"The Big East very recently communicated its interest in adding Villanova as a football member," Villanova athletic director Vince Nicastro told the Daily News yesterday. "As a result, we have decided to embark on an in-depth evaluation of this opportunity.
"As you might suspect, this is a complex issue, which entails many dimensions - both quantitative and qualitative. While we will move forward on this as quickly as possible, it is critical that all of those dimensions are vetted thoroughly prior to making any final decision."
Complex, my ass. This move is a no-brainer on so many levels, it's ridiculous we're just now getting down to it.
- The Big East gets a 9th football team, thereby balancing the schedule with four home games and four away games.
- They do so by adding a school that's already in the conference, not adding to the basketball-side glut already in place
- Philadelphia is a Big East market and a major market at that, the conference needs a presence there
- Villanova is arguably the best FCS team in the nation and should be able to do what UConn and USF have done pretty easily. Bowl eligibility within the first 3-5 years is not out of the realm of possibility
- Villanova's rivalries with the other Big East football schools just doubled
You can bet Villanova fans are excited. This is the kind of move that instantly makes Nova sports a bigger deal. And of course it only helps the conference and the other schools in it.
The big issue will of course be money. Nova plays at Villanova Stadium which only holds 12,000 (15K is the bare minimum needed). The most obvious place would be the Phillies or Eagles' stadiums, though a quick-fix in the interim could be to play at the home of the MLS' Philadelphia Union, which holds 18,500.
Also makes sense to keep in mind that even if they made the call right now, Nova wouldn't be able to become a full-fledged member of the FBS until 2014.
We'll see. The fact that the University is openly discussing it has to be a good sign. Whatever the financial issues, I'm sure the school and the conference will make it happen. The pros far outweigh the cons here. The most exciting part of this? It looks like the Big East is finally following my plan of Four Things They Need To Do ASAP to save the conference. They've officially grown a pair and called on Nova. Where they go from here is where the future of the conference will be made.