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Big East considers going to 12 teams: A fan’s reaction
I have to cover the Big East for my website Big East Coast Bias, so any Big East expansion news is exciting.
CBS conducted a poll of the Big East football coaches on expansion. The coaches included next year's newest member TCU. The results of the poll were released May 23.
The Big East will definitely expand to 10 teams, but do the coaches favor going to 12 teams? Do they want Villanova, which is already a Big East basketball member, as a 10th football member? If the Wildcats aren't added as a 10th member, what school would the coaches add instead or would they even want to go to 10 teams?
The votes by the coaches are being kept confidential. Only one of the nine coaches did not participate in the poll. The results on adding Villanova are uncertain, likely for the same reasons that the conference has with adding the Wildcats: stadium size concerns. The majority of the coaches do favor expanding to 12 teams if Villanova does join the conference as a football member. As for the two schools to be added, the coaches voted for Central Florida three times, East Carolina and Houston two times, and Southern Methodist once. If Villanova is not added to the Big East, a majority of the coaches were in favor of expanding to 10 teams anyway, but most did not express a preference of a team to pickup.
The Big East spring meetings start today in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Expansion will certainly be on the agenda. TCU will be in attendance for the meetings but will not get voting rights until it joins the Big East next year. To add any additional schools, a three-fourths majority of the current membership is needed.
TCU's coach Chip Patterson wouldn't mind a 10-team league but still thinks that the Big East should remain at nine teams after his team joins next season. Patterson likes taking advantage of scheduling four non-conference games. He thinks using those games can help a team "grow" on the national scene. With all due respect to Patterson, the Big East is a BCS conference. We don't do "grow" games in the BCS. Thinking about getting up for two games per season is small-time thinking. Two non-conference fellow BCS opponents should be considered a minimum for scheduling, not a maximum.
On Big East expansion, I'm with South Florida coach Skip Holtz. The Big East needs 12 football members.
As an LSU graduate and fan, I'm just glad the Tigers and the SEC don't have to fool with this expansion wrangling.
More from Patrick Johnston:
Brett McMurphy, "Many questions looming as Big East ponders expansion", CBSSports.com
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