Big East Looks 1,000 Miles West In Expansion Talks

TCU Football College

Photo: Flickr/Dirk Hansen

The Big East is in serious discussions to add more programs to its eight-team football conference, the New York Post reports. The conference is considering TCU (currently in Mountain West), Houston (C-USA), Central Florida (C-USA), Temple (MAC), and Villanova (FCS) among others.While football is usually the most lucrative sport, adding more programs is not a slam dunk, due to the Big East’s awkward structure.

The conference already has 16 members, but only eight compete in football. The Big East towers over college basketball, but is the smallest and weakest of the BCS football conferences. Adding two programs – particularly a powerhouse, like TCU – would raise their profile and get them closer to the magic number of 12 that is needed to host a championship game.

However, it would also bloat the schedule for other sports and further distort their geographical boundaries. The Big East last expanded in 2005 when it added 5 teams, including Marquette, DePaul, and University of Cincinnati – not exactly beachfront property on the East Coast.

But if the Big 10 can have 12 schools, then certainly the Big East can have a team in Texas.

The ideal solution is for Notre Dame – a member of the conference in all sports but football – to bring its marquee program into the conference fold. But as long as NBC continues their exclusive contract, that’s not happening.

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