November 08, 2010

Big East Shopping for 2 New Members: The Big East Conference announced last week that it's looking to add two members, leading to speculation that the No. 3-ranked Texas Christian University and No. 25 Central Florida are its leading targets. Other possibilities are Eastern Carolina and Villanova, which plays in the lower Football Championship Subdivision and is a Big East member in other sports. Geographically, TCU is a poor fit. "It would be weird if we were in the Big East," team quarterback Andy Dalton said.

posted by rcade to football at 01:01 PM - 5 comments

I can see ECU and Central Florida as being good fits in the Big East.

posted by NoMich at 01:16 PM on November 08

Monetarily, TCU is a great fit. It's college football, so I'm assuming monetary trumps all other factors.

posted by tron7 at 02:11 PM on November 08

TCU should be in the Big 12, but it never will because of hard feelings from years ago.

posted by graymatters at 05:21 PM on November 08

As a USF grad, I've been following this discussion with some interest. The overall consensus is that the driving factors behind this are (in no particular order):

1). Straight cash, homey, which is the driving force in all of college football. 2. TV Markets/exposure. 3. Maintaining a modicum of respectability that has been gone since RichRod left WVU. 4. Recruiting markets.

With those qualifications, TCU is a home-run. It will break us into the Texas market for recruits, put is in a great TV market, and is a money winner and an instant force in the conference. I'm not sure they would leave. But after them, the field gets a lot more crowded and a lot more muddled, with no one presenting a win-win situation. Who else do you bring?

1). Villanova. Pros-Already in the Big East, and would just have to move up in subdivisions. It's the easiest move for the BE. Brings exposure to the Philly TV market. Except... Cons-We've been there before, and it didn't work out. Philly just doesn't seem to care about college football. Villanova has atrocious attendance numbers (page 8). They'd have to find a new stadium, which they probably can't do (unless they can play in Citizen's Bank Park or split Lincoln Financial Field with Temple). It doesn't bring in any prestige to the Conference (in fact, it would basically be adding another Syracuse). 2). UCF P-Increases exposure in Florida, natural rivalry with USF, and a proven contender in conferences. Big TV market. Great recruiting ground. C-Doesn't really get you anything new. UCF is a good football team; will it ever be a great one? Same prestige problem as Nova (and everyone else on this list). Everyone in the BE already has a toehold in the Florida market, so that may not be that great a selling point. 3). ECU. P-Proven contender, solid program. C-No TV market, no prestige. 4). Memphis P-Alumnus willing to meet the "straight cash, homey" requirement. Big market. Would make the basketball schools wet themselves with joy (even though I think Memphis has peaked and is on the down hill slope) Potentially decent recruiting inroads. C-Not that good in football. Academically weak and somewhat scandal-prone (which I think isn't a reason to bring someone in, but might be one to keep someone out). 5). Houston P-Natural rivalry with TCU can be set up. Further breaks us into Texas (and maybe Louisiana, too). Big city, big market. Probably the best option on the table for the number 2 slot. Great basketball tradition-essentially, would be like adding Cincinatti and Louisville again for those purposes. C-Supposedly, TCU doesn't want them and would try and keep them out (can any Texans comment on a rivalry between them). Like a lot of the other programs, it's a "good, not great and never will be" football school. 6). Notre Dame- P-Already in the Big East (in every sport but football). A big name with lots of money. Would be a huge move in terms of prestige for the conference (especially if done with TCU). C-Unless you kidnapped Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick and put a gun to his head, ND will not join a conference. A big name, but probably not a great football team anymore.

I don't think geography is as big a deal as some people think (Marquette is farther out in nowhere than TCU is). There's some discussion about whether TCU would just join in football, or would bring the rest of their sports. And again, I'm not sure TCU would join if given a straight offer-there will be some negotiations involved.

Best case scenario-TCU and Houston are added (at least how I feel about it). Worst case-remaining status quo/TCU rejects us. Most likely-TCU added, Villanova promoted.

posted by Bonkers at 01:13 AM on November 09

TCU AD Chris Del Conte doesn't want to move only the football team.

posted by bender at 01:02 PM on November 09

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