Big East commissioner Mike Aresco admitted two weeks ago that a 14th team would make sense for his conference. Now it appears a few familiar names are back in the picture.
According to Brett McMurphy
, that school could be BYU. Or it could be Air Force. Or it could BYU and Air Force and Army in what could become a 16-team league.
All three teams, you may remember, have previously been linked to joining the conference over the past year.
Beginning in 2013, after Pittsburgh and Syracuse leave, the Big East will add Houston, UCF, Memphis, SMU, Boise State and San Diego State to play in a 12-team, two-division league. Navy is on its way as No. 13 in 2015.
McMurphy further indicates what has previously seemed likely: the name and number of newcomers will depend on the size of the Big East's new TV deal.
Media estimates have projected the Big East's deal annually will be worth between $60 million to $130 million. Those figures would translate to between $3 million to $6.5 million for each football-only member and $4 million to $8.7 million for each full member.
BYU, Air Force and Army are being sought as football-only members.
The Big East's current six-year media rights deal is worth $3.125 million for each full member.
And a very worthwhile note on future bowl and/or playoff revenue payouts:
This year, Army and BYU will only receive $100,000 each from BCS revenue because they're independents, while the Big East schools split $23.6 million.
Back to the two divisions mentioned above, there's been a recurring message that geographic alignments may not necessarily be the in Big East's future. This latest potential arrangement indicates that's the case.
The Red Division would consist of Louisville, South Florida, Connecticut, San Diego State, SMU, Navy and Memphis. The Blue Division: Cincinnati, Central Florida, Rutgers, Boise State, Houston, Temple and the 14th team.
There would also be one permanent cross-division matchup per year, where Temple would be paired, according to this model, with Navy. Those specific matchups are also apparently subject to change.
The non-geographic arrangement appears to have done its best to pair an equal number of Eastern, Central and Western teams per division to keep travel roughly similar for each school. If the conference were to add BYU or Air Force as No. 14, however, the Blue Division would have one more Western team. But that's all a couple years down the road.
In the short-term, Navy and the 14th school have been split, which means this could be a model for the other 12 schools for next season. If they were to keep just one cross-division game per team, each program would play a seven-game conference schedule, to which the conference has become accustomed.
For a little more local flavor, VUHoops
isn't overly optimistic about what a 16-team Big East means for Villanova's oft-pondered FBS expansion.
Meanwhile, Temple on blue turf. Hmmm...
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