IT WAS A little over a week ago when the Big East's presidents issued a statement saying they were ready to tackle the issue of expansion.
Notice I used the word "tackle." Because the release from the conference centered on football.
It said the presidents "agreed that the interests of each of the conference's 16 member institutions would be served by increasing the number of Bowl Subdivision football-playing members to 10."
What's unclear is if the Big East wants to add, say, TCU only in football. That would be nice for the league, which is already bursting at the seams with 16 total schools. But is it realistic?
TCU's athletic director, Chris Del Conte, said the answer is no.
"We're an athletic department," Del Conte told the Sporting News. "Whatever endeavor we do, you're united as one. That's who we are. That's how we always compete. We compete as one unit.''
It's a fascinating situation. If Villanova accepts its invitation to jump up to Bowl Subdivision status, there are still just 16 "basketball members." Adding TCU in all sports, however, would make the number an unwieldy 17.
The stance from here is the Big East should go ahead and add the Horned Frogs in all sports. Deal with it. And perhaps that's what's happening.
Calls to the league office and WVU, however, proved fruitless. Those contacted wouldn't say whether this is a football-only invitation.
So we're left to speculate. Obviously, both the Big East and TCU would benefit from a marriage. The league would bolster its sickly football reputation. The Horned Frogs would join a conference whose champ goes to a BCS bowl.
Seems like a Texas Hold 'Em hand in which both players hold the same hand and same number of chips. If there's but a football-only offer, does one side have to fold? Will they split the pot? More importantly, is there a chance they both walk away from the table?
WVU athletic director Oliver Luck would only say he's "in favor of whatever makes us a stronger conference."
The word is, however, the league schools have asked the conference office to run numbers on what it will cost each school annually to include TCU and send teams to Fort Worth, Texas. The question from them: Will the schools ultimately make up for the outlay?