Door officially open for Villanova football to join Big East

Posted: November 03, 2010

In a move that came as no surprise, the Big East presidents yesterday officially approved the conference increasing the number of Bowl Subdivision football-playing members from eight to 10.

The vote was unanimous to evaluate the terms and conditions for potential expansion candidates.

"Our board of directors affirmed a set of key strategic initiatives . . . designed to enhance membership stability and maximize our value," commissioner John Marinatto said after the meeting in Philadelphia.

As was first reported by the Daily News in September, Villanova has an invitation to join. The Wildcats have been a member of the Big East for all other sports since 1980-81, its second season.

Sources familiar with the situation believe Villanova will not reach a decision on whether to move up from Division I-AA before early next year, and possibly even later.

Which way Villanova will go, nobody seems to know for sure at this stage of the process.

Other schools have been mentioned as potential new members of the Big East. Texas Christian, currently ranked No. 4 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, has been recently mentioned. Other names out there are Memphis and Central Florida. People close to the Big East have said that Temple, which was a football-only member from 1991-2004 before being asked to leave, also might be considered. But those same sources also indicate that a yes vote by Villanova would not help Temple's chances.

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