According to Brett McMurphy of CBS Sports, the Big East is preparing to extend invites to Boise State, Central Florida, Navy and Air Force as early as next week. Boise State would obviously be a home run for the conference and almost ensure that it retains it's AQ status with the BCS. However, this has always been contingent on the Big East members committing to the conference. According to McMurphy, we might be nearing that point.
On Sunday the Big East's presidents and chancellors are expected to vote and approve an increased exit fee of at least $10 million for football members. That’s double the current amount ($5 million), but less than what Marinatto proposed in an Oct. 2 meeting. In that meeting there were discussions to increase the exit fee to "150 percent of the gross revenues received by a departing team in its final year in the league," according to league documents obtained by CBSSports.com.
That potential increase in exit fee is reportedly what Villanova has been waiting for (along with a team like Boise State to join to help increase TV revenue) to tell the Big East they are fully committed to moving to FBS football. Whether the league would want Villanova remains to be seen (and best guesses are they do not) - but at least this will give Villanova the chance to take themselves away from the lukewarm stance they've been holding in no position of power.
The addition of those 4 schools to the conference would bring the total football number to 10 schools - leaving 2 spots to get the conference to its desired 12 football-members. Villanova could potentially get one of those spots, but according to McMurphy, they may not be involved.
Houston, SMU and Temple are being considered for the final two spots. However, one source said Houston and SMU are expected to get the final two spots because of Villanova’s concerns about adding Temple into the league.
The key part there is that Temple would not be coming at all. That would have to be considered a win for 'Nova - as that scenario allows them to keep the Philadelphia market in the Big East to themselves. But it does kill the FBS football move.
What are everyone's thoughts on this scenario?