Villanova to be 10th Big East football team?

In a story posted by AOL-Sporting News (formerly the old AOL Fanhouse), it’s looking like Villanova will be making the jump to the FBS Division into the Big East Conference.

A Big East source told Sporting News that Villanova is the “clear leader” in the conference’s goal of expanding to 10 teams, but that the university still is trying to complete a revenue plan of $25-30 million in startup costs.

Villanova announced it would have a decision by April, but the process could be moving along faster than expected. reported last week that members of the athletic administration held a meeting for “major boosters” at the Syracuse basketball game.

That meeting included a speech from Villanova coach Andrew Talley as well as pledges from some donors. also reported that “prominent” Board of Trustees members have been “telegraphing” their votes to major donors.

If the Big East gets Villanova, it likely ends any further expansion discussion. The conference presidents agreed to allow athletic directors to look into expanding to 10-12 teams, but the addition of TCU in 2012 – and potentially Villanova – could mean the end of BCS hopes for UCF, the Big East’s likely fallback candidate if Villanova says no.

Why stop at 10? May as well go after Houston and Central Florida and make it 12 for that Conference Championship Game, that way there is a CLEAR CUT Big East Champion going into the bowl season, and not slapdick UConn lucking out with the Conference’s automatic bid because they happened to beat the team with the better overall record.

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Tags: Big East Big East Conference Big East Expansion Big East Football Central Florida Cincinnati Conference Expansion Connecticut Houston Louisville Pittsburgh Rutgers South Florida Syracuse Texas Christian Villanova WVU

  • Robert

    Please, God, no. Big East doesn’t need a football welfare case.

  • Patrick

    In theory, I don’t have as much an issue with this as I’ve seen many other do. Villanova is a damned strong FCS team, and the Big East needs to add members. The ‘Cats are already in for every other sport, so it makes sense in that respect, and that undoubtedly played a factor in this. UConn and USF both made quick and fairly easy transitions from DI-AA to DI-A, and immediately coming into a BCS conference will only quicken Villanova’s process.

    That being said, adding ‘Nova in football certainly will not help the conference’s overall profile and national reputation. That almost goes without saying. My question is where are they going to play? Their stadium only seats 12,500, and the minimum capacity for FBS is 15,000. Will they play at Lincoln Financial and split with Temple? I’ve read they may play at the MLS stadium, but that facility is on the opposite side of town. Ask Miami or Pitt about having a stadium very off campus and how many butts are in the seats. Is that what a fledgling college team wants, especially in a pro city? Upgrading and expanding their on-campus stadium wouldn’t be too daunting of a task, but how much would/could they add? Cincinnati Nippert Stadium is the smallest in the Big East at 35,000+. Even if Villanova were to double their current capacity (if that was even logistically possible), it would still be more than 10,000 seats smaller than the current smallest stadium.

    If they could get their playing facilities settled and capable, the potential is there for ‘Nova to add to the conference. The support system would be there, there is a potential for a market to use (Philly loves a winner; Temple simply doesn’t win), and the Wildcats already have an established and legitimate team to build on. If done correctly, this could work. However, we’ve already seen the downside of college football in the Philadelphia area. Stay tuned, because this is will be very interesting.

  • Mike

    not happening. I’m a Villanova alumnus (class of 71) and attended the meeting. Andy Talley said only about $100 people have committed a total of “close to” $1 million and “funding for the other $24 million is proving to be problematic.”
    Sounds to me like the administration is greasing the skids to say “we tried our best” but “you guys couldn’t come up with the money.”