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Big East agrees to expand football membership


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Big East presidents agreed in a meeting on Tuesday that it would be in their best interests to increase its football membership from eight to ten members, the conference said.

"Today, our Board of Directors affirmed a set of key strategic initiatives, including expansion, designed to enhance membership stability and maximize our value," Big East commissioner John Marinatto said in a statement.

Marinatto said the conference will refrain from commenting further on the expansion process.

The Big East has previously inquired about Villanova's interests in moving to the highest division of college football. The Wildcats are currently ranked third in the Top 25 Football Championship Series coaches' poll. Additionally, Villanova is one of the 16 teams that already comprise the Big East's basketball membership.

UCF, East Carolina, Memphis and Temple have all been mentioned in reports as possibilities for joining the conference.

The New York Post recently reported that the Big East could even be interested in moving west to TCU or Houston.

The Big East is currently the smallest BCS football conference. Officials did not say how expansion would affect the 16-team basketball alignment.

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