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CBS: Big East Football Coaches Favor Expansion to 12 Teams


CBS college football writer Brett McMurphy, one of our favorites here at Big East Coast Bias, surveyed the Big East's eight current football coaches to get their opinions on everything related to football membership and conference expansion. The article is revealing on several levels. The coaches survey shows:

  • The coaches are evenly split on whether or not to add Villanova with one coach supporting Nova if and only if they get to play in Lincoln Financial Field (which is locked up to Temple for the 
     foreseeable future). 
  • The coaches prefer the league either stay at nine or go all the way to 12 members.
  • If they do go to 12 members, the coaches suggested the usual schools such as ECU, Houston, and UCF as well as less likely options such as SMU and Army. 
The most interesting part of the article is the opinion given by Rutgers Athletic Director Tim Pernetti. Pernetti joins the growing list of important Big East figures calling for the league to expand to 12 football playing members. Pernetti states:

"I think that gives you what has been illustrated by other leagues," Pernetti said. "That gives you the amount of football inventory that gives you a variety of different things. We have good football in the Big East. The challenge we have is the amount of controllable football inventory.

"We have the greatest basketball [conference] in America, but at the same time we need to concentrate on the expansion on the football side. Within the inventory you could acquire by going to 12, it has to be the right additions. With that amount of inventory, you buy yourself a lot of flexibility." 

Ultimately expansion isn't up to the coaches or to the athletic directors, but, it's clear that as the conference prepares to negotiate a new television contract after the 2012 season, the lessons of the PAC 12 deal (additional "inventory" and the value of a conference championship game) are weighing on the minds of the leadership and a growing number of people in positions of authority are pushing for 12 football teams. 

With the Big East holding meetings in Florida this week, there is sure to be additional news on this topic forthcoming.