TyBull Posted June 20, 2008 Group: Member Topic Count: 0 Content Count: 6,900 Reputation: 102 Days Won: 0 Joined: 11/01/2002 Share Posted June 20, 2008 Marshall AD expects the Big East to expand to 12 in football http://wvgazette.com/Sports/Marshall/200806150380 By Doug SmockStaff writerAs you may have seen Sunday, I had a lengthy chat with Bob Marcum, Marshall's athletic director, and you haven't seen all the topics discussed just yet.We touched briefly on Conference USA expansion, which you shouldn't hold your breath over. I have heard East Carolina would love to expand the league's eastern wing to set the table for a future breakaway, and such an idea isn't without merit. Won't happen anytime soon, but keep the thought tucked away.Of course, ECU would love for an angel to fall out of the sky toting a Big East invitation. So would Central Florida, Memphis and even Marshall, as you probably know.Marcum has long predicted another realignment. In our conversation last week, he said he still sees the day the Big East expands to 12 teams in football.As well as he reads the tea leaves in collegiate sports, I have to bet against this one. Somehow, someway, the Big East has emerged as the winner in the 2005 realignment earthquake - and shoot, it may not be close.To me, the numbers have held the key. The 16-team league has not been too unwieldy, and I don't think it will split. Why not? I figure any breakaway faction would lose TV money and prestige, the reverse of what happened when the Mountain West schools left the Western Athletic Conference.The eight-team football league has been an asset, not a liability. While I keep hearing that 12 is the magic number, I think Big East schools have figured out that, numerically, they have the best shot to land in a BCS bowl. I know one school has figured that out, at least.Here's what I could see in the next five to 10 years: DePaul or a similar basketball school decides to quit banging its head against the Big East wall and finds a safer neighborhood. Then Mike Tranghese's successor lobs a speed-dial call to the 901 area code. The next thing you know, John Calipari, Rick Pitino and Bob Huggins are reunited in conference play.That would give the Big East nine in football, which I believe is the perfect number. And basketball would be even more of a hoot with Memphis among its 16. And Conference USA basketball tournaments would become interesting again. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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