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Big East talks expansion; contacts UH, SMU

Posted on: October 18, 2011 10:25 am
Edited on: October 18, 2011 2:43 pm

Officials at Houston and SMU have both been contacted by Big East commissioner John Marinatto and have been told the league wants to discuss with them further about joining the league, sources told

The Houston Chronicle reported Monday night that Houston had been extended an invitation. However, league sources said no official invitations have been extended to any teams. The Big East also released a statement Saturday that no invitations have been extended.

On Tuesday afternoon, Marinatto held a media teleconference, but would not identify specific schools but did admit he's had preliminary discussions with several schools.

Those schools are Boise State, Navy, Air Force, UCF, Houston and SMU, sources said.

Marinatto said he's confident the Big East will remain an automatic qualifying BCS conference when the new cycle begins in 2014 and didn't provide a timetable on adding teams to replace TCU, Pittsburgh and Syracuse.

"Stay tuned," he said. "We're not rushing ourselves to meet anyone's deadline. The sooner, the better."

Marinatto reiterated that the Big East would not allow Pittsburgh or Syracuse to leave the league early and must honor the 27-month exit agreement. Pitt and Syracuse will remain in the Big East through June 30, 2014, meaning the Big East could have a 14-team football league in 2013 if necessary, Marinatto said.

A college football industry source indicated the fact the ACC has to wait until then is not a big deal to the league. "It just gives the ACC more time to get organized and get their schedules set," the source said.

On Monday night, the Big East’s presidents and chancellors voted unanimously to increase the league’s exit fee to $10 million, but the increased fee is contingent on either Navy or Air Force joining the league as football only members, sources told

Marinatto confirmed the increase in the exit fee, but would not identify the school that would trigger the increased exit fee.

The increased exit fees from $5 million to $10 million for the football schools were something Navy and Air Force wanted before committing to the Big East.

"I don't think anyone will be blindsided or feel bushwhacked when this process is complete," Marinatto said.

Navy, Air Force and Boise State are interested to joining the Big East because of the league's automatic qualifying BCS status, but wanted a bigger financial commitment from the remaining members (Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida and West Virginia).

Sources said Houston and SMU – along with UCF – are prepared to accept an invitation to join the Big East as all sports members once an official invitation is extended.

UCF met with Marinatto and other Big East representatives in Cincinnati on Friday. Boise State officials spoke via telephone with the Big East on Thursday.

Marinatto is in the process of scheduling a meeting with Houston and SMU officials in the coming days in New York, sources said.

The Big East wants to get to 12 football teams with the addition of Navy, Air Force and Boise State as football-only members and Houston, SMU and UCF as all-sports members.

However, the Big East still could lose a school if Missouri leaves for the SEC. The New York Times reported Monday night that Missouri’s departure from the Big 12 to the SEC is “inevitable and imminent.” If so, the Big 12 could target either Louisville or West Virginia or even add both teams. BYU also remains an expansion candidate for the Big 12.

Marinatto said the Big East would move quickly in expanding and "is not going to pause" and wait on "the Missouri situation."

Marinatto also said he has not been contacted by any other conferences interested in any Big East schools since TCU left for the Big 12. When the league gets to 12 schools, Marinatto said it's a possibility the Big East could hold its football championship game in New York, similar to the Big East basketball tournament.


Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: October 21, 2011 3:24 am

Big East talks expansion; contacts UH, SMU

The mighty Big East is swinging for the fences for there run down fans with asking the mighty Houston and SMU schools to join their little conference an't they.

Since: Mar 6, 2010
Posted on: October 20, 2011 8:09 pm

Big East talks expansion; contacts UH, SMU

So, lets say that all of those teams join the Big East. Is it for football only? That stupid conference already has about 48 teams for basketball.

Since: Oct 21, 2010
Posted on: October 20, 2011 3:45 am

Big East talks expansion; contacts UH, SMU

Just for rivalry fun....Big East this is what you get....

SMU Yearly Records:
2000  3 -
2001  4 - 7
2002  3 - 9
2003  0 - 12
2004  3 - 8
2005  5 - 6
2006  6 - 6
2007  1 - 11
2008  1 - 11 (20 years after death penalty)
2009  8 - 5
2010  7 - 7

Attendance 2010 and 11: Around 20,000


....yes, SMU does beat TCU every sixth year....enjoy this year....even Baylor gets lucky once in awhile..

After the call they all made sure they contacted Boise State to say, "pllllllleeeeeeeeeaaaaaassssse
come to the BE!"Yell

Since: Oct 17, 2011
Posted on: October 19, 2011 10:38 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Nov 7, 2010
Posted on: October 19, 2011 7:25 pm

Big East talks expansion; contacts UH, SMU

Big East courting Houston and SMU and the Big 12 thinking about West Virginia and Louisville. There is something very wrong with this picture.

Since: Aug 4, 2008
Posted on: October 19, 2011 6:33 pm

Big East talks expansion; contacts UH, SMU

The Big East is not thought of as a football conference. They advertise themselves as a basketball conference. Football is secondary to this conference. Listen to the sports talking heads they all speak of the Big East as a basketball conference.

The minor league teams the Big East are trying to attract and invite as conference members would not make them a major league conference in football.  This is a direct path in the conference losing it’s AQ in the future.

The conference is seeking sport programs from out of their region, making away games difficult for alum, fans and students, who are suppose to benefit from the sports played.
No longer would the fans, alum or students be able to travel 100-200 miles away to watch a rival away game.

The other hindrance in this conference is they have football schools, basketball schools, non-football schools and  non basketball schools. This does not give a clear picture or indication of what the conference is all about. Each school would have their own agenda, some football only, some basketball only and a few both football and basketball. The football only schools could care less about the basketball portion. The basketballs schools could care less about the football portion.

This is not the best way to run a successful sports program. You have to specialize and place emphasis on what you think is important to you. In this case football and basketball are important with football having an edge as that is the money making sport.

With all the conference realignments and boundaries being stretched, eventually down the road in about 5 years or so someone will  realize that local regional conferences work better and the idea of a playoff is a ridiculous idea. They will downsize as any company that has grown too large would do, break the company so as you would have management control.

These 16 team conferences everyone is yelling for would be too large to control. The teams in a different division might not play each other for 6-8 years. This is not a conference at this point, but an affiliation of teams. In order to be a conference you must play each other at least every 2 years.

The other division might as well be considered an out of conference game.
12 teams are plenty for a conference, they would be able to maintain control, play a decent conference schedule and maintain the traditional rivals within the conference.

Since: Dec 9, 2010
Posted on: October 19, 2011 1:25 pm

Big East talks expansion; contacts UH, SMU

The Big 12 would be stupid to let Houston and SMU get away.  SMU has shown glimmers of hope and they need the Houston market. 

Since: Dec 2, 2007
Posted on: October 19, 2011 12:35 pm

Big East talks expansion; contacts UH, SMU

Wow if the BEast has to take Houston and SMU to try saving itself, it will be like the CUSA only smaller.....and yet they still will merit an AQ status?  If I were WVU I'd be looking to get off that sinking ship.

Since: Jul 16, 2008
Posted on: October 19, 2011 11:47 am

Big East talks expansion; contacts UH, SMU

Marinatto, quit talking and start doing. Get off your @#%!

Since: Sep 19, 2008
Posted on: October 19, 2011 11:30 am

Big East talks expansion; contacts UH, SMU

I still say get Marinatto a gym membership whatever happensWink

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