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Big East batting its eyes at Tulsa, but reportedly wants TV deal first

C-USA Championship - Central Florida v Tulsa Getty Images

Last week, Conference USA announced the additions of FAU and Middle Tennessee State for the 2013 season, followed by the conference’s divisional alignment.

Seeing as the roulette wheel of realignment never really stops spinning, that setup could be altered in the not-too-distant future with the losses of East Carolina and Tulane to the Big East, and the additions of Old Dominion and UNC-Charlotte. It’s possible that Tulsa could be departing as well.

The Tulsa World reported earlier this month that a Big East invitation could be coming soon, and that Tulsa could even be on the Mountain West’s radar. Tulsa president Steadman Upham told the Tulsa World in December that he would like to be in the same conference as SMU and Tulane, two schools with similar academic profiles.

But there could be a hang-up with the Big East because of the ongoing negotiations for the conference’s television contract. The USA Today reports that the Big East would prefer to make Tulsa the conference’s 12th member, but that “a final decision won’t be made until the league is closer to finalizing a television contract.”

The Big East has been in negotiations on the open market since an exclusive window with ESPN closed last year. There’s no doubt the process has taken longer than the Big East expected (thanks, realignment!), but a new deal should be coming soon.

The Big East will operate as a 10-team football conference in 2013. Louisville and Rutgers will likely depart for the ACC and Big Ten, respectively, in 2014 with East Carolina and Tulane joining that year. Navy is scheduled to join as a football-only member in 2015. That schedule of additions and subtractions would put the Big East at 11 members. The addition of a 12th team, which the Big East has made no secret about wanting, would give the conference an opportunity for a championship game.

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9 Responses to “Big East batting its eyes at Tulsa, but reportedly wants TV deal first”
  1. Brian Basher says: Jan 31, 2013 8:46 PM

    If Tulsa was smart they’d be batting eyes and hiking up their skirt at the Mountain West and avoiding the Big Least like an STD

  2. kattykathy says: Jan 31, 2013 9:53 PM

    Big East? Why go there? There is only one quality program there and Louisville will be leaving.

    Hope the psycho doesn’t follow me here too

  3. thefiesty1 says: Jan 31, 2013 10:40 PM

    Everyone should avoid any and all overtures from the Big Least like the plague.

  4. cubano76 says: Jan 31, 2013 11:18 PM

    Why do I get the feeling that the Big East is like the “big” chick in the corner of the bar at last call?

  5. fcmlefty1 says: Feb 1, 2013 9:36 AM

    Always wondered why Tulsa wasn’t a bigger target for the Mountain West, but if they really want to be with Tulane and SMU, I see why.

    Plays right along with the stuff from last month that said SMU wasnt interested in the MWC either. These schools obviously see themselves as more of a fit with eastern/southeastern schools. And thats OK.

    Houston, to date, has been eerily quiet, besides the vague and half hearted “committed to Big East at this time” comments. Houston and either UTEP or UTSA would be the best fits for the MWC I do believe.

  6. smokingto says: Feb 1, 2013 9:50 AM

    The NCAA and The BCS are so out of wack, everyone needs to be fired!

  7. ancientcougar says: Feb 1, 2013 11:03 AM

    Houston is probably negotiating with another conference right now.

  8. catfanatic1979v1 says: Feb 1, 2013 11:04 PM

    The MWC is a much better fit for them.

  9. vegasdestroyer says: Feb 2, 2013 11:12 AM

    “Big East, why go there?” That’s the $50 million question. When Maryland wins its anti-trust case and pays pennies on the dollar of its $50 million ACC exit fee, Virginia and Georgia Tech are right behind them leaving for the Big 10. Then the Big 12 raids Florida State, Clemson, Miami and maybe Louisville. Goodbye ACC TV contract talks. The remaining teams in the ACC will have to merge with the Big East. That would boost the Big EAST TV contract.

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