Howard Schnellenberger sees Florida Atlantic in the Big East

Before Howard Schnellenberger decided to hang up his blazer after last season, he wanted to make sure Florida Atlantic was the school he envisioned when he decided to help start the football program back in 1998.

Under Schnellenberger's leadership, the Owls went to two bowl games, won a Sun Belt championship and will open a 30,000-seat on-campus stadium. He thought all of those things would lead to a bigger step for Florida Atlantic, but he was wrong when Conference USA decided to recruit Florida International and North Texas from the Sun Belt for its expansion instead of the Owls.

[Forde-Yard Dash: A new season of college football is upon us]

But Schnellenberger, who has apparently turned into a optimist during his few months of retirement, told USA Today that Conference USA's snub was a good thing and that the Owls are destined for bigger, better things.

"This is the hottest thing going.," Schnellenberger told USA Today. "We've got the best stadium in America, and we're enlarging to 65,000 when we get into the Big East Conference."

Wait, did he just say the Big East Conference?

"Sure it is, where else?" he said. "That's been our goal since the beginning. We're not going to go in Conference USA, I'll tell you that."

Of course we could all sit here and debate whether the Big East truly is a bigger, better thing, but I digress... I love Schnellenberger's confidence about the Owls getting into the Big East, which makes me wonder if he knows something the rest of us don't?

New Big East commissioner Mike Aresco has indicated he'd like to get a few more teams into the Big East — a conference that has already added UCF, Houston, Memphis, SMU, Boise State, San Diego State and Navy — so why not FAU?

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