"We have recently made some great regional additions [Charlotte, Old Dominion] in Conference USA for future matchups that Herd fans will enjoy, and I feel this trend of expanding with the right institutions will continue," Hamrick said.
Banowsky said, "To be clear, we have several options but no new member agreements have been made at this time. We appreciate the support of our members and will immediately begin a presidentially led process to evaluate our future options."
In realignment-speak, that may mean those presidents have already started the process. From the Sun Belt, Middle Tennessee had support in C-USA's last expansion, and Western Kentucky would give Marshall fans another close rival. Florida Atlantic could revive its rivalry with FIU, and Arkansas State has emerged in recent years.
As for the Big East, it gained in Tulane the 53rd-largest TV market, as well as a replacement for the departing Rutgers.
Rutgers would like to join the Big Ten by 2014, along with Maryland, but the Scarlet Knights have left their departure date from the Big East ambiguous. Conference bylaws require members to give the league notification of two years and three months before departing, but the Big East has negotiated early exits for Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia in the past year.
West Virginia joined the Big 12 this year. Syracuse and Pitt will begin play in the Atlantic Coast Conference in September.
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.''
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.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.