Big East thinking about expanding... Again

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Update: The first version of this post incorrectly stated Villanova's intentions. Of course divining the Big East's intentions gets even harder then.
Expansion talk is once again heating up in the Big East. This time it's an article in the Boston Globe by Mark Blaudschun that speculates about a whole heck of a lot of things, and even includes a few facts.
Here's what we know: Villanova seems to want in and the Big East is considering its options. But then things get really murky. Because there's another player here as Blaudschun points out.
Villanova would get the Big East to 10 teams, but right now that doesn't do anything. Maybe the Big East can convince the powers that be that a 10-team football conference deserves a championship game. (And the money that goes with it.) Otherwise it'll need at least two more programs. Programs in a big media market, offering more recruiting access and a decent football team. There just aren't too many schools out there that fit the bill.
But there's a few worth looking at including one in particular, Central Florida. With Orlando, a semi-competent football history and being in the state of Florida for recruiting purposes (along with an upwardly mobile athletic department willing to take steps to make such a move) the Knights offer logical addition to the Big East. Also, Houston could be another school that makes sense if 12 really is the goal.
What would becomes of schools like DePaul then? Well there's really only two options: The status quo or something completely different. (We're talking about a 19-team conference now!)
The status quo might come with a few less bids to the Big East Tournament. It might also come with a division format schedule in basketball. For instance, what if the Big East basketball conference looked something like this somewhere down the line:
Big East North:
Syracuse
St. John's
Connecticut
Seton Hall
Rutgers
Providence
Marquette
Notre Dame
DePaul
Big East South:
Louisville
West Virginia
South Florida
Central Florida
TCU
Houston
Georgetown
Cincinnati
Pittsburgh
Villanova
It's getting pretty unwieldy at that point with 10 and nine team divisions. (Not that anyone seems to care.) Thus, what if this does spring something truly different? Where would that leave everyone? Well, under this scenario six teams in the conference still don't play FBS football - and Notre Dame is a completely different matter. And when you look at the numbers there's a problem.
Non-Football + ND (7):
DePaul
Marquette
Georgetown
Seton Hall
Providence
St. John's
Notre Dame
Football (12):
Syracuse
Connecticut
Rutgers
Louisville
West Virginia
South Florida
Central Florida
TCU
Cincinnati
Pittsburgh
Villanova
Houston
That new conference would need another team to be a viable NCAA Division I basketball conference. It might attract a look from Xavier, Dayton or St. Louis - or even all three, but it would probably first have to convince the NCAA to pull off a WAC/MWC sort of move and waive the waiting period for an automatic bid.

Let's hope it doesn't come to it, but know that the possibility is still looming out there.

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