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East Carolina Wants A Piece Of The St. Petersberg Bowl Pie

Last week I linked to a discussion on a Memphis board about the Tiger's interest and/or opportunity to join the Big East. It seems like a lot of that is going around these days as its still a hot topic over at everyone's favorite arbitrary Big East joiner-upper...East Carolina.

First off, do you remember a time when East Carolina WASN'T a prospective Big East member?

Anyway, even though Mike Tranghese is tabling the issues yet again, most people with a brain seem to notice that Big East football needs another member. #1, it would even out the schedule, giving each team 4 guaranteed conference home games each year. #2, there's just something weird about our conference being so small compared to all the other BCS conferences.

Of course, we're maxed out (some would say beyond) on the basketball side, so we really shouldn't be looking for another team to join us there. Hence, a football-only partner makes sense. In that way, East Carolina makes sense in a way Memphis doesn't.

But is that team East Carolina? When was the last time that program was relevant? Have they gone to a bowl game recently (2006, Bowl!)? Does that guy with the mullet still QB for them? Or am I thinking of that guy from South Carolina? In other it worth it to bring in a mediocre team just for the sake of it because they're relatively within our geography and are willing to play nice? Didn't we already try that with Temple?

Sooner or later, Big East football is going to have to add a member. Ideally of course, we're holding that spot for Notre Dame. But let's face it, they're going Big Ten, if anything. And when they do they're taking their basketball team with them. So maybe we do hold out for a combo team. Maybe we do hope Memphis stays strong in basketball and ups its value on the football side. Or maybe we're just biding time until Villanova makes the jump.

No matter what though, it sounds like East Carolina is gonna keep knocking on the door. Someone should probably let them know if we're going to open it for them.