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Newest Big East members

November 2, 2011 - Jim Butta
With the Big East's invitations to Houston, SMU and Central Florida for all sports and to Boise State, Air Force and Navy for football only, one would have to believe that the addition of any three of these schools would open the door for WVU, Pitt and Syracuse to leave early.

ESPN is reporting that Houston, SMU and Central Florida could be in the Big East by the end of the week with Air Force and Navy to follow not far afterwards. The question is whether Boise State can find a conference close enough that will allow its other sports to join since the Mountain West has given a "no" to their request to compete in the conference in all sports, but football.

Should that plan fail to materialize, the Big East could still invite Villanova, which is already a member, to move up to NCAA D-I football or invite former-member Temple to return to the Northeastern conference. It was reported by several sources that the Wildcats were prepared to make the move earlier this fall, but that move was put on hold by the league's main office.

In any case the addition of three programs to replace the three that have elected to leave should be more than enough to ease the loss Big East commissioner John Marinatto is claiming in his statement and open the door for the Mountaineers to join the Big 12 next fall and for Pitt and Syracuse to exit to the ACC earlier than planned.


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