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Conference Realignment: Big East Authorizes Expansion To 12 Team Model

The Big East released a statement today informing the media that at this morning's meeting, the conference approved a plan to expand the football side of the conference to 12 football playing members. The move would obviously be aimed at creating a conference championship game and bulking up on football inventory ahead of next year's renegotiation of its television deal with either ESPN or perhaps other network suitors like Comcast. The statement reads:

On a teleconference earlier today, our Presidents and Chancellors authorized the BIG EAST Conference to engage in formal discussions with additional institutions and are considering moving to a model that includes 12 football playing schools.

As the conference stands now, there are only six football playing members remaining. That means the league will need to add six additional football playing schools to get to the magic number 12. That also implies that the rumored move of Louisville and/or West Virginia to the Big XII does not happen. If it does, then the conference could be looking to add as many as eight new members. That would be a massive overhaul of the Big East and its hard to imagine how it could be done without harming the basketball side. 

The candidates are many and the possibilities of adding football only members adds to the options the Big East has at this time. So tell us who would you like to see added to the Big East and how would you like to see it worked into the basketball side of things? Later today we'll take a look at all of the possible candidates and what they could bring to the table in terms of increasing the Big East's television value.