Big East: Thanks but no thanks

Enough already! Army and Navy aren't joining the Big East. Not now, not next season, no time soon. This rumor was put to bed by officials from both service academies last summer. But, what do you know, The New York Post reported last week that the Big East explored the possibility of adding the Black Knights and Midshipmen as pseudo-members.

Each team would play four current league schools in rotating seasons. Army and Navy would remain independents.

That was discussed, about a year ago. So, once again, officials from Army and Navy had to shoot the ridiculous rumor down.

Said Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese at the league's football media day in Newport, R.I. earlier this week: "That report is about a year and a half to two years old. We haven't had a conversation with Army or Navy in, I don't know, 18 months. I haven't the foggiest idea where the story came from. We talked to Army and Navy two years ago, very quietly. They looked at it, we looked at it, but it wasn't in their best interests."

The move to the Big East doesn't make sense for either service Academy, especially the Black Knights, who haven't had a winning season since 1996. Army is trying to put together a lighter schedule with teams like New Hampshire, Eastern Michigan, Hofstra and Yale dotting future schedules.

Playing teams like Rutgers, West Virginia and Louisville is a losing proposition for the Black Knights. At this point, Army might even want to stay away from struggling Big East programs like Syracuse.

Teams like Memphis, Central Florida and East Carolina have all been mentioned as potential Big East targets and are better fits. There has long been speculation that the conference wants to expand. That's great, let's just hope we don't hear about Army and Navy in the mix again. Army learned its lesson about league play when, after 108 years as a Division I-A independent, the Black Knights joined Conference USA. Army went 9-40 in C-USA, before bolting after the 2004 season.

The league limited scheduling flexibility as the eight conference games and intraservice contests against Navy and Air Force left only two opportunities to schedule a regional or national opponent.

Scheduling inflexibility limited revenue at Michie Stadium. The Black Knights hosted only one game in October in 2003 and two the following fall. October is a peak time for games at scenic Michie. The Big East proposal was much more doable than the C-USA set-up.

But Army, and Navy, passed. So let's move on already.


ArmySports.com Top Stories