The Big East Presidents are really stubborn. They will only expand the conference if it means they will lose a member. If Rutgers gets an invitation to the Big Ten, then that might entice the Big East Presidents into adding football only schools to the league. The Big East Presidents learned their lesson when the Big East lost Miami, Boston College and Virginia Tech in 2003 to the ACC. They then had to add South Florida, Louisville and Cincinnati to the conference for Football (and Basketball). If invitations to their football members are given out, they won't make the same mistake again.
Everyone keeps talking about how the Big East should add Villanova to the Football schedule. That makes absolutely no sense at all. Villanova has less than ten thousand students in total and only about seven thousand undergrad students. Although, Villanova is a good football team, adding the University would not increase the Big East’s market tremendously. Some may point to Northwestern from the Big Ten and say, if Northwestern has only eight thousand undergrads and are in the Big Ten, why can’t Villanova be in the Big East with around seven thousand undergrads? First of all, Northwestern has around eighteen thousand total students (undergrads plus grads) while Villanova barely has ten thousand total students. Northwestern is in the Chicago area and has an excellent market, while Villanova is in the middle of nowhere. Also, Villanova’s Endowment is around 300 million whereas Northwestern’s endowment is 6.5 billion dollars. Please, end the talk about Villanova joining the Big East’s Football League.
On a completely different note: interestingly enough the people of Villanova, Pennsylvania are extremely rich. The average house is worth 1.5 million dollars in that area.
So if the Big East does expand, who will it choose? The answer is: Temple University, Delaware University, University of Houston and University of East Carolina.
Universities that would make sense for the Big East in the order of most likely happening:
- Temple University
- Delaware University
- University of Houston
- East Carolina
- University of Toledo
- Florida International University, Florida Atlantic University or University of Central Florida
Here are the positives and negatives for adding each University to the Big East:
- Freshman Running Back Superstar Bernard Pierce (http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/player/profile?playerId=482169) should keep Temple competitive for at least 3 more years.
- Temple is going to a bowl game against UCLA!!! Check out Temple’s record at ESPN: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/teams/schedule?teamId=218&year=2009.
- The Philadelphia market would be amazing to have.
- Temple would be a natural rival for Rutgers, since they compete in the same area for recruits.
- The Big East kicked Temple out in 2001, because the University did not attract enough fans and buzz. This could mean some bad blood between the Big East and Temple. But if the Big East says sorry and gives some chocolates, I think Temple will give it another chance (works for me when I mess up with lady friends).
- Temple’s endowment is around a quarter billion dollars, which would be the lowest in the Big East, but still workable.
- 1.34 billion dollar endowment. This would make it the richest school in the Big East. It would be able to expand the football program significantly.
- Competitive football program (Delaware’s Joe Flacco was a first round draft pick in 2008)
- Very little credibility comes to the Big East from adding Delaware. But remember, it is not about credibility, number of championships or wins. It is about money, and Delaware has a lot of that and can bring more of that to the Big East.
University of Houston:
- Great Football Program
- Endowment is 700 million dollars
- Houston is a prime area that the Big East could take
- Kevin Sumlin, Houston’s football coach just got an extension, so the program should be good for a long time
- Houston fans would have trouble getting to away games
East Carolina University:
- big fan base that travels well
- competitive football team
- 20,000 plus undergrads
- Greenville, North Carolina is the tenth biggest city in North Carolina
- UNC would be their natural rival
- Endowment is only 150 million dollars (lower endowment means the University will have trouble expanding the Football Program).
The University of Toledo
- The Toledo/Fremont, Ohio location has around 700,000 people in it (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toledo,_Ohio)
- Toledo, Ohio is on the Michigan border. Anywhere close to Michigan University is a good thing.
- 20,000 plus undergrads
- Natural rival for Cincinnati
- 184 million dollar endowment
- Mascot is Rocky the Rocket
Florida International University, Florida Atlantic University or University of Central Florida:
- Lots of undergrads
- Big Florida markets (sure the Big East has South Florida, but they only have the Tampa area)
- A true rival for University of South Florida
- Endowments for all those universities are around 100 to 150 million dollars. This low amount would make it hard for the Universities to expand the football programs.
I did not include Appalachian State, because the University has an endowment of 60 million dollars. That wouldn’t be enough to get a decent coach. For the same reason, I did not include Marshall University. However, it would be awesome to get the Marshall and WVU rivalry heated up. I wish Marshall University had more money. They would be a prime choice for the Big East if they did.
I also did not include Princeton University from Princeton, New Jersey. Although Princeton University’s endowment is humongous at 12.6 billion dollars, the school has only five thousand undergrads, and would not bring anything new to the Big East, since it already has the New Jersey market with Rutgers.
I really wish Harvard would join the Big East. They would have some work to do, but they have an endowment of 26 billion dollars. They could throw 14 billion at the football program, make its football team better than NFL Teams and still have more money left over than any other university in the world. They are in the Massachusetts area and could have a big market with big donors.