The rumor going around is that the Big East will invite ECU and possibly Memphis for FB only for the 2006 season.
I wondered if anyone had heard anything about this. Does anyone know if the rumor is true? If so, would CUSA add 2 more all-sports members?
I know that ECU has always wanted in the Big East. And out of all the possible candidates for the Big East they've always made the most sense. They're located on the Eastern Seaboard; in the Big East's footprint. They bring a recruiting presence in the Carolinas and Virginia for the Big East. And they have strong mid-major support despite being down currently. East Carolina's stadium seats over the 40,000 seat Big East standard. Plus this school helps with bowl tie-ins in the Carolinas.
From ECU's perspective, they have nothing to lose by going FB-only. They can probably convince the A-10 to take their other sports with Charlotte and Richmond in that league now. They know that FB-only now will mean an all-sport invite in the event of a split.
On that second team going to the Big East, I would think it would be less probable. Memphis is not in the Big East footprint. Memphis is a better fit in CUSA geographically. I don't know if they would accept a FB-only from the Big East.
Marshall FB-only would make more sense in the Big East. The geography fits with Marshall, and they would draw very well on a schedule featuring WVU, Pitt and Louisville. By taking ECU and Marshall, the Big East would push CUSA's footprint to the Gulf Coast, and make it decidedly mid-major.
Would CUSA reload with 2 schools if ECU and another left? It all depends who is leaving and who is staying. If Memphis stays in CUSA, I don't know if they'd be in favor of watering down the basketball conference even further. Depending if the attendance requirements hit the MAC hard, they may be hitting them up for replacements. I'm sure LaTech, and the SBC schools will again jump through hoops trying to get in. Realignment between the MAC/CUSA/WAC could be triggered if a couple of CUSA schools move to the Big East. Lots of possibilities.