The Latest Big East Expansion Update, With Temple in the 'Blue Division?'

The Latest Big East Expansion Update, With Temple in the 'Blue Division?'

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...

LINK: Big East Hung Up on 14th Member [ESPN]
Follow The700Level on Facebook and Twitter.

No. 24 Penn State at Purdue: Nittany Lions seek 1st road win

No. 24 Penn State at Purdue: Nittany Lions seek 1st road win

Penn State (5-2, 3-1) vs. Purdue (3-4, 1-3)
Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette, Ind.
Saturday, noon, ABC/ESPN2

Scouting Penn State
The Lions upended the Buckeyes, 24-21, when safety Marcus Allen blocked a field goal and cornerback Grant Haley returned it 60 yards for a touchdown with 4:27 left in the game. The Lions, who rallied from a 21-7 deficit after three quarters, earned their third straight victory.

Allen and Haley were named Big Ten co-Special Teams Players of the Week, and linebacker Brandon Bell, who had a career-high 19 tackles in the game, earned the conference’s Defensive Player of the Week honor.

Running back Saquon Barkley has rushed for 681 yards, fifth most in the Big Ten, and is tied for the conference lead in touchdowns with nine.

Scouting Purdue
Purdue fell to Nebraska last week in the debut of Boilermakers interim coach Gerad Parker, who replaced the fired Darrell Hazell on Oct. 16. Quarterback David Blough leads the Big Ten in passing yardage (2,065) and total offense (300.7 yards per game), and has thrown 14 touchdown passes (albeit with 11 interceptions).

The Boilermakers are, however, last in the Big Ten in rushing offense (120.3), total defense (441.0), turnover margin (minus-8) and red-zone offense (15 for 23, 11 touchdowns) and next to last in rushing defense (249.0) and passing efficiency.

The Lions lead 13-3-1 and have won the last seven meetings, the most recent a 45-21 victory in 2013.

Storyline to watch
This is the ultimate trap game for PSU, and the Lions’ approach to it will say a lot about their leadership and maturity. They have also dropped their last four road games dating back to last season, including both this fall. Their last victory away from home came last Oct. 24, against Maryland in Baltimore.

What’s at stake
The Lions can become bowl-eligible with a victory.

Penn State 35, Purdue 21

Embiid and Okafor want to play together, but not just yet, says Brown

Embiid and Okafor want to play together, but not just yet, says Brown

CAMDEN, N.J. — If all goes as planned, a time will come when the Sixers can roll out a dominating frontcourt duo with Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor sharing the court in lengthy stretches.

That moment has to wait, though, as both Embiid and Okafor are on minute restrictions. As he returns from a knee injury, Okafor currently is coming off the bench and backing up Embiid.

“This conversation with Jahlil and Joel is more intelligent and applicable at a later date,” Brett Brown said at practice Friday. “When Jahlil’s minutes start going up and Joel can, then it’s a real conversation. I do think you may see them sooner than even I thought together. But as far as making it a real constant part of a strategy or rotation, it’s beyond too early days.”

In an ideal world, Brown could pair the two bigs now and use all of their allotted minutes (Embiid 20, Okafor 14) at once. That would leave an extensive workload on second-year bench player Richaun Holmes.

“This is a hot topic,” Brown said. “I will say it one more time: If I play Jahlil and Jo together, I hope Richaun can play 35 minutes.”

It’s an unrealistic expectation for Holmes, who averaged 13.8 minutes in 51 games last season. Brown caps the majority of the Sixers at six-minute segments to keep them competing at a high energy level.

“Right now, he’s a backup,” Brown said of Holmes. “I think he’s going to be an NBA player for a very long time. I just feel like in the role, he’s a second-year player that didn’t really have much of a role last year. He’s shown everybody that he’s for real. He really can play a role. At this early stage, that is the key word.”

Embiid and Okafor have been envisioning competing together since Okafor was drafted two years ago. They became friends long before they were NBA players and have an easy chemistry on the court as a result.

“I think it’s going to be exciting,” Embiid said. “We played a little bit together today in practice. We’re figuring out how to play with each other. It’s a process and we’ve got trust it.”

Yes, the players know they have to wait, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy for them to resist an opportunity to play with one another.  

“I think once we figure it out, we can really dominate together,” Okafor said. “We were able to flirt with it again today. We accidentally keep ending up on the same team even though Coach keeps telling us to make sure we alternate. But we’re having fun. We’re trying to put some pressure on it because we want to play together.”

Is that accidentally with air quotes?

“Yeah, exactly,” Okafor said with a laugh.