Nert, you're crazy. PSU would dominate the Big East football scene? I can't disagree with you more, at least regarding the next few seasons. Penn St isn't expected to finish in the Top 25 this season, and by most professional accounts, projects to about a 5th place finish in the Big 11 this season.
Pitt projects as top 10 in most polls this season, and has won the PA recruiting war over PSU in 3 of the last 4 years.
As far as others in the conference, WVU finished 3 spots behind PSU in last year's final poll. I'll wait to pass judgement on BC vs PSU until the 2nd week of the season when they face each other in Nappy Valley.
As far as Army/Navy go, I'd only allow Navy into the conference if doing so enticed Notre Dame. That would leave the Big East with 5 or 6 teams that Notre Dame regularly schedules, so depending on how large the conference gets, ND could play a full conference schedule and have enough weekends available to continue to schedule USC, Purdue, Michigan, etc..
Army should never be invited under any circumstance, as they're terrible. Same with ECU, because of academics and they're in ACC/SEC territory. Why breed ECU as the next school to get raided from the Big East?
The invite to Louisville should be in the mail already, as far as I'm concerned. Nert makes the "not a bus trip away" argument, but most of the conference is, and hell, half the Big 11 is in a different time zone than PSU.
So if I were king, my new Big East would look like:
BC, Cuse, Rutgers, UConn, Navy, PSU, Pitt, WVU, Notre Dame, and Louisville.
If neither PSU nor ND can be had, I'd go with Louisville and Navy for now, to get us back to 8. None of the other options are all that enticing, save Cincy.
If you think this momentary upswing for Pitt means that PennState would not be the dominant team in the BigEast (if they joined the BigEast and Miami joins VaTech in the ACC) then you need to lighten up on the home brew.
The reason PennState's records have not been Top25 year in and year out is that they play a very tough schedule. No matter who you play, once you get 3-4 losses, you drop pretty far down - and the BigEast is no Big11 on a week to week basis. Playing a steady diet of UConn, WestVirginia, Temple, Syracuse, BC, Pitt and Rutgers; PennState's record would usually be 6-1 or 7-0 in conference and they would again flirt with Top10-Top15 status.
Presently only Pitt could match them for talent (this year)and with a PennState return to the east, Pitt's recruiting would suffer a great deal. Syracuse and WestVirginia would be like Pitt - occasionally challenging PennState for the title. But year in and year out - PennState would be one of the 2 (and on a rare year - 3) teams in the race. The other team(s) vying for the title would fluctuate from Pitt to Syracuse to WestVirginia to BC. This doens't mean PennState would win it every year - but they would be in the top 2 almost every year.
The suggestion of Army and Navy (as FB only members) does 3 things:
1) keeps the fans happy as travel for most of the league's schools is easy
2) allows other sports to remain at 10 teams (FB at the optimal 12 for championship game money) which allows round robin home and away conference schedules
3) helps home attendence for shakier eastern teams like Temple and fledgling UConn
4) helps the TV contract and bowl contracts (who would not want Army or Navy to come to their bowl if they ever get good again?)
I wouldn't add Army or Navy FB unless it could bring in PennState (and while that's usually the rationale to attract NotreDame, I don't believe there is any way NotreDame joins the BigEast for FB). I don't know if PennState cares about playing them one way or the other - but the fans would love the number of games they could easily get to - and the easy wins wouldn't hurt either.
Again, I don't think PennState would leave the Big11, but if they did leave to join the BigEast (resuming their old east schedule of Syracuse, BC, Pitt, Temple, WestVirginia etc) they would dominate the league. And other than NotreDame coming aboard (which is as likely as ocean front property in Nebraska), there is no other "eastern" that could save the BigEast's BCS status if Miami bails for the ACC.