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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 2:20 am 
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Army-Navy proposal alive on Big East table


By Mitch Vingle
Sports Editor

Since the Atlantic Coast Conference’s raid of the Big East in 2003, rumors have swirled in regard to the latter’s membership.

The Big East quelled some of that by adding Cincinnati, Louisville and South Florida in all sports and DePaul and Marquette in all but football.

Still, talk of Big East expansion remains. There’s Internet banter. And, really, with good reason.

That reason is football scheduling. Football is the lifeblood of the eight full members. Yet, in a time when schools can schedule 12 games, Big East teams are assured of but seven via their affiliation.

So the names of possible additions fly. From East Carolina, Central Florida, Navy, Memphis and, to some degree, Marshall to the far-flung notions of Kentucky, Penn State, Maryland and North Carolina.

Nothing, though, is happening because the basketball conference is overloaded with 16 teams. Absolutely no room at that inn.

But there is a solution.

It’s not a perfect solution. But it is a sensible solution that is on the Big East’s proverbial table.

Fashion a joint football-only membership for Army and Navy.

Here’s the idea. Strike an agreement with the service academies to play four games apiece each year against Big East schools.

That would accomplish goals for both sides. You may remember that Army left Conference USA at the end of the 2004 season. The objective was to have more flexibility in scheduling. Those at West Point hope to again make Army a power using the Notre Dame approach. Schedule and recruit nationally.

Navy has a like stance. The desired status is independence.

In the Big East scenario, Army and Navy can keep their independent statuses. Forget “joint membership.’’ Spin it as an “association.’’ (The schools won’t, after all, be eligible for a conference title.) And, voila, independence maintained.

Yet the service academies have a pool of Eastern schools to play each season. It’s a pool that’s been heated of late with the emergence of West Virginia, Louisville and Rutgers as national powers. The athletic departments will have to schedule but eight, not 12, games per year.

Meanwhile, each Big East team will be assured of four league home games each season. As it stands, Big East members are assured of four one year and three the next. And the goal of every major program is to have at least seven home games per season. (This isn’t, by the way, about building toward a conference championship, which takes 12 schools. Odds are that won’t happen for years, if ever.)

Multiple sources within the Big East confirmed the Army-Navy idea is alive, although, according to one “not full-blown yet.’’

Which is unfortunate. The idea makes sense. No, neither Army or Navy make the eyes pop when spotted on football schedules. But they do have nationwide appeal.

Army, for instance, will have all five home games this coming season televised by some, well, branch of the ESPN family. (The games will be on ESPN Classic, ESPN2 and ESPNU.)

Navy, meanwhile, had enough juice to steal the Meinke Car Care Bowl from the Big East last season and has already signed a deal to appear in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl this season with six wins or more.

Bottom lines: If a deal is struck, Army and Navy could play four Big East games and globetrot for the other eight. The current Big East schools could have their four-four league split and four non-conference openings. A very nice balance.

The proposal, by the way, isn’t new. Army and Navy fans know it was floated when Army left C-USA. At that time, Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk was asked about just such a setup with C-USA.

“Independence at this time is serving us well,’’ Gladchuk wrote on Navy’s Web site. “Maybe down the road.’’

In regard to another question regarding the Big East, he wrote: “If down the road the Big East is a possibility, we’ll consider it very carefully.’’

Gladchuk is a former AD at Boston College (as well as Houston and Tulane), so he knows the Big East turf.

We’ll see if he and the others involved indeed consider this “very carefully.’’

In a conference that’s already unwieldy (see basketball-football setup, Notre Dame affiliation), it’s an idea that floats.

To contact staff writer Mitch Vingle, send e-mail to mitchvingleATwvgazette.com.

Plus, here's some discussion on the topic as well:
http://www.ncaabbs.com/forums/showthread.php?tid=239609



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 11:20 am 
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Quote:
Army-Navy proposal alive on Big East table


By Mitch Vingle
Sports Editor

Since the Atlantic Coast Conference’s raid of the Big East in 2003, rumors have swirled in regard to the latter’s membership.

The Big East quelled some of that by adding Cincinnati, Louisville and South Florida in all sports and DePaul and Marquette in all but football.

Still, talk of Big East expansion remains. There’s Internet banter. And, really, with good reason.

That reason is football scheduling. Football is the lifeblood of the eight full members. Yet, in a time when schools can schedule 12 games, Big East teams are assured of but seven via their affiliation.

So the names of possible additions fly. From East Carolina, Central Florida, Navy, Memphis and, to some degree, Marshall to the far-flung notions of Kentucky, Penn State, Maryland and North Carolina.

Nothing, though, is happening because the basketball conference is overloaded with 16 teams. Absolutely no room at that inn.

But there is a solution.

It’s not a perfect solution. But it is a sensible solution that is on the Big East’s proverbial table.

Fashion a joint football-only membership for Army and Navy.

Here’s the idea. Strike an agreement with the service academies to play four games apiece each year against Big East schools.

That would accomplish goals for both sides. You may remember that Army left Conference USA at the end of the 2004 season. The objective was to have more flexibility in scheduling. Those at West Point hope to again make Army a power using the Notre Dame approach. Schedule and recruit nationally.

Navy has a like stance. The desired status is independence.

In the Big East scenario, Army and Navy can keep their independent statuses. Forget “joint membership.’’ Spin it as an “association.’’ (The schools won’t, after all, be eligible for a conference title.) And, voila, independence maintained.

Yet the service academies have a pool of Eastern schools to play each season. It’s a pool that’s been heated of late with the emergence of West Virginia, Louisville and Rutgers as national powers. The athletic departments will have to schedule but eight, not 12, games per year.

Meanwhile, each Big East team will be assured of four league home games each season. As it stands, Big East members are assured of four one year and three the next. And the goal of every major program is to have at least seven home games per season. (This isn’t, by the way, about building toward a conference championship, which takes 12 schools. Odds are that won’t happen for years, if ever.)

Multiple sources within the Big East confirmed the Army-Navy idea is alive, although, according to one “not full-blown yet.’’

Which is unfortunate. The idea makes sense. No, neither Army or Navy make the eyes pop when spotted on football schedules. But they do have nationwide appeal.

Army, for instance, will have all five home games this coming season televised by some, well, branch of the ESPN family. (The games will be on ESPN Classic, ESPN2 and ESPNU.)

Navy, meanwhile, had enough juice to steal the Meinke Car Care Bowl from the Big East last season and has already signed a deal to appear in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl this season with six wins or more.

Bottom lines: If a deal is struck, Army and Navy could play four Big East games and globetrot for the other eight. The current Big East schools could have their four-four league split and four non-conference openings. A very nice balance.

The proposal, by the way, isn’t new. Army and Navy fans know it was floated when Army left C-USA. At that time, Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk was asked about just such a setup with C-USA.

“Independence at this time is serving us well,’’ Gladchuk wrote on Navy’s Web site. “Maybe down the road.’’

In regard to another question regarding the Big East, he wrote: “If down the road the Big East is a possibility, we’ll consider it very carefully.’’

Gladchuk is a former AD at Boston College (as well as Houston and Tulane), so he knows the Big East turf.

We’ll see if he and the others involved indeed consider this “very carefully.’’

In a conference that’s already unwieldy (see basketball-football setup, Notre Dame affiliation), it’s an idea that floats.

To contact staff writer Mitch Vingle, send e-mail to mitchvingleATwvgazette.com.

Plus, here's some discussion on the topic as well:
http://www.ncaabbs.com/forums/showthread.php?tid=239609



This has been an old idea floating for several years. It is also flawed. The incentives for Navy and Army to do this are few. The academies appear not to be in a scheduling crunch and independent scheduling is something they seek and flaunt. I doubt the TV revenues or bowl deals would be high enough for them to make the move knowing they already have some proven outlets with some current arrangements. They cannot compete for a conference crown, only be used for an extra game scheduling convenience by the Big East. The academies recognize a one-sided ploy.

It may give each Big East team an extra home came every other year offering a 4-4 format of 8 teams; but conference games are still an uneven 7. Keeping football only Temple made more sense.

The Big East doesn't learn. Fractionalization allowed the '03 raid. Instead of nitpicking with individual sports, politicing to the whims of interests that are not all-sports, and tolerating Notre Dame's fence sitting; the conference needs to split and move forward; and if you add a school, accept the school for all it offers, not stop-gap nonsense.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 6:12 pm 
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Louisvillecard01, totally agree with you.

The Big East football schools need to come to terms that a split is inevitable if they are going to stabilize into a modern major BCS conference.

First observation with this article is there must be smoke and the football schools realize a 9th football member is needed or better stated mandatory. Very smart move for the football schools.

The football schools can and should push for a 9th football member and bring the conference to 17 members at the very minimum. I don't necessarily agree with the article about no room at the inn. If there is no room at the inn, the football schools need to move to another inn that is more accommodating.

This option would mean the basketball side of the house make less money per share. If it comes down to a split the basketball schools will make less money in any of the options.


This may be the strategy of the Big East football schools.

Start exploring expansion with the old Army/Navy 4x4 schedule knowing full well this option is not valid or will fly.

This will lead the conference to the all sports option for the 9th members.

Either both sides will accept the needs of the football schools and make less money per basketball share or split.

The football schools need to challenge someone in the conference to prove the conference can make more money with the Army/Navy option verses a 17 member for a full split of the football schools.

Just using Memphis for argument as an option for 9 all sports member conference, someone has to prove the football schools at 9 would make less money than 17 basketball schools.

I just don't see any other solution and the Army/Navy schedule does not appear to work because there is no major benefit to Army and Navy and it makes the Big East look bush league in the process as well.

The way I see it the Big East has two options, expand to 17 which will work (maybe less money per share) or split into two separate conferences.

I think the football schools are starting to get the wheels in motion.

Should make for some interesting summer conversations especially if Navy and Army squash the idea before it get off the table.







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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:03 am 
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Panther,interesting article.Here is another piece from a competing WV paper that suggests that the Big East is too big already.Link at http://www.dailymail.com/story/Sports/2007070234/The-Big-East-is-getting-too-big-for-its-own-good


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:52 am 
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freaked4collegefb. interesting article and agree with most of the content in that article especially on the size of the conference with 16 members.

Maybe the Army and Navy to the Big East is the correct solution, however, as all sports members.

If the Big East wanted to provide an offer to Army and Navy that either school could not refuse, provide both schools all sports membership.

Less look at this idea in more detail.

In the above article the statement is correct that NCAA puts a lot of emphases on OOC schedules.

If the Big East football schools split and take Army and Navy as full members for a total of 10 full members, the 18 game scheduled would be more easy with a probable four wins for the top tier basketball schools verses the Service Academies in most seasons.

Syracuse could then schedule a couple more strong OOC games and build up OOC schedule strength and not over burden the conference schedule by having 18 game schedule that has a variety of levels of basketball strength in conference play.

Granted the excitement for fans attending games with Georgetown or Villanova may not be the same as would initially occur with Army and Navy, however, other benefits come into play that make this option very interesting and workable.

First if Navy and Army were all sports and shared equal revenue, the Army/Navy football game would be part of the equation and both academies would make more and not less by having the game part of the football TV package.

The Big East may lose the Gator without Notre Dame, however, there are several possibilities with Army/Navy as full members.

The Big East would keep the Meikee Car Bowl, Papa John Bowl, and International bowl and of the most important BCS automatic bowl bid.

To go along with the guaranteed bowls, the Big East could start up bowls Tampa and Washington DC. The Washington DC bowl would be a nice Big Ten potential and the Tampa could take an SEC team.

This would allow the Big East to play BCS, ACC, Conf USA, MAC, Big Ten, and SEC.

It could be possible to expand to 18 members and take Army and Navy as full members.

Rutgers, South Florida would probably welcome the four BB games of the new 18 schedules with Army and Navy.

However if 16 is bloated, not sure what you call 18 full members.

A better solution and going back to the article in the Charleston paper, the Big East could split and become a true ten ten all sports conference with Army and Navy included as full members.

When you look into splitting and taking Memphis or Central Florida as the 9th member, both schools do make everyone jump with joy. Both have more down side than positives.

In the case of Army and Navy as full members the football all sports conference is enhanced with academics , promoted more as a national type conference which looks good for future BCS evaluation, and most importanly does not over burden the 18 regular game basketball schedule that would be required with a 10 member all sports conference.

The current Big East will over burdon the schedule with 18 regular games per the article which makes a lot of sense.

Maybe the following is the best possible solution for the Big East football schools.

The East All Sports Conference

Connecticut
Syracuse
Rutgers
Army
Navy
Pitt
West Virginia
Cincinnati
Louisville
South Florida

The above does not have direction schools that many have lots of issues and the football conference is more eastern in geography.

No raid would be required on another conference with this type of expansion as most would understand Army and Navy moving up from the Patriot League.

Maybe this is the plan or will become the plan using Army and Navy the Big East football schools are really looking at.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 2:22 am 
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More Army/Navy stuff from the WV Gazette

http://www.wvgazette.com/section/Sports/Mitch+Vingle/2007070330?pt=0

I used this space last Sunday to outline the one proposal that seems to have legs in regard to Big East football expansion.

The idea is a joint football-only membership (or “association’’ if you will) for Army and Navy. The two service academies would play four games apiece each season against Big East schools. The setup would help all involved in the area of scheduling. The association could even extend to bowl games.

Multiple Big East officials confirmed the idea is alive, although one said it is “not full-blown yet.’’ When reached on Tuesday, however, West Virginia University athletic director Ed Pastilong hinted he’d like to see the idea mushroom.

“This is an option that deserves serious consideration,’’ he said.

Pastilong has heard many of the wild expansion rumors. From East Carolina to Penn State and, pretty much, every school in between. He’s heard the fans’ proposals of expanding to 12 football schools in order to stage a championship.

But right now?

“Realistically, this is a more plausible approach,’’ he said. “Our future is 16 in basketball and eight or, possibly, nine in football. That’s our future.’’

Forget, he said, any rumors of a split between the football and basketball schools.

“No,’’ Pastilong said. “We’re planning on staying together.’’


And since Notre Dame, Maryland or Kentucky will not be joining in football anytime soon, he’d understandably like the Army-Navy idea to flourish.

The reason is that home WVU football schedule.

With, essentially, nine football members, the Mountaineers would be assured of four home — i.e., money — games via the Big East.

That would be a huge step toward the annual goal.

“We try to make sure we have seven home games,’’ Pastilong said.

This coming season, WVU has but a six-six split. Because of the odd — seven — number of Big East opponents, league members get but three home games every other year. That’s a kick in the groin this season to West Virginia considering the high expectations and ticket demand. It doesn’t help Pastilong’s department that it’s the Mountaineers’ turn to visit Marshall and Maryland in non-conference play.

In 2008, WVU does have four Big East teams at home in addition to Villanova, Marshall and Auburn. Thus, the lucky seven.

Where Pastilong and WVU could use the Army-Navy deal is 2009 and beyond. The Mountaineers will have three ’09 league games in Morgantown as well as home dates with Colorado and, if they beat Marshall in one of the next two seasons, MU.

One opening remains and that will have to be at Mountaineer Field for the school to simply reach six home games. As it stands, the WVU administration is hoping Buffalo or Mid-American Conference commissioner Rick Chryst will make arrangements to fill that slot. The belief in Morgantown is Buffalo owes that game after pulling out of a prior agreement.

Anyway, here’s a snapshot of how WVU stands in regard to other foreseeable schedules:

In 2010, the Mountaineers have four Big East games at home as well as Maryland and Michigan State. They are on the road to Marshall. Two openings exist.

In 2011, it’s back to three home Big East games. Marshall and Michigan State visit Morgantown, bringing the number of home games to five. Two openings remain.

In 2012, three openings exist. Four Big East home games, though, and visits from Marshall and Florida State still put WVU officials close to their goal.

And in 2013, there are four openings. Even the agreement with Marshall doesn’t reach this far into the future. WVU, though, will visit Florida State and has but three Big East games at home.

The Big East officials contacted say they’re unsure if the Army-Navy plan will fly. The proposal still needs to be clearly defined. And one day all in the circle are for it. The next day, not so much.

Odds are, however, a Mr. Edward M. Pastilong can be counted in the affirmative.


Last edited by panthersc97 on Thu Jul 05, 2007 2:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 8:53 am 
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Panther,thanks for posting both of those articles.
As you are aware,this idea was brought up a couple of years ago by the Big East and rejected by the service academies.You will note,that neither article contains quotes from any service academy representatives.

However,things can and do change.The Navy situation is probably different but the Army FB program is in disarray.Apparently Army will assemble another outside expert football panel to study their program and make recomendations.Link at http://story.scout.com/a.z?s=109&p=2&c=654498


Last edited by freaked4collegefb on Thu Jul 05, 2007 8:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 7:02 pm 
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Would the NCAA would allow eight "half-members" to count towards the 12 required for a championship game? Just think of the possibilities:

West Division:
Louisville
Cincinnati
Pittsburgh
West Virginia
Notre Dame/Marshall
Memphis/UAB

East Division:
Syracuse
Connecticut
Rutgers
South Florida
Army/Navy
Central Florida/East Carolina

With all of the partial football members ineligible for the conference title game, the full members have a much easier path. Perhaps the five CUSA schools could all play each other in addition to their Big East opponents for a total of 8 "Big East" games and simultaneously compete for two conference titles!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:14 am 
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Another article discussing the possibility of Army/Navy joining the Big East at http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/2007/07/08/army-and-navy-targets-of-big-east-expansion-idea


Last edited by freaked4collegefb on Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 7:01 am 
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No Army-Navy Deal

http://www.wvgazette.com/section/Sports/Mitch+Vingle/2007071039?pt=20

While on the subject of dismissals, you can forget the proposal to forge an Army/Navy football membership with the Big East. (Many WVU fans, I understand, will be happy to read the news.)
A source with intimate knowledge, one that asked for anonymity, said Big East officials had extensive conversations with the two service academies concerning the possibility. The idea was to have both play four Big East games a year. WVU officials, among others, thought it a grand idea. The setup would help league schools toward their annual goal of seven home games. It would likewise help the service academies in regard to scheduling Eastern schools and allow them to globetrot the other eight openings.

Navy nibbled at the idea, but Army did not. The source said he expects Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese to fill in league athletic directors in the upcoming week.

Oh yes, and Navy alone will not be the ninth football member.

So Big East fans, get used to an eight-football, 16-basketball setup. At least for the foreseeable future, that’s what you’re looking at


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 1:01 pm 
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Hopefully the foreseeable future only extends a few more years, and then the football schools split off and form an all-sports conference, in which all members are FULL members in all sports.....

Hopefully Ed Pastilong's vehement denial of the split is a "cover" that they have all agreed to recite, just so that the current combined Big East conference doesn't have a lame duck feel to it, prior to a split becoming reality.

Holding out hope.... I enjoyed one person refering to the current Big East structure as "a Frankenstein".... how apt !

If we do have a split, I predict:
CUSA will be raided for at least 2 teams initially,
CUSA will re-stock with Louisiana Tech and North Texas.
The basketball schools will raid the A-10 for 2 or 4 schools (Xavier, Dayton, St. Louis...)
America East may invite UMass and Rhode Island from the A-10 and attempt to start up American East Football.
............ or not.................


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 9:30 pm 
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Twenty or more years ago, "all sports" & football conferences with 8 members made sense. The football slate was 10 games, then it went to 11. Now it is 12 for the regular season for the big-timers.

With 12 games to play during the regular season, having at least nine members for football makes sense.

Rather than trying to pull Army-Navy in for partial scheduling; where's the pressure on Notre Dame to pony-up? Notre Dame can't offer the Big East 4 home at home games (OK, before anyone goes off on this, I know the story of the empty Notre Dame promise of elevated Big East games---whether it's 3 or 4)?

Villanova & Georgetown are the other two fb playing members but competing on a lower level.

If the football side can't simply add one team for the football side because of basketball numbers and political balance; then surely those AD's in the Big East have discussed splitting behind closed doors. Tute79's speculation may be correct, Big East operatives are not going to suggest openly a split until the timing requires it.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 6:43 pm 
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Poor Big East. Unwanted by ND, Army & Navy. BE doesn't want UCF, ECU, Memphis or marshall. UMass, Delaware and Villanova won't step up to IA (or whatever it's now called). BB members dominate to the point that a 9th FB member can't be courted.

Poor Big East


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 6:09 pm 
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Another article discussing the possibility of Army/Navy joining the Big East in some fashion at http://notredame.scout.com/a.z?s=109&p=2&c=659792


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 11:34 pm 
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It seems to me the BE is limited in its options. There will be no full memberships for Notre Dame, because they don't want full membeship. Army and Navy can not compete in the other sports and Army probably can't compete in football. I believe they only won 2 or 3 games in C-USA the entire time they were there. It doesn't appear to be anything the service academies really need to do.The Big East will not draw teams from the other BCS leagues because they can't offer those teams enough to make the move.

So it appears there are but two options:

1. Have UMass and Villanova move up.
2. Add from CUSA and/or the MAC


Option 1. I'm not in tune with UMass or 'Nova, but I have read numerous points of view on this page that claim those schools are happy as they are and do not plan on making the jump. It seems to me this would be the very best option for the conference, but that doesn't appear to be a real option.

Option 2. BE adds one or two from Marshall, Ohio U., UCF, Memphis, East Carolina, Southern Miss, UAB and Memphis for a football only membership.

Option 2B would be to add four from that list and make a full 12 team All Sports conference!

For scenario one I believe East Carolina fits geographically. But, I would find it hard to believe the Pirates would take a football only offer. They are trying to build a complete athletic department there and would be foolish to prostitute the baseball, basketball and other programs.

My favorite is Scenario 2B. Add four teams from the southern area of the country to help out USF and Louisville and form a 12 team two division league.

NORTH

1. WVU
2. Rutgers
3. Pittsburgh
4. Syracuse
5. UConn
6. Cincinatti

SOUTH

1. Louisville
2. South Florida
3. East Carolina
4. Central Florida
5. Memphis
6. Southern Miss

I think the four teams I added are the strongest non BCS programs in the eastern half of the country.

ECU has a strong fan base, an outstanding baseball program, and an improving football team.

UCF is a very large school! They have a tremendous TV market and are another Florida team that fans would like to travel to.

Memphis will help the conference continue to have a strong basketball precense and the Liberty Bowl is there.

Southern Miss has 13 straight winning football seasons and has been to 10 bowl games in those 13 years. Basketball is improving there as well with Larry Eustachey at the helm.

I didn't add Marshall, because of WVU. Ohio U. isn't there because I just don't think they have as much to offer as the other four. And UAB is in serious financial straights right now and they may not be able to stay at D-1.

This setup gives the football powers within the BE a shot at a real ALL SPORTS conference with football and basketball on a very even setting. Granted the NORTH would currently be the much stronger basketball division right now, but having Louisville and Memphis in the SOUTH is pretty impressive.

The Big East should see the writing on the wall now and pull the trigger on this deal before the 2010 season. Let the NCAA know whats coming down the pike and maybe get around any regulations that may hinder the new conferences NCAA basketball status.


Last edited by storm on Sun Jul 22, 2007 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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