Turning down ESPN is not what's tearing the league apart. If Marinatto can pull together the Big East's plan, there could still be a billion dollar payoff — that's what he has been selling to potential new members.
What about an automatic bid to the Bowl Championship Series?
It's impossible to say how that will play out and BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock has said as much.
The Big East is trying to add schools that have had recent success in football. When Big East officials crunch the numbers, adding Boise State and the rest easily make up for the loss of Syracuse and Pittsburgh on the field. Losing West Virginia stings more.
But the fact is that the future of the BCS, like everything else in college football, is up in the air.
Its contracts run through 2013 and beyond that there are no benchmarks to determine which conferences will be automatic qualifiers — there's even a chance there will be no BCS in 2014.
If there is, there's a good chance TV ratings and market sizes will be just as important — if not more important — than winning percentages and bowl appearances when it comes to deciding who gets in.
And if the Big East is left out after being one of the original six leagues that helped craft the BCS, maybe its lawyers can persuade the leaders of the other AQ leagues — especially the ones who poached Big East teams — to think again.
Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP
- Photo gallery: Tornado rips Oklahoma suburb
- Huge tornado hits Oklahoma City suburb, kills...
- Top scandals and controversies of each United...
- Journalists criticize Obama administration,...
- Mile-wide tornado churns through Oklahoma...
- Oklahoma, other tornado-hit states brace for...
- Fly a flag for Cody: Army confirms Utah man...
- Measles surges in UK years after flawed...
- Mitt Romney talks IRS, AP records,... 65
- Associated Press CEO calls records... 23
- White House insists Obama was not... 22
- Journalists push back against Obama... 21
- House chairman sees IRS targeting as... 16
- Republicans try to link IRS scandal,... 12
- Tea party looks to take advantage of... 12
- Supreme Court to weigh in on... 12