As is the case with many of the conference realignment rumors, the list of teams that the Big East is targeting for expansion seems to change on a daily basis.
The current expansion scenario has the conference adding Air Force, Boise State, and Navy as football-only schools, while also adding Central Florida, Houston, and SMU for all sports.
The expansion scenario could mean that the conference could have anywhere from 17 to 19 to possible more schools playing basketball in the Big East. Other more radical expansion scenarios could have the Big East having anywhere from 20 to 24 basketball-playing schools within the conference.
The chaos of even more then the already unwieldy 16 teams playing basketball certainly wasn't lost on coaches at Big East's basketball media day in New York City on Wednesday. Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun, the reigning NCAA champion, said he felt like a NFL coach when the Big East first increased to 16 teams in 2005.
At this point Calhoun said, I've heard 20 teams, then 24 teams, why not just go to 30 teams?
That solution wasn't exactly unanimous throughout the New York Athletic Club on Wednesday, though.
West Virginia coach Bob Huggins questioned what the point of a conference was at all if there would be more than the current 16 schools playing basketball in the Big East.
Why the hell have a league, Huggins said about 20 or more teams playing basketball. Why don't we just all go independent?
Huggins said his ideal scenario would be for the conference to have 10 basketball-playing schools so that each team could play everyone twice.
With 10 teams you can have a true champion, Huggins said. A lot of times with these big leagues the best team doesn't win the regular season because of scheduling.
Big East scheduling already is a difficult experience for the conference, but imagine adding even more schools? Rivalries could be left in the dust, travel costs could go up even more, and student-athletes could lose more precious school time.
But beyond all of that is what exactly would the conference do about its tournament at Madison Square Garden each March? If the Big East had 20 or so teams would it allow all teams to play in the tournament?
Huggins jokingly theorized that the Big East should invite all of the teams - even if it took two weeks to complete the tournament. He said he'd give each of the 20 or so schools a 500 ticket allotment and just figure it out from there.
Georgetown coach John Thompson III agreed that all teams should play, but didn't know how it would work out.
Conceptually, philosophically I think every team in the conference should be invited, Thompson said. Logistically I don't know if that's doable.
Others like Marquette coach Buzz Williams wanted nothing to do with figuring out what to do with the Big East Tournament.
That's why we pay so much money to (commissioner) Marinatto, Williams joked. Whatever the league says, we'll do.
One of the concerns is just how taxing the Big East Tournament already is, especially if a school doesn't get an initial bye. Connecticut went on a magical run last March to win five games to win the tournament and then win six more straight games to win the NCAA Championship, but the Huskies are clearly the exception to the rule.
Thompson said that Connecticut's run doesn't diminish just how tough it is to run the table in the Big East Tournament.
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