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Big East votes to extend invitations


The question is, to which institutions and how many?

The soap opera that is the Big East continued this afternoon, with a meeting of the conference leadership and member presidents ending with “confirmation” that an unknown number of schools will be extended invitations to join the limping league.  And that is all we know with any degree of certainty as the prospective members were not named in a press release issued shortly after the unanimous vote.

“Our Presidents voted unanimously to extend invitations to specific institutions, including both football-only and all-sport members to join the Big East conference,” commissioner John Marinatto said in a statement released by the Big East. “I will be speaking to representatives of those schools shortly and look forward to announcing with them their acceptance into the Big East. The addition of these members will extend our reach, bring us to exciting new markets, strengthen our status within the BCS, and lay the foundation for possible further expansion, all while maintaining the high quality and standards our Conference is known for.”

While Marinatto was not naming names or numbers, it’s believed invitations are in the offing for Boise State, Air Force and Navy as football-only members and Houston, SMU and UCF in all sports.  Those invitations are expected to go out this week, with official announcements of acceptance forthcoming.

Temple, along with possibly Memphis and extreme dark-horse candidate East Carolina, could also be in the mix should West Virginia’s lawsuit be successful and they’re permitted to leave for the Big 12 in 2012.

Speaking of WVU and legal entanglements, Marinatto said he and the Big East presidents remain firm in their resolve that the Mountaineers abide by the 27-month waiting period called for in the conference’s bylaws.

“In light of the lawsuit filed by West Virginia yesterday, the Presidents also discussed and confirmed our continuing commitment to enforce the Conference’s 27-month notification period for schools choosing to leave,” Marinatto said. “The Conference believes these claims to be wholly without merit and will explore all its legal options to protect its interests and to ensure that West Virginia lives up to its obligations.”

UPDATED 4:30 p.m. ET: We may be inching closer to confirmation as to which teams will join the Big East. The Idaho Statesman reports that Idaho State Board of Education will hold an “Athletic Conference Discussion” about Boise State during its meeting Thursday in Boise.

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30 Responses to “Big East votes to extend invitations”
  1. latrobe21 says: Nov 1, 2011 1:59 PM

    I’m sure the entities have already jammed the BE fax machine in an effort to be the first to accept . . .

  2. latrobe21 says: Nov 1, 2011 2:15 PM

    It’ll be like official letter of intent day . . .

  3. latrobe21 says: Nov 1, 2011 2:17 PM

    Lafayette just said “yes.”

  4. latrobe21 says: Nov 1, 2011 2:18 PM

    Lehigh declined the invite.

  5. latrobe21 says: Nov 1, 2011 2:22 PM

    Ed DeChellis is sitting in Annapolis sh#!ing his pants, hoping Navy doesn’t get an all-sports invite. [to self] “I couldn’t compete in the BIG, how am I going to compete in the BE? I wanted a cake job, wahhhhhhh.”

  6. drummerhoff says: Nov 1, 2011 2:28 PM

    So if the school in Idado doesn’t want to play football in a conference with northeast roots, Marinatto losses the BCS bid… and his job.


  7. helenh777 says: Nov 1, 2011 2:30 PM

    Should have done that at least three months ago. It is now too late.

    I for one am tired of hearing before the season begins that W.Va has no one to play. How does a foot ball team get up to play nobody. Will be glad to see them in a league that gives us a good team week after week.

    No one tells other leagues they only have one team. Even though Michigan played Purdue last week and the mighty Iowa team this week. They are 1 and 7!!!!

    Don’t give up Mountaineers and play every week as if you are playing the best in the country. Look to Louisville and then look to Cinci.

  8. latrobe21 says: Nov 1, 2011 2:33 PM

    @ Drum,

    I really think Boise St. is better off being a “BCS buster” than joining this loser conference.

  9. latrobe21 says: Nov 1, 2011 2:36 PM

    @ Helenh,

    The lawyers for WVU want you on the jury.

  10. boomerdt says: Nov 1, 2011 2:50 PM

    To any university considering joining the Big East…. why?

    For two years of BCS games where your school will take a loss (like UCONN)? (remember 2014 BCS rules are re looked)

    For the #2 conference bowl game to pay worse than the #5 Big12 bowl?

    For the cost of moving…. is it really worth it? The Big East is nothing right now. It needs to be absorbed by some other conference.

  11. lucky5934 says: Nov 1, 2011 2:50 PM

    Here is how this is going to play out… The Big East will invite some mid tier conference teams, then will lose its BCS automatic bid, followed up by WVU winning their lawsuit because the Big East will no longer be considered a legitimate conference. Which subsequently, it has struggled in recent years to be considered that in football anyway.

  12. vegasrobert says: Nov 1, 2011 2:59 PM

    “… high quality and standards our Conference is known for.”

    don’t you have to be high to say that in a press release? we need to do an intervention for marinatto… this is a pattern.. i can’t blame him for abusing.. he’s had a tough couple years.. but he needs help! INTERVENTION TIME! YAY!!!

  13. setthesteel says: Nov 1, 2011 3:17 PM

    No one for WV to play? They must go undefeated in their conference schedule every year then.

  14. bbeaman78 says: Nov 1, 2011 3:48 PM

    This conference has been a joke since Miami and Va Tech left. The Big East commish should call Dan Beebe and ask him the next move in a playbook on how to destroy a conference.

    The reason the Big East is fighting WVU, Syracuse, and Pitt on staying is that it knows no one wants to join. Why leave the lesser conference for a dying conference any way. If the BIG EAST is waving that AQ status in front of them than it is a sham. THE BCS Committee will soon revoke that status.

    BIG EAST should make sure that it’s members have a place to land then fold.

  15. bbeaman78 says: Nov 1, 2011 3:56 PM

    Dear John Marinatto,

    Writing meet wall. Take a hint and fold this conference. You are embarrassing yourself and the conference worse by fighting the inevitable.

    I thought Dan Beebe was insane and in denial. John Marinatto makes him look like Albert Einstein. Just like early on this year, a conference will try to force a school to stay in the conference that no one wants to be in. Louisville would leave now if they could. Why the BIG 12 won’t accept them and BYU is beyond me other than greed and stupidity.

    Please, just quit and fold this conference so it will force the Big 12 to pick up 2 more teams.

  16. thefiesty1 says: Nov 1, 2011 3:59 PM

    Watch them all turn down the invite. None of them WANT to be in that sorry conference. If they do accept, that won’t guarantee AQ status.

  17. deadeye says: Nov 1, 2011 4:22 PM

    Does anyone really think this conference can gather enough quality programs to retain their AQ status? The WVU lawsuit has a tremendous chance of winning in my opinion, and I’ll be shocked if Syracuse and/or Pitt stick it out the full 27 months.

  18. latrobe21 says: Nov 1, 2011 4:40 PM

    Idaho has a State Board of Education?

  19. rockiemtnhigh says: Nov 1, 2011 4:47 PM

    Boise State should go the Big East. They have been a “superpower” for just the past few years, not exactly a dynasty. Coach Peterson leaves and they go in the tank and then what? Go with the offer while it is on the table. Remember, you are Boise State.

  20. contract says: Nov 1, 2011 5:01 PM

    You can imagine my surprise when I received an invitation to join the Big East in the mail. It was addressed to “###### ######## or Current Occupant”.

    Seemed kind of desperate.

  21. witdog67 says: Nov 1, 2011 5:18 PM

    Do basketball only schools get any cut of BCS money at all?

    **(It doesn’t make any sense that they would, but they do contribute positively to the reputation of the conference as a whole. )

    If the answer is yes, look for that AQ status to stay (thanks Notre Dame!).

    When the smoke clears, this will be a Conference USA clone with a tiny bit more sizzle. But that may be just good enough. Where else will the AQ bid go? 10 BCS spots, 5 conferences and 5 free agents (2nd place teams) ??? All the free agent teams will be in the Big East anyway, HA! Seriously, variety and hype is where the Bowl money is at, and a weak Big East Champ is still a “Champion”. Champions make for better commercials and ticket sales (Ratings are up for debate).

    Let’s ask ourselves, why would the BCS yank the AQ bid? Integrity of the game, competitive issues, or general fairness?? ……… Don’t make me laugh, IT’S the BCS!!! Follow the $$$$$$$

  22. witdog67 says: Nov 1, 2011 5:30 PM

    I just have to add that the mediocre teams left in the conference will experience a small boost in local and national exposure. Their win?loss records will as well. The Army/Navy game will certainly get a significant boost in interest.




    Boise St.
    Air Force

    It ain’t pretty, but how can you beat a “cinderella story” in the conference title game… every year!

  23. vgiord1227 says: Nov 1, 2011 5:51 PM

    The problem with your divisions is that Army is there. Army has expressed they have no interest in joining a conference. Temple, Nova or ECU might take that spot.

    Also, I hope that the Coast to Coast Conference takes BYU. Decent football and basketball and the fans are numerous. Should help a bit more.

  24. witdog67 says: Nov 1, 2011 6:10 PM

    Sorry about the Army in there. I guess I wasn’t reading that closely. I’m not a huge college fan, I just can’t help follow this musical chair game. I thought Army might be in the hunt. If not, Temple will do. They have at least 1 qualification …….. they are in the EAST of the country.

    I just hope they are smart enough to get to 12 teams for the “title game” $$ and hype. The Big 12 passing on 12 teams is frustrating and stalling the whole game. Doesn’t Texas realize that all the shuffling the last 10 years has all been done to get title games and the extra cash? Seems like a successful model to me, if they don’t keep going they get stuck with New Mexico and Nevada?

  25. judge41 says: Nov 1, 2011 7:05 PM

    i still think the BE should drop football and the football programs should join the football-only superconference USA/MWC. that combined group of 27-ish schools might be worthy of an AQ bid.

    1 option on the table would be a mini-playoff for those teams

    my fav option is to set up a 2 tier promotion/relegation system, which ensures a quality schedule for the top teams. also creates a meritocracy.

  26. goblue714 says: Nov 1, 2011 7:36 PM

    I heard notre dame is getting a football only invite. If they accept that over a big 10 invite, the big 10 should freeze them out.

  27. rockiemtnhigh says: Nov 1, 2011 10:32 PM

    There is no way ND stays in a conference with Central Florida and SMU, even in all non-FB sports. But Big 12 in all sports plus 3-4 games per year in FB? Yes, although I still think ACC is better fit all around.

  28. florida727 says: Nov 2, 2011 7:50 AM

    “goblue714”, you need to hang around better sources. Whatever you “heard”, and whoever you heard it from, are collective idiots. Notre Dame in the Big LEast? Hell would, literally, freeze over first (Touchdown Jesus reference thrown in just for ND fans). If conferences like the Big 10 couldn’t convince ND to give up it’s independent status, what in the world makes you think the Big East could? They have NOTHING to offer.

  29. sssjim7 says: Nov 3, 2011 1:01 AM

    The last time I checked, neither Conference USA or the Mountain West Conference had a BCS bid… so why would the Big East think they could replace Syracuse, Pitt and UWV with teams from those conferences and keep their bid?

    I bet the new CUSA/MWC gets a BCS bid and the Big East loses its bid… and anyone jumping ship will be really sorry they did…

    Best to let the Big East stay a basketball conference and let their football schools join the new megaconference…

    Just my .02

  30. wethog66 says: Nov 3, 2011 9:49 AM

    As a Navy season ticket holder, I would be very disappointed if Navy joined the Big East. No knock on the Big East, or any other conference out there, but being locked into a conference schedule will hurt more than help Navy. But hey if there is one think the current Navy AD has proven is he will wheel and deal until he gets something that benefits his program. Having a TV deal with CBS College Sports and Bowl tie in’s before the season even starts is proof. Just hope he doesn’t put Navy in a position where it struggles to compete on a consistent basis.

    As for the Big East expanding as far west as Idaho, one would think folk from the Big East would be in conversations with the Commissioners of Conf. USA and the MW conference about taking their conference alliance and merging with the Big East too. A conference allicance that would truely put the BIG in Big East, and justify the Big East’s BCS bowl tie in.

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