Villanova Football and the Big East: Why the Conference Is Dragging Its Feet

Dave WalkerCorrespondent IMay 24, 2011

Villanova plays in the Big East conference for all of their sports, except for football. Last fall an invitation was made by the conference to the school in their efforts to obtain a 12 team conference. The same invitation was made in 1997 when the school declined. UConn, however, did accept the invitation and joined the conference.

Last month it appeared that the school was ready to officially make the jump from the FCS to FBS and the Big East. That's when they had the carpet taken right out from under them.

Apparently the Big East had taken the offer right off of the table, but why?

Essentially it is as easy as dollars and cents. The Big East is concerned about the current stadium situation on campus.

Villanova Stadium is the current home for many Wildcat sports. It's an aging building, built back in the late 20's, and has several renderings done, including the press box about a decade ago. But the real problem is not with the stadium itself, but how many seats it has as compared to the other schools in the conference.

At just over 12,000, it would hands down be the smallest stadium within the conference. Villanova has looked into playing at PPL park just across town where the Philadelphia Union's soccer team plays. That stadium holds just over 18,000.

But still the Big East is not thrilled about the situation and Villanova simply has no place to build or expand their aging facility.

What is truly sad about this situation is that the program seems poised to make the step up. They won the FCS title in 2009, beating a very good Montana, and last year fell short to eventual FCS champ Eastern Washington on the blood red turf of Cheney.

So what are the Wildcats to do?

At this point they are probably hoping that the Big East decides to add them based on their on field resume and the fact that they are a member in every other sport.

But the Big East has to think about whether they want the conference to stay geographic, or if they want to find the next TCU.

Nevertheless, it should be interesting to see what happens over the next year as TCU is added and the conference continues to search for three possible suitors to reach their 12 team goal.