BECAUSE YOU'RE a valued reader of the Charleston Gazette, your Wednesday scoop-o-rama:
Now, the Horned Frogs are in the league's fold.
"It's where we wanted to go and we're where we want to be," Marinatto said in a phone interview on Tuesday.
The follow-up question, of course, is where the Big East now wishes to go. Corralling TCU probably isn't the end of the league's expansion.
Remember, the conference released a statement not too long ago that said its 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."
When asked about the issue on Tuesday, Marinatto said the following:
"When we made the [TCU] announcement, we said we weren't going to publicly comment on specifics, other than to say we've taken our first step."
Note the last three words. Their first step. Big East football teams now have four home league games and four away games secured. Apparently, though, there is more to come. But where will the league go now? Houston? Central Florida?
"We've always been consistent," Marinatto said. "We want to expand with someone that brings value. TCU brings value."
He added that "everything is on the table" now and the league would "step back for a few moments" to regroup before moving ahead.
The Champs Sports Bowl, if you remember last week's column, can take Notre Dame with that record over a Big East school.
Sure enough, a source imbedded in Orlando, Fla., who asked to remain anonymous, said, "they're in the mix."
So I made more calls, and the consensus is this: If West Virginia defeats Rutgers, yet doesn't go to a BCS bowl, it will land in the Champs Sports Bowl. The Mountaineers, with their rabid following, would be attractive to pair against, say, North Carolina State. (A WVU-Maryland rematch isn't attractive.)
If WVU does go to a BCS bowl, however, look for Notre Dame to fill the Champs Sports Bowl. Those in Orlando are aware the Gator Bowl's last four-year contract with the Big East-Notre Dame alliance didn't deliver the Golden Domers, and they certainly want the Irish at some point.