Despite Paul Tagliabue’s recent statements, the Big East Conference is not making a move anytime soon to protect the football schools. The former National Football Conference commissioner, a consultant to the Big East, has said the league would become proactive in expansion efforts.

Big East Commissioner John Marinatto said today:

It’s funny, we’ve been in existence as a football conference since 1990 and we’ve always had eight schools. We’ve never had nine. Nine would give us the balanced schedule. So it’s not a new issue, but we just keep coming back the issue that there’s no one we can bring in that brings us that value. I don’t want to say a school because I get in trouble every time I say a name. But if there was a school like that that fit from all the other standpoints, then we would certainly make the move and create a 17-team conference, a nine-team conference in football. So that dynamic would certainly help us.”

Apparently they are concerned about juggling the basketball lineup, but remain reluctant to shore up the football side — a shortcoming which leaves everything in doubt.

Source: Orlando Sentinel

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

4 thoughts on “No Movement On Big East Expansion”
  1. Its time to split and add Temple, Memphis, Central Florida and East Carolina.

    1. Wow, wilkie, that’s a far cry from Kansas, Iowa State, Missouri and Kansas State. I would give it a couple more days to see what Texas does. That will set off a whole new series of events.

  2. I think the BE should be proactive, starting this monday. I have listed some of the schools that might make the BE stronger. Remember as you read the list that we are already strong enough to be a BCS conference and that both football and basketball contribute to our name recognition. Personally, I would favor SU and the football BE schools splitting from the conference to form a new East Coast Conference. I would be surprised if the ACC is willing to share anything with us; but without them we could have two divisions as listed:

    East

    Syracuse
    Pittsburgh
    West Virginia
    Connecticut
    Rutgers
    USF

    West

    Louisville
    Cincinnati
    Houston
    Baylor, SMU, Texas Christian
    Memphis
    Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State

    If Rutgers goes to the BT you could replace any of the schools above for them and not lose a beat.

    1. You obviously put some thought into this and your suggested partners make a lot of sense. The only one I would really question would be Houston, which hasn’t put people in the seats for at least a couple of decades. Probably has something to do with competition from the NFL.

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