While the news of the Sandusky abuse scandal at Penn State dominated the college football world last week, it appears that the Big East is prepared to get back into action on expansion this week. With ESPN having College Gameday in Houston for its matchup with SMU, there are a number of reports trickling in that official announcements will be made on at least some of the teams by the end of this week as well as some media speculation on which schools will be placed in which division.
First, the Salt Lake Tribune is now reporting that BYU will accept a football-only invitation to the Big East and will possibly announce it by the end of the week. The paper's official Twitter feed tweeted this new here. Adding BYU as a football only member is a nice boost in what will be a "western" division likely to also feature Air Force, Houston, SMU, and Boise State. An agreement to join the conference for football means that conference has also likely smoothed over whatever broadcast issues there are with BYU's network deal worked out when the team announced it would be an independent and leave the Mountain West Conference last year.
Which school would be the sixth team in the new "western" dvision? If what Iliana Limon of the Orlando Sentinel is hearing is correct, it could be UCF. According to her source, Louisville and Cincinnati do not want to be in the same division with the teams from the west. So, the Big East is considering putting Central Florida in that division and making South Florida its permanent opponent to ensure the two could play annually and develop a new rivalry. If that occurred, the divisions would most likely be in the East: Connecticut, Rutgers, Cincinnati, Louisville, South Florida, and Navy. The West division would be BYU, Houston, SMU, UCF, Boise State and Air Force. Where a conference championship game would be held is still to be determined.