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Football Schools Meet Tonight

(UPDATED) Villanova is not locked into staying with the other Catholic members of the Big East, regardless of how realignment shakes out, but their alternative options don't look particularly numerous. Tonight, the Big East's remaining football members (including TCU) will hold a meeting of their presidents and athletic directors in New York to, "examine every option for every scenario," that could play out in the coming days and weeks. They hope that they "will be ready to act quickly should the opportunity present itself."

It is not clear whether Notre Dame was invited to the meeting or will attend. The non-football members will not be included in the meetings, which could very well be signaling that the conference will split (or that the football schools will seek to merge with another conference without the Catholic members).

Villanova's inclusion in any merged league could depend greatly on the discussions that will occur tonight. ESPN is reporting that Nova administrators have asked to be included in this meeting with the football schools in order to make another pitch to the conference for inclusion.

ESPN's sources did not think any substantial decisions would be finalized tonight. Perhaps because the league is watching closely what happens in the Big XII.

According to ESPN's Andy Katz:

Villanova is trying to use its rising football program as a way to get in somewhere in the ACC or a Big 12/Big East hybrid. The school is hoping the Philadelphia market and the ability to get its football to FBS status (unlike, say, Georgetown) is attractive. And by the way, Nova is not pleased about the way Pitt helped block the Wildcats from being accepted into the Big East for football.

UPDATE (4:50pm): Mike Jensen of the Philadelphia Inquirer's sources tell him that Villanova will not be at tonight's Big East football meeting. That should just about end Villanova's options there.