As noted recently, West Virginia‘s confirmed departure from the Big East in 2012 creates a major issue for the conference’s remaining seven members — most notably (and importantly) for future ACC schools, Syracuse and Pittsburgh. Since both schools now need to fill two spots, and both have already used up their one excusable FCS tilt, things are actually looking a bit dire. But then this nugget of information was brought to everyone’s attention:
“WVU “will use its reasonable best efforts to help Big East members schedule additional football games for the 2012-13 season.” Specifically, WVU will help Pitt and Syracuse schedule a Big 12 opponent provided the two schools make a request by Feb. 15. However, if the Big East finds a football member for the 2012 season, that rids WVU of all scheduling matchmaker responsibility.”
Odd, yet, fantastic news. Which brings us back to the original discussion: Will Boise State be joining the league in 2012? If so, you can pencil both Pitt and Syracuse in for trips to Idaho. But if not, then this clause above goes into effect. Only problem is there may not be any Big 12 teams left to schedule. As of right now, the only non-BE, FBS teams still looking to fill a space are: Arkansas
Missouri (two games)
… So there are NO Big 12 teams on that list. Which leaves everyone in the Big East left scrambling should the Broncos fail to join for 2012. And for the schools that need to add two games (SU, Rutgers, Pitt, Cincinnati), things are downright frightening. If you manage one of the matchups above, you’re almost definitely scheduling a FCS school for the additional game. If you’re the Orange or Panthers (the only teams we’ll be focusing on here), you already have power teams scheduled for your non-conference slate (SU — USC; Pitt — Virginia Tech), so it’s doubtful you’d like to see another power school. But will they have much of a choice? As always, it’s a circus over at the Big East, and John Marinatto’s the ring leader.