Lash, Panther, others on this topic---
The fundamental question is whether or not the Big East wants to change what they currently have. I do not see them doing so other than a few down-the-line messages coming occasionally from places such as West Virginia and Louisville, as Lash noted.
If the Big East ever decides to split/expand, their focus has to be "cultivation" rather than additions that are at the top levels in terms of name recognition and prior performance.
I find it hard to dismiss a school such as UCF in terms of potential. They could add a lot to the Big East in a number of dimensions. To expect a non-BCS school to exhibit BCS credentials beforehand, may be asking too much; particularly for any school east of the Mississippi River. Places such as BYU and Utah have it now, but geographically, they are beyond the BE reach.
Only Notre Dame would not need the cultivation. Navy and Army? We know that story and the elements involved. The focus has to be upon the "willing".
I understand what you are saying about BYU and Utah versus the BE candidates (i.e. cultivation).
IMO, it's the whole chicken versus the egg argument. In other words, do the universities have the commitment to excel in academics and athletics BEFORE coming to the BE without an invitation or do they NEED a BE invite before this stuff starts?
IMO, what the BE wants to do is to have the schools take the initiative upon themselves to improve their academics, facilities, attendance, etc. PRIOR to BE admission. UL was easy because of their committment to athletics prior to admission and they carried a decent brand name - at least on the BB side. IIRC, they had the highest non-BCS athletic budget (maybe BYU was bigger) prior to entering the BE. In other words, they didn't need the BE to do this themselves. Cincy started the $100 million 'Varsity Village' without BE admission and their President Zimpher has really started the initiative to improve academics - again prior to BE admission.
I think that the other schools who didn't get invited took notice and are doing what they can to improve themselves for the inevitable split and expansion.
I mean just take a look at what UCF is doing in terms of facilities. I have reservations with UCF at this point but that's just me. The obvious advantage for UCF is a travel partner for the BE's 'outlier'
I still think 2013 is the key date but that's JMO.
The BE is going to stay the course, and react when forced to by the situation at hand. It's their history; it's their pattern.
If in the unlikely event the BE was threatened in terms of their automatic BCS bid; they would find the innovation for change very quickly, though perhaps minimally. And that new school or schools, would be declared a "valued" addition(s) quiet nicely.
I can't say I disagree with either statement. I will say however, while I can fault Tranghese for many things, I thought he did a good job of rebuilding the BE when it was left for dead.
And remember, it's up to the FB presidents to force the issue.