I left out Georgetown and 'Nova because they have football. Although Georgetown could be considered, if you want to put in non-scholarship football schools. The more Eastern schools you added to this league the more midwestern you'd want to subtract.
It's my opinion that G'town would be a good fit for your league, even though they have non-scholarship football, they think very much like a basketball-only school. (Non-scholarship is kind of like a compromise between the G'town students and the G'town administration, IMO. The admin does not have to fork out a lot of $$'s for a football program, and the students get to enjoy some football. Both sides win! ;D )
You're probably right about 'Nova.
The best solution to the non-1A Big East football schools would be a partnership with the A-10 which is 1AA. Villanova may eventually go 1A. I've heard that UMass has explored this also. The 1AA football schools could go to the A-10, and any 1AA A-10 schools wanting to move up could be brought into the Big East (although the Temple experiment seems to have failed here).
I have no idea what 'Nova's plans for football are. They have a football team, unlike Seton Hall or Providence, haven't dropped football like St. John's, and they have scholarship football unlike G'town. All of those factors put 'Nova in a category by itself in the BE, IMO. I do think that it is Commissioner Tranghese's desire to be more all of an all-sports conference. That's probably why he gave bball-only schools like SJU, GU, UConn, and 'Nova the privilege of BE football membership if they upgraded to IA. To date, UConn is the only school that has taken advantage of that offer. However, 'Nova might join the Huskies in I-A as well soon.
It is my opinion that UMass is going to go I-A very soon. I do not know if the Big East is going to give them an invite or not (I'd say probably not, considering the size of the league right now), but there have been rumors out there that the MAC might pick up UMass if they do decide to go I-A (as a possible replacement for Marshall or UCF, should either leave).
The Big East needs room in football. They only get it with a reduction of the basketball schools. Getting the basketball schools to WANT TO LEAVE is the trick. The same is true for C-USA.