THE BIG EAST'S long-awaited additions are set, with more rebuilding to come.
The conference is preparing to announce the additions of Boise State and San Diego State as football-only members and Houston, Central Florida and SMU for all sports as soon as today, according to multiple reports. The five schools will join in 2013.
Plans for an announcement were still being completed yesterday.
(By the way, San Diego is 3,067 miles away from the Big East office in Providence, R.I.)
The Big East has been trying to rebuild as a 12-school football conference since Syracuse and Pittsburgh announced they would be moving to the ACC and West Virginia announced it was leaving for the Big 12. TCU also reneged on a commitment to join the Big East and instead accepted an invite to the Big 12.
The Star-Ledger in New Jersey first reported the Big East was on the verge of making the additions.
According to Daily News sources, the focus at this point is still on adding Air Force and Navy as football-only members. And some think it might still happen, just not right now.
If for whatever reason it doesn't, and the Big East still wants to get to 12 teams for football, that could push Temple and/or even Villanova back into the equation.
Sources have indicated the next team on the wish list would be Memphis, and others have said that perhaps Army could still be a possibility.
Boise, which is the key component in all of this because of the ramifications for retaining an automatic qualifying status as a BCS conference, would like to have as much of a western presence as possible. And, of course, there's always the chance there could be more defections, such as Louisville and/or Cincinnati leaving for the Big 12 in another year or Connecticut leaving for somewhere, perhaps the ACC.
While the Big East is finally about to expand, it's still very much in flux.
Commissioner John Marinatto has pledged to hold Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia to the league bylaws and keep them in the Big East for two more football seasons. Syracuse, Pitt and the ACC have said they would like to move on as soon as possible, but are not challenging the Big East's rules.