Big East to invite Boise State, 5 others to join conference, AP source says

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PHILADELPHIA — The Big East is ready to start adding members after spending the past month and a half losing them.

A person familiar with the decision says the Big East will invite Boise State, Navy and Air Force for football only and Southern Methodist, Houston and Central Florida for all sports.

The conference was not ready to announce which schools its members had voted to extend invitations to in the upcoming days.

Commissioner John Marinatto declined to give specifics of the Big East’s plan, but he did say he expected the targeted schools to accept, but added that there are still details to work out with each institution.

“As we’ve learned over the last two months, don’t believe anything anybody tells you. Nothing’s done until it is over. So I’m obviously being very cautious and that’s why I’m reluctant to say names of schools,” he said.

He did acknowledge the league intends to expand west.

Boise State and Air Force, both currently in the Mountain West Conference, and SMU and Houston, members of Conference USA, would be in the Big East’s western division. Navy and UCF would be part of the league’s eastern division and the Big East would likely play a conference championship game.

A couple weeks after the Big East found out about Pitt and Syracuse, Texas Christian announced it was backing out of a commitment and instead accepted an invite to the Big 12. West Virginia accepted an invitation to the Big 12 last week.

BIG EAST EXPANSION

The Big East expects to add six new members soon and is working on a seventh. Here’s a look at what the Big East likely will look like in football after all the shuffling is done:

EAST DIVISION

Connecticut

Rutgers

South Florida

Central Florida-x

Navy-x

Temple-y

WEST DIVISION

Boise State-x

SMU-x

Houston-x

Air Force-x

Louisville

Cincinnati

x-expected to join the Big East; y-potential replacement for West Virginia


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