Big East Expansion Round-Up: Oliver Luck, UMass, And More Contract Talk

The most hated man in Villanova (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

- A couple of interesting things have come out over the week, and none more interesting than the comments West Virginia AD Oliver Luck's had about Villanova earlier this week. Commissioner John Marinatto has had a gag order in place on all expansion talk, and the comments he made to MetroNews Statewide Sportsline Tuesday just leaves you scratching your head.

Luck was asked about Villanova's overall plan, and he was surprisingly open about his doubts with PPL Park,

"There are two sort of questions I think that people have. One is really what are the facilities that Villanova is able to use and how do those fit into the Big East with what we have now with our football schools.  Are those really at a level that are BCS, automatic qualifier appropriate for a conference like ours?  I think that's the first question and obviously the conference didn't feel quite comfortable with all the information regarding what I would call the infrastructure question."

Chris from The Nova Blog has his thoughts on Luck's comments, and this does not surprise him at all,

None of that is really news to anyone who's been following this travesty closely, but it does confirm the notion that there are definitely schools out there (West Virginia included) that are NOT in favor Villanova's move.

Brian from VUHoops.com has his thoughts on the stadium issue that Luck has,

Frankly, if Villanova were to pull together a plan to expand PPL Park to 30,000 seats and was still spurned in favor of an outside option, it would be a shot across the bow and a tremendous sign of disrespect for an athletics department that has won 19 team national championships and fielded one of the most successful all-around programs in the conference.

I'm with Brian on this. There is no logical reason why Luck would come publicly talk down a fellow Big East conference member like this. While I appreciate his honesty, it just doesn't make since to do this and strain a relationship with a successful Big East program.

- Speaking of schools that are moving up, UMass is offically making the leap from the CAA to

the MAC starting in 2013. This leaves Villanova in a precarious position should they not move up. Brian at VUHoops is worried that with the departure of the Minutemen and Rhode Island that the CAA might lose its automatic berth in the FBS playoffs,

It is also believed that a number of CAA schools have also been considering moves to FBS football. James Madison continues a building program that has constructed great training facilities and a $90-million expansion of their stadium. Delaware has also been discussed as a program that could move up, though they draw well at their current level and may even turn a profit from the program (the latter being unlikely in FBS).

If any other football program were to leave the conference (including Villanova), the CAA would lose it’s automatic bid to the NCAA football tournament. Under NCAA rules, a conference must have at least 7 teams to qualify for an automatic bid.

Hopefully Villanova will get the invite so they won't have to worry about this.

- Jared Smith from our SBNation New York Regional site has his thoughts up on the contract situation, and if you haven't read Voodoo's breakdown of the Big East contract and what it means to football schools, click here.

- Finally, this little tidbit from Scot Gray at CBSHartford.com when talking about UMass' move up to FBS,

Currently a Football Championship Subdivision team in football, the Minutemen are watching their league, come apart around them. In-state rival Northeastern has dropped football and Villanova is expected to announce an upgrade into the Big East, now that the requirement on stadium size has been dropped.

I guess we will all find out soon enough.

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