Big East to Start with Central Florida

Conference realignment is a little like the weather. If you don't like the current conditions, wait an hour or so and everything will change.

Tuesday was one of those days. Not one single school changed affiliations Tuesday, but the Big East reached out to a school in Florida, the athletic director at Boston College apologized for his remarks about ESPN, Connecticut and the Atlantic Coast Conference expansion process, and the state of Texas moved back on the Big East radar screen.

Here's a recap:

Central Florida becomes Big East's first expansion target. There are several reports that Big East commissioner John Marinatto has reached out to officials at Conference USA and UCF expressing the Big East's interest in the school from Orlando.

No offer has been made, but that could happen within the next week. Central Florida is expected to accept the membership offer from the Big East. After that, the Big East is expected to move quickly onto Temple. The Philadelphia school will be approached about rejoining the conference it was booted from seven years ago.

UCF coach George O'Leary spoke about the Big East during his weekly news conference.

"I would hope that they strongly consider us," O'Leary said. "I would think that it would help them as much as it's going to help us."

Conference USA officials told the Orlando Sentinel that UCF would be required to pay an exit fee of about $7 million and the earliest UCF could join the Big East would be for the 2013 football season.

Boston College AD Gene DeFilippo apologizes. DeFilippo sent a short letter of apology to the presidents and ADs of the Atlantic Coast Conference for saying in an interview with the Boston Globe that ESPN told the league to add Pittsburgh and Syracuse.

He said he "spoke inappropriately and erroneously regarding ESPN's role in conference expansion."

In the Globe story, DeFilippo was also quoted regarding UConn's consideration for a spot in the ACC. In the article, he said, "We didn't want them in. It was a matter of turf. We wanted to be the New England team."

In his apology letter, DeFilippo said, "while I harbor some ill feelings toward the University of Connecticut regarding the lawsuit, depositions and derogatory comments from UConn officials when we announced our decision to join the ACC, it was inappropriate to express personal feelings that might have been construed as the position of Boston College or the Atlantic Coast Conference."

DeFilippo also said he regretted any misunderstandings or "negative fallout my actions may have caused." Some are already speculating that the fallout may include the athletic director losing his job.

SMU and Houston under consideration. The strange chapter of TCU is over and the Horned Frogs will never play a Big East game after accepting an offer to join the Big 12.

But don't think for a moment that the Big East has forgotten about Texas. Southern Methodist University and the University of Houston are the latest schools to be mentioned as possible expansion candidates. Throw them in the mix with Air Force, Boise State, East Carolina and Navy and maybe others.

It's all part of the Big East goal to expand to 12 members in the football conference. Currently, there are six members without Pitt and Syracuse, who announced last month they will be moving to the ACC. UConn, Cincinnati, Louisville, West Virginia, South Florida and Rutgers are the remaining football schools.


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