Big East Expansion Ready to Take Place
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Big East commissioner John Marinatto
Big East commissioner John Marinatto Publisher
Posted Dec 6, 2011

It took longer than Big East commissioner John Marinatto hoped when leading a meeting in Philadelphia more than a month ago, but the first wave of Big East expansion could come as early as Wednesday, league sources told

With Boise State missing out on the BCS as the tipping point, five schools are expected to join the Big East conference this week barring any unexpected last-minute snags, according to multiple league sources.

A deal to add Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, SMU and UCF is in place and an announcement could come as soon as Wednesday, sources said.

Boise State and San Diego State will join for football only, with their other sports joining another conference. Houston, SMU and UCF will joi for all sports. The conference is expected to break into two divisions but two more teams will have to be added to ensure a conference championship game. The additions are set for the 2013 season, but sources said not to rule out negotiations for the 2012 season.

Air Force and Navy remain targets for further expansion, but both programs are still contemplating options, sources said. The vote to initially double the Big East exit fee was contingent on Air Force or Navy joining the league.

For Rutgers, the addition of extra schools helps stabilize the recruiting scene, with many top targets curious about the fate of the Big East and its BCS automatic qualifier.

The addition of Boise State is expected to bolster the league's automatic qualifier status.

Stick to for more on this developing story.

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