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BYU football: Source says BYU, Big East still talking

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 27 2012 4:25 p.m. MST

With Maryland leaving the ACC, there has been strong speculation that Connecticut or Louisville will be the next to leave the Big East as the Terps' replacement.

If either does, the conference is still on target to have 12 football members in 2014, just not the same ones it will have in 2013 when the new Big East debuts.

"We're not finished," Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco said. "We obviously have some other plans for expansion."

The Big East is also on the open market, trying to negotiate a pivotal new television contract. Aresco said that had to be put on hold for a few days as the conference regrouped after the latest defection.

Boise State and San Diego State, currently in the Mountain West, are set to join for football only starting in 2013, anchoring the Big East's new West Division. Also on schedule to join next season are current C-USA members SMU, Houston, Memphis and Central Florida.

Navy has committed to join the Big East for football in 2015. The conference had planned to find a 14th member to balance out its divisions even before Rutgers left. BYU and Air Force were top targets for that spot.

Aresco said that the Big East could even expand to 16 members, depending on what schools are available.

"We have to let that play out," he said.

Officials from San Diego State and Boise State have said they are still committed to joining the Big East but have expressed a desire for the conference to add more western schools. "They absolutely are extremely committed to the Big East," Aresco said. "We absolutely will be looking at some western schools."

The Big East's membership also includes seven schools, including Georgetown and St. John's, that either do not have football teams or don't compete at the FBS level, but have helped it become a premier basketball conference.

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