Here we go...
Big East announcement: The presidents have agreed to expand to 10 football teams, will begin evaluating candidates.
"Begin" evaluating? But you're already on record as having spoken to Villanova and TCU? Don't give us that, you've been evaluating, now you just have to see whether or not they'll jump.
So right away, two distinct ways of going about this come to mind.
TCU and Villanova
You get an instant National Title contender in TCU as well as the Dallas market (No. 5). Despite having played in the non-BCS world for a while, they're a traditional power and have been one of the top teams in the nation for the last half-decade.
With Villanova, you get a team that's already a Big East school and you lock down the Philadelphia market (No. 5). Plus you only have to add one more team to the basketball side.
The downside is that Villanova is going to need time and some serious stadium expansion and/or new deal. Also, TCU doesn't bring too much to the basketball table.
TCU and Houston
Go this route and you get TCU as well as a runnin' buddy for them. The Cougs don't need any start-up time, they're ready to play Big East ball right away. They also give you the Houston market (No. 11) and give the Big East some serious access to the state of Texas and its recruits.
Downside? Big East basketball needs two more mediocre teams like it need a hole in the head. And...TCU vs. Houston is now a Big East game? That's...weird.
The truth is, however, Big East fans are going to have to set aside their whole "east" thing from now on. This is about building a network and the only way the conference is going to become a viable network is by being as national as possible. Combine Dallas and Houston with NYC, Philly, DC, Tampa, Chicago and Pittsburgh and the Big East now has the kind of access the Big Ten Network dreams of.
Who knows. Maybe we'll end up inciting Memphis and UCF and then count the minutes until Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and UConn leave for greener pastures. I'd like to think the brass are smarter than that...but you never know.
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