While the SEC and Big 12 are getting all the pub, do we dare admit that the Big East might just be the one planning a power move here? Is it possible to think that John Marinatto might be thinking proactively about the future of the Big East?
We already know that Marinatto has started a chat group with Dan Beebe of the Big 12 and John Swofford of the ACC. The topic of discussion...what can we do together to survive?
Exactly how that might work remains to be seen, especially considering the Big East is apparently considering pilfering a team or three from either of those conferences if the dominoes start to fall.
Another scenario, mentioned by multiple league and college football industry sources, is that the Big East could actually make a run at an ACC school, if that league loses a member to the SEC and becomes vulnerable. That thinking is based on the likelihood that the Big East's new media rights deal should surpass the ACC's current deal. Last year the ACC received a 12-year deal worth about $12.9 million annually per school.
Every ACC school fanbase would scoff at this notion (and some already have). That said, what if Florida State leaves? Couple that with the fact that Miami is about to become a ghost of its former self (in the best-case scenario) and all of a sudden the ACC could be in deep doo-doo (on the football side, at least).
We already know the Big East is in double-secret-not-so-secret discussions with the Kansas schools as well.
Villanova remains in the mix as well as the league "continues to have dialogue with Villanova as they continue working on their stadium issue."
Two weeks ago in Newport, R.I., Marinatto told me he had been contacted by at least 12 schools "to explain they would be very interested in membership if we were at a point and time and we were expanding."
I'm guessing East Carolina was one of them judging by this website. And so, in other words, the Big East suddenly might have options. Compared to last time, that's a huge upgrade.