I know it wasn't actually a request, but ... from a discussion regarding the latest Big East big shots meeting:
I was hoping that something really interesting, out-of-box came out of this where everyone could say "hey, never thought of that, it might work" but just adding a couple of mid-level schools, at best, only delays the inevitable. Maybe it keeps the league together for a while but it doesn’t save anything and, personally, I would like to see all this junk over and done with. The football schools are going to have to separate from the non-football schools eventually. All this is just for show.
Ok, here's your out-of-the-box idea ... and this is ONLY for football (not for any other sports):
The Big East invites EVERYONE from Conference USA to join the Big East for football, but ONLY for football.
Eastern Division: Connecticut, Rutgers, West Virginia, Marshall, Cincinnati, Louisville, East Carolina, Central Florida, South Florida
Western Division: UAB, Memphis, Southern Miss, Tulane, Tulsa, SMU, TCU, Houston, Rice, UTEP
- Each team plays a round-robin in its own division (no games against the other division)
- Division winners meet for Big East championship game (and BCS bid)
- Each team plays eight or nine conference games *
- Additional media markets for "Big East football"
- A few top-75 football teams (based on Sagarin rankings): Houston, SMU, Tulsa, So. Miss, UCF
- No additional full members are added, so BE basketball is not weakened further
- Big East football survives and maintains BCS AQ status
- No more geographic outposts are added for non-football sports
- USF, WVU and TCU get in-state football conference rivals
- Current Big East schools get a presence in North Carolina (a great state for football recruiting)
- Includes some really lousy football teams (Memphis, Tulane, UAB)
- WVU will whine about traveling to Huntington to play
- Divisions will have an uneven number of teams *
- Big East football is dependent on C-USA for half of its teams
* Since the Big 12 might grab Houston or TCU, the divisions may end up balancing anyway; the Eastern Division could also add one football-only team, possibly Navy.
If you want something out of the box, I think that qualifies.