
SMU (all sports)
Boise St. (football only)
Air Force (football only)
* These schools have been told that if they accept, the Big East would raise their exit fees to $10 million, a 100% increase.
* Navy is the next option for the #12 spot for football, as a football only invite. But even with the $10 million exit fee, Navy has been hesitant to commit.
* If Navy ultimately rejects the Big East, Temple is expected to be invited as the 12th football member, as a football-only member. Temple had seemed to be the #2 all-sports invite option, but pressure from Villanova has put Temple is a less beneficial position. Temple is expected to accept the football-only invite if extended, as it would be an upgrade to the BCS conference from their current football-only home, the MAC.
* CUSA schools have a $7 million exit fee and forfeiture of all TV money. So UCF, Houston and SMU would have to pay roughly $8.1 million to leave CUSA to join the Big East for the 2013 season.
* The football-only invitees, Boise St. and Air Force have the most work though. Both will need to finalize plans to join other conferences for their non-football sports.
* An NCAA rule dictates that a school may not participate in one conference for football and another for it’s other sports if said conference also sponsors football. In other words, while the WAC would appear to many to be an ideal home for Air Force and Boise St. for non-football sports, it would require the NCAA to vote on a rule change. Same holds for remaining in the MWC for non-football sports, although the MWC has made it clear that is not an option.
* The Big Sky has a rule of it’s own in place that states that it would not accept a member that does not participate in football. So if the Big Sky were to be an option for either school, that conference would need to change it’s rules. They have shown flexibility of late in bringing in UC Davis and Cal Poly as football-affiliate members.
* The WCC expanded with BYU and said they would not expand. But with Air Force available, there remains a chance that conference could expand to 10 with Air Force.
* Air Force had been seeking a move to the Missouri Valley Conference, but that conference has stated they are not interested in expanding at this time with Air Force.
* In order for Air Force and Boise St. to join the Big East for football, it appears that the only options would be if the WCC accepted Air Force and if the Big Sky changed it’s conference rules and accepted Boise St. That of course would be a large step down for basketball as the Big Sky ranks as one of the lowest basketball conferences while the MWC is a top 10 conference.
* If Temple joins for football-only, they would remain in the A10 for other sports.
And yes folks, it is a reality: The Big EAST might soon have schools as far west as Colorado and Idaho. Furthermore, Air Force would be in the Big EAST for football and the WEST Coast Conference for other sports.