Big East Expansion: Villanova Moving Closer, USF Hates UCF

It's been a while so let's get caught up on the world of Big East Expansion.

As we all know, the Big East wants to expand to ten teams. The easiest fix is Villanova (even though we all know adding Villanova does nothing for us). Whatever. If they want in, they can be in and we'll welcome them with open arms by the time they get here in 2083.

In the meantime, however, Villanova keeps thinking about it and thinking about it and taking their sweet time figuring out whether or not they want in. This is giving John Marinatto the chance to do something he never has the chance to do with anyone the tough guy.

"We're not waiting for Villanova," Marinatto said. "It's their institutional decision to make, and they have a process set up to make it. They've got to determine what's in their best interest, and we've got to determine what's in our best interest."

"If the right situation developed in between, we would move on it," he said. "That's a very real possibility. We're not going to make a decision or not make a decision based on Villanova's study."

You tell'm, Big John! Even if you're not really tellin'm something they don't already know!

So how are those Wildcats doing on this whole decision thing? According to some, they're far enough along that they know they'll be playing home games in a soccer stadium.

The most prominent is where Villanova would hold its home games. A questionnaire was circulated among Villanova residents last Friday asking that very question. It looks like the primary target venue could be PPL Park in Chester, where the Philadelphia Union plays. It’s an 18,500-seat capacity stadium that would meet Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS or Division I) requirements.

As for their current stadium, that would end up being their practice field and the space around the building would be athletic offices. Their bigger concern?  A weight room that "doesn't even come close to the standards of what a Division I weight training room should be. Imagine lifting weights in a closet."

And so we wait on the Cats. In the meantime there's the much-more interesting story of UCF. The Knights have made themselves into quite the attractive program recently and there aren't too many folks objecting to the idea of adding them.

Except, perhaps, USF.

"We have been hearing this, too," UCF spokesperson Grant Heston said in an e-mailed response to the Sentinel about USF obstructing UCF's potential path into the Big East. "We hope it's not true, because our joining the Big East would clearly be a win-win for both universities."

USF has gone into silent mode over the issue but, let's be honest, it makes sense. South Florida probably doesn't want another Big East school a couple hours away siphoning their recruits and fanbase. Especially not one they supposedly left in the dust when they originally joined the conference.

Unfortunately for the Bulls, they're just gonna have to suck it up for the greater good. And if its that much of a pain, just beat UCF every time you play them. Easy enough.

Officially, the Big East remains generic and non-committal when it comes to the addition of a 10th football school. And so they shall until its about to happen.

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