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Villanova, TCU, The Big East And You

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It's been a while since we've stirred the rumor-mongering pot, let's see what's cookin'.

When we last left both TCU and Villanova, we were coming to the conclusion that the Big East needs both of them to play football and lock down two of the top five TV markets in the nation. Since then...not much.

Now news is creeping out that the MWC won't be getting Fresno and Nevada quite as soon as they'd hoped.

The main reason to keep Fresno State and Nevada in the WAC for football through the 2012 season is for scheduling purposes. Boise State is leaving for the Mountain West in 2011 and that leaves the WAC with eight teams, and had Fresno State and Nevada also left the Mountain West then the WAC would be down to six teams.

That means the MWC will have to wait a while reap the new-found benefits of Nevada football while also suffering through the loss of Utah and BYU. Expect the conference's reputation to start sliding back down the mountain it's spent the last decade climbing.

No one's said as much but, if you're TCU, now's the time to jump. And if the Big East really wants the Frogs, they should be in full-court press mode.  We'll wait for Lenn Robbins to tell us what's up.

Meanwhile, there's the whole Villanova thing. The Wildcats make sense traditionally even if they're not the headline-maker that TCU is. Still, if this is a numbers game for the conference, and in some ways it is, then Nova remains the perfect new option.

According to Wildcats coach Andy Talley, they're finally going to make a decision in December. Maybe.

As far as what's been going on behind the scenes, it's been very quiet. I think Villanova is doing their due diligence, which is to spend time within the administrative level discussing pros and cons. And any discussion that's been going between Big East officials and Villanova, I haven't been privy to.

So I know a decision is going to be made some time in December, we hope, and at that point in time, it's really going to be whatever is in the best interest of Villanova University.

So mark it down. A decision is coming in December. We think. Or maybe not. But it should. Probably.