While the Big East now has official plans to expand its football membership to ten teams, it's unclear where the final two members necessary to get to twelve will come from. Navy and Air Force have long been targets of the Big East, but, Air Force announced earlier today that it will remain in the Mountain West Conference and now Navy appears to no longer be an option, either. According to a report in the Baltimore Sun today, Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk says Navy has too many commitments stretching too far into the future for it to be able to join the Big East in 2013. According to the report:
Among the roadblocks, Gladchuk said, were Navy's bowl tie-ins through 2016, an existing television deal with CBS Sports that runs through the 2018 season and its game contracts with a number of schools going for several years, including one with Notre Dame though 2026.
But Gladchuk said that once some of those contracts can be honored or Navy can negotiate its way out of others, the Midshipmen would "most likely" join the Big East if the league is still interested.
This news leaves the Big East in need of two additional members if it hopes to expand to twelve teams and host a conference championship game. There have been no indications from the conference as to which schools could potentially become members or if it will look for more western members to reduce travel for schools such as Boise State and San Diego State. Attention will turn to Temple, formerly a Big East member that is also in a large television market and also a good basketball school. Beyond that, it is unclear who else could be targeted.
Stay tuned to Big East Coast Bias and in particular our Big East Expansion section for any additional news on potential new additions to the conference.