Making the morning rounds.
• Anchors away. After a few months of hemming and hawing, Navy is set to announce its plans to join the Big East in 2015, ending 132 years of independence since the academy fielded its first football team in 1891. With its targeted westward expansion last December, the Big East now boasts 11 prospective members beyond the next two years, and will likely be looking to add one more to get to 12 by the time the Midshipmen come aboard.
I should emphasize the term prospective: As of right now, the conference roster will consist of either seven or eight teams this fall — depending on whether West Virginia's lawyers can spring the Mountaineers in time to join the Big 12 — before bringing on five new members (Boise State, Central Florida, Houston, San Diego State and SMU) in 2013. By then, West Virginia should be free of the league's legal tentacles, with ACC-bound Pittsburgh and Syracuse following close behind. By 2014, the only charter member remaining in football will be Rutgers. [Associated Press, CBS Sports]
• Extension of the Mack. At some point this week, Texas is expected to announce a four-year contract extension for head coach Mack Brown, ostensibly locking up the highest-paid man in college football through 2020. (I defy you to find anyone not obligated to say otherwise who actually thinks Brown will still be on the sideline at 69 years old, especially if the Longhorns' fortunes don't turn around in the next year or two.) It's not clear whether the restructured deal involves any financial changes, but at current rates — Brown's contract calls for a $100,000 annual raise — by 2020 he'll be making $6 million per year. [Austin American-Statesman]
• For entertainment only. The predictions are in from Rivals' recruiting analysts, and it's unanimous: All six expect top-ranked Springfield, Mo., wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham to cast his lot with Arkansas on Feb. 1, the first day recruits are allowed to put their names on a letter of intent. Green-Beckham has been about as tight-lipped about his decision as an outrageously hyped teenager can be, but generated a wave of optimism by taking his final official visit to Arkansas over the weekend and generally having a real good time with other Razorback recruits. Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri are also in the mix.
Among uncommitted prospects in the top 100, the Rivals guys also think it's shaping up as a big day for…
Florida, reportedly in the lead for a trio of five-stars — wide receiver Stefon Diggs, cornerback Tracy Howard and wide receiver Nelson Algholor — and in the running for another, defensive end Darius Hamilton;
…and Rutgers — yes, Rutgers — which is aiming for a clean sweep of the top talent in New Jersey, including Darius Hamilton (right), "athlete" Devin Fuller and Hamilton's high school teammate, cornerback Yuri Wright, even if the latter is only leaning toward the Scarlet Knights because his top choices were scared away by his Twitter feed. [Rivals]
• Comings and goings. Former Georgia Tech offensive lineman Phil Smith, a two-year starter for the Yellow Jackets, is transferring to Central Florida for his fifth and final season of eligibility this fall. Smith was suspended twice and eventually kicked off the team prior to the Sun Bowl for (altogether now) an undisclosed violation of team rules, but is about to complete his bachelor's degree and expects to be immediately eligible as a graduate student at UCF.
"I guess you could say I officially committed today," Smith told the Orlando Sentinel on Sunday night. "We felt like a handshake would be the best thing and I'm a man of my word. I'm committed to UCF and I'm excited to get going." [Orlando Sentinel]
Quickly… President Obama offers condolences to the Paternos. … The domestic violence charge against Georgia cornerback Sanders Commings may not have been his first. … Georgia loses an offensive line commit to "personal, family reasons." … Kevin Sumlin adds another co-defensive coordinator to his staff at Texas A&M. … South Carolina is adding a new video board and tailgating area to a long, expensive list of facilities upgrades. … And don't count out Jim Tressel in Indianapolis.