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Big East Expansion: Pitt & Rutgers Against The World


Pitt and Rutgers were revealed as the loudest voices against Villanova's plans for Big East football glory. While both schools say they have concerns about the feasibility of a Big East program playing in an 18,500 capacity stadium, it is worth noting that they're also the two schools most likely to have recruiting interests in the Philadelphia market as well.

While John Marinatto does what he does best, releasing generic statements to the press, Rutgers fans are saying "You called down the thunder, well now you've got it."

Here's a radical notion: how about everyone in the Nova camp stop worrying about ulterior motives, step back, and realize the very concept of Villanova spending millions to upgrade from the FCS level, and then planning to play in a 18,500 seat soccer stadium with no concrete plans for expansion (to a meager 30,000 total, mind you) was not even remotely feasible in any capacity. The emperor had no clothes. If their membership would have improved the conference's revenue picture, then they would have received the go-ahead. Of all people, you would think a former CSTV executive in Rutgers A.D. Tim Pernetti would have a good handle on any revenue-related matters.

On The Banks wasn't finished there. The Rutgers blog is calling this nothing less than "a warning shot across the bow to the conference offices in Providence." In other words, watch your steps, basketball schools.

I had heard West Virginia was against the move as well, but I suppose they have bigger things to worry about right now. They're considering selling alcohol at home games. Good luck with that.

While I imagine the conference and the Cats will work it out, likely in the form of a guaranteed expansion of PPL or Plan B, I think it's becoming clear that it will be imperative for Villanova to play in a stadium that holds more than 18,500. I thought I'd take a look around to see the capacity of other college football stadiums in the same range and found that the following schools have home fields with greater capacity:

Penn (Franklin Field) - 52K*

Southern (Ace W. Mumford Stadium) - 25.5K*

Kent State (Dix Stadium) - 25K

Bowling Green (Doyt Perry Stadium) - 23.5K

Ball State (Scheumann Stadium) - 22.5K

Western Kentucky (Houchens Industries – L. T. Smith Stadium) - 22K

Delaware (Delaware Stadium) - 22K*

NC A&T (Aggie Stadium) - 21.5K*

FAU (Lockhart Stadium) - 20K

Brown (Brown Stadium) - 20K*

Old Dominion (Foreman Field) - 19.7K

Portland State (PGE Park) - 19.5K*

Liberty (Williams Stadium) - 18.6K*

* - FCS schools