Army spurns Big East

Put simply, it won't work. Despite passive rumors, don't expect Army to join the Big East in any capacity in the near future. In fact, it likely won't ever happen. Army seems committed to rebuilding the program, again, by playing an independent schedule that gives the Black Knights flexibility.

The Big East rumors began swirling earlier this month when a columnist from The Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette floated the idea of an "association" between Army, Navy and the Big East. The two teams would play four games against Big East teams each year.

According to the column, "multiple sources within the Big East confirmed the Army-Navy idea is alive, although, according to one not full-blown yet.'' There's one big problem. According to an Army source on the Academy's newly formed panel to revive the football program, the Academy is not interested in an association of any kind with the Big East.

It's common knowledge in college football circles that Army turned down at least one overture from Big East officials after announcing it would leave Conference USA in 2003. The Black Knights played their last game in C-USA in 2004, thank God!

Navy doesn't seem interested in any Big East association, either. Now, back to the loosely reported column in The Charleston Gazette. The author states "The idea makes sense.No, neither Army or Navy make the eyes pop when spotted on football schedules. But they do have nationwide appeal."

Nationwide appeal, yes. So why would Army want to pigeon hole itself in a game in the Carrier Dome against Syracuse when it could conceivably be giving up a shot at Notre Dame.

Here's the best one column nugget: "If a deal is struck, Army and Navy could play four Big East games and globetrot for the other eight. The current Big East schools could have their four-four league split and four non-conference openings. A very nice balance." A very nice balance? For who? Sure, that's what Army needs, annual games against the likes of West Virginia, Louisville and Rutgers (Rutgers is on the schedule this year and likely will be on it for years to come).

That's why Army left C-USA, to avoid getting its backside handed to it week in and week out. The Black Knights now are scheduling teams like Yale and Temple, which is a lot better than even the Big East bottom feeders. And if Army is playing four, six, eight games, whatever, in the Big East they don't have the flexibility to play the Yale's and Division I-AA teams they need to. The column ends by stating the whole Big East-Army/Navy idea floats. Floats, huh? Sounds like a lot of hot air.


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