Big East Expansion: If They Want, Villanova Is Next To Be Added As Football Member

According to a report by The Sporting News, Villanova is the next program the Big East wants to add in it's expansion plans.

"Now that TCU has linked arms with the Big East, joining the league in all sports in the summer of 2012, the conference will now look to Villanova to complete its planned expansion to 10 football-playing schools.

Athletic director Vince Nicastro acknowledged earlier this month that the Philadelphia-based school, a Big East member in all sports except football, is considering elevating its Division I-AA football program to I-A. A decision is expected in the next few months, and it will dictate the next conference realignment moves.

"Selfishly, I'd love for them to do that," Providence athletic director Bob Driscoll told Sporting News. "It would give us 10 football schools without having to look beyond our borders."

Credit needs to be given to ESPN Blogger Brain Bennett, who on Tuesday hinted that 'Nova was the next target.

"1. You're on the clock, Villanova: The Wildcats are employing their due diligence in deciding whether to take the leap into FBS football, as they should. But clearly, the TCU move speeds things up. As John Marinatto told me on Monday, the league expects a decision no later than April. But when I asked the commissioner if that might be too late, he answered, "It might be." I don't think the Big East wants to stop at nine, and if it gets tired of waiting for Villanova (which couldn't join the Big East until 2014 anyway because of a two-year NCAA provisional period), the conference may just move on to another school like Central Florida."

Bennett also had this thought on Villanova in his mailbag devoted to TCU joining the league.

"Villanova is kind of like an ace up the sleeve -- the Big East can go to it whenever it wants, because the Wildcats won't upset any of the other sports. And with a three-year waiting period before they could become full members, the football side would have plenty of time to adjust."

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