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Big East Football

Ishaq Williams has made his choice.

The 6-foot-6, 220-pound DE/TE from Brooklyn Lincoln has verbally pledged to Notre Dame over Syracuse and Penn State, a Lincoln source told SNY's Sal Miciotta.

"Ishaq is Irish," his father, Shaun Williams, reportedly posted on Twitter.? "See you in South Bend."

Tags: Articles, Big East Football, Notre Dame, Adam Zagoria
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UConn has hired former Syracuse football coach Paul Pasqualoni to replace the departed Randy Edsall.

Pasqualoni will be introduced at a news conference on Friday (12:30, SNY).

"We are very proud to welcome Paul Pasqualoni to the UConn family and also bring him back home to his native Connecticut," UConn athletic director Jeff Hathaway said in a statement.

Tags: Articles, Big East Football, UConn, Adam Zagoria
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Texas Christian will no longer have to worry about getting invited to a BCS game.

The Horned Frogs are joining a league with an automatic bid.

TCU will become the 17th member of the Big East Conference, and ninth football program, July 1, 2012 and will join the league for all sports beginning in the 2012-13 season.

Tags: Big East, Big East Football, TCU, Adam Zagoria
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Texas Christian University has accepted an invitation for full membership into the Big East Conference.

The Big East, by a vote of its Presidents and Chancellors, extended the invitation for membership.

TCU will become the 17th conference member -- and ninth football program -- on July 1, 2012. ?Its athletic teams will begin competing in the Big East in the 2012-13 academic year.

Tags: Articles, Big East, Big East Football, TCU, Adam Zagoria
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**Watch the livestream of the press conference here.**

Texas Christian University will hold a 2 p.m. EST press conference Monday to announce that it will join the Big East Conference in all sports beginning in the 2012-13 season.

"I guess you gotta do what you gotta do with what's out there," former Syracuse athletic director Jake Crouthamel said by phone. "And what's out there with TCU in football is certainly very attractive.? It's the other programs that I think just from a travel perspective, it's going to be very expensive."

Tags: Articles, Big East, Big East Football, TCU, Adam Zagoria
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By DAN GELSTON

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The Big East conference is set to expand its football roster.

Big East presidents unanimously agreed to expand the number of football-playing schools to 10 at Tuesday's board of directors meeting in Philadelphia.

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NEW YORK -- Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson was happily enjoying the food and festivities at the Conference USA Men's Basketball Media Day in downtown Manhattan Tuesday, but that didn't stop him from imagining life in a BCS conference.

"I don't want to lie to you," Johnson said. "In the ideal world, the SEC would call and we'd go tomorrow.

"But in the meantime we're going to do everything we can to make this thing [Conference USA] get stronger and stronger."

Tags: Articles, Big East, Big East Football, Memphis, Adam Zagoria
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NEWPORT, R.I. ? The Big East explored the possibility of adding four Big 12 teams had the Big 12 disbanded in June, a Big East source told SNY.tv.

The Big East would have targeted Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and Missouri, swelling its ranks to 12 football teams and 20 basketball programs, the source said.

?For the 24 hours where it looked like they were leaving [the Big 12], then this idea had legs,? the source said Tuesday at Big East football media day.

Tags: Big East, Big East Football, Adam Zagoria
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NEWPORT, R.I. ? After receiving 22 of a possible 24 first-place votes, Pittsburgh is the overwhelming favorite to win the 2010 BIG EAST championship in the conference?s annual preseason media poll.

The Panthers had 190 points in the preseason voting of media representatives from each of the eight BIG EAST markets. In addition to the 22 first-place votes, Pittsburgh had two second-place votes, making the Panthers the heaviest favorite in the preseason balloting since Louisville had 190 points in the 2005 poll. Pittsburgh and head coach Dave Wannstedt return 12 starters from last year?s team that went 10-3 overall and was 5-2 in BIG EAST play, dropping the two conference games by a combined four points. The returning players include the 2009 BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year in tailback Dion Lewis and one of last year?s BIG EAST Defensive Players of the Year in defensive end Greg Romeus.

Cincinnati and West Virginia tied for second in the preseason poll with both teams finishing with142 points. Cincinnati (12-1, 7-0 BIG EAST in 2009) has won the last two BIG EAST titles and brings an 18-game regular-season winning streak into 2010. New head coach Butch Jones will turn to quarterback Zach Collaros to run an offense that has ranked among the nation?s best in recent years, while the Bearcats look to replace six starters on defense. West Virginia (9-4, 5-2 BIG EAST) has finished no lower than second in the BIG EAST standings in every year since 2002. Bill Stewart?s squad has 19 returning starters, including a Heisman Trophy candidate in running back Noel Devine, and expects to showcase one of the leading defenses in the BIG EAST.

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Saturday was a day of backtracking for West Virginia football coach Bill Stewart.

Two days after he told a local television station that it was inevitable that West Virginia would leave the Big East Conference, Stewart did an about face.

?I'm a Big East coach at heart and want to make it clear that I believe the Big East is the best conference for our program,? Stewart said in a statement. ?It is unwarranted for our fans or others to consider my comments an indication of anything more than a coach thinking out loud.

Tags: Big East, Big East Football, West Virginia, Adam Zagoria
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West Virginia football coach Bill Stewart became the first Big East coach to openly talk about the league disbanding when he gave this video interview to WTAP in Parkersburg, W.Va., on Thursday.

The quotes first appeared on Brian Bennett's ESPN.com blog.

There has been much talk about the Big 10 expanding and possibly raiding the Big East for Rutgers or another school. Stewart seemed to indicate that was inevitable and said the SEC and ACC will "do the same."

Tags: Big East, Big East Football, West Virginia, Adam Zagoria
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The 2010 Rutgers recruiting class is like a bottle of fine wine.

It gets better with time.

The Scarlet Knights over the last two days landed two four-star recruits and two three-star prospects to a class that currently stands at 24 players heading into Wednesday's National Signing Day.

Tags: Big East Football, Paterson Catholic, Pittsburgh, Princeton, Rutgers Football, Rutgers Football Recruiting, Signing Day Video, Adam Zagoria
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On the eve of National Signing Day, Rutgers has landed two four-star players in 6-foot-6 Maryland WR Brandon Coleman (pictured at left) and 5-10 Florida CB Rashad Knight. Both commitments were first reported by SI.com.

Coleman, who mentioned his close relationship with Rutgers QB Tommy Savage, also held offers from Boston College, Maryland, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. He is ranked No. 29 nationally among wideouts, according to Rivals.com

"He's a tall, red-zone receiver," CBS College Sports recruiting expert Tom Lemming said by phone. "He doesn't have blazing speed. But he'll be a good alley-oop option for Savage in the red zone."

Tags: Big East Football, Paterson Catholic, Pittsburgh, Rutgers Football, Syracuse, West Virginia, Adam Zagoria
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Joe Susan, the Rutgers recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach, will be named the new head coach at Bucknell University during a press conference at 6 p.m. Wednesday, according to multiple reports.

A South River, N.J., native, Susan was the offensive line coach at Bucknell from 1981-88. He then became associate head coach for two seasons with the Bison. During his tenure at Bucknell, Susan recruited Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano to play for the Bison. He also recruited offensive lineman Jay Butler, Rutgers' assistant director for strength and conditioning.

Susan, 54, spent one year as head coach at Davidson in 2000, leading the team to a 10-0 record. He joined Rutgers as the offensive line coach in 2001, the same year Schiano came to Rutgers.

Tags: Big East Football, Rutgers Football, Adam Zagoria
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Cincinnati will play defending national champion Florida in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1 in the Louisiana Superdome.
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"We've fought all year to get where we are," Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly said. "To have the chance to represent the University of Cincinnati in a game like the Sugar Bowl that has such great history against an outstanding opponent in Florida is a real honor for our football team. We look forward to a great game in New Orleans on Jan. 1."
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The question is: Who will coach the Bearcats in that game?
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Kelly told ESPN.com that he would "entertain" meeting with Notre Dame officials this week to discuss that school's coaching opening.
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Check out the Big East Sports blog for Greg Schiano's feelings about being sent to the St. Petersburg Bowl Dec. 19.
BIG EAST BOWL BIDS
St. Petersburg Bowl - Rutgers vs. Central Florida, Dec. 19
Meineke Car Car Bowl - Pittsburgh vs. North Carolina, Dec. 26
Gator Bowl - West Virginia vs. Florida State, Jan 1.
Sugar Bowl - Cincinnati vs. Florida, Jan. 1

International Bowl - South Florida vs. Northern Illinois, Jan. 2

PapaJohns.com Bowl - UConn vs. South Carolina, Jan. 2

Tags: Big East Football, Cincinnati, Rutgers Football, Adam Zagoria
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Brian Kelly is well versed in the debate about the college football national championship picture.
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He knows that the Big East doesn't get much respect on a national level.
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And he understands that prognosticators are hoping for a BCS title game that matches an unbeaten Texas team with an undefeated Southeastern Conference champion, either Florida or Alabama.
And here's my feature on Pitt RB Dion Lewis, who played at Blair Academy in Jersey.
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Tags: Big East Football, Cincinnati, UConn, Adam Zagoria
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***Undefeated Big East powers Cincinnati and South Florida are preparing for an Oct. 15 battle on ESPN. Read about it here.***

Greg Schiano says he's "hoping" that true freshman QB Tom Savage will start Saturday against Texas Southern in the Homecoming game.

?I hope he does. He has been practicing for two days now. I guess the only way that would preclude him from playing is if something took a turn in the other direction. Right now, he is on the way up,?Schiano said Monday.

Tags: Big East Football, Cincinnati, Rutgers Football, South Florida, Adam Zagoria
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Rutgers coach Greg Schiano isn't shocked that South Florida went into Tallahassee and beat No. 18 Florida State Saturday in the first meeting between the schools.

"It doesn't surprise me at all," Schiano said Sunday.

"I think the Big East Conference is beyond having to prove themselves, yet it continues to be in the public eye that the Big East has to prove themselves. Well, again two weeks in a row now the Big East Conference continues to show that we play very good, hard-nosed football in this league and I don't suspect that's going to change anytime soon."

Tags: Big East Football, Rutgers Football, Adam Zagoria
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The Knicks will head into training camp next week with two fan favorites officially locked up for the year.

A day after Nate Robinson reportedly agreed to a one-year deal -- which was above his qualifying offer -- the Knicks and forward David Lee came to terms on a one-year deal for $7 million plus a $1 million bonus if the team makes the postseason.

The story was first reported by Newsday.

Tags: Big East Football, Old Knicks, UConn, Adam Zagoria
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Dave Wannstedt wasn't quite sure what he would get out of freshman linebacker Dan Mason in last Saturday's game against Navy.

Freshmen are typically unpredictable. On and off the football field, who knows what they are capable of?

"You just don't know with freshmen," Wannstedt said on Monday in a conference call. "You see talent and you like them and you draw it on the board. Everybody's excited and then all of a sudden they have to play. And some of them can handle it and some are just not ready, whether it be physically or mentally or emotionally."

Tags: Big East Football, Rutgers Football, Adam Zagoria
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The Big East is still searching for respect.

The league won six of eight non-conference games this past weekend, yet No. 14 Cincinnati is the only Big East football team ranked in The Associated Press Top 25.

Cincinnati and Connecticut both scored impressive road wins, and Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Florida and Syracuse were all victorious at home.

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Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson says the school's first priority would be to join the Southeastern Conference -- not the Big East.

"Quite honestly, the truth of the matter is the lifelong dream of Memphis is to get in the SEC," Johnson said Thursday in a phone interview. "We're surrounded by SEC country. When Arkansas got in Memphis thought they were going to get in."

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Memphis wants to join the Big East Conference and has hired former Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese to help accomplish that goal.

Yet, Tranghese says he cannot single-handedly get Memphis into the Big East or any other Bowl Championship Series conference.

"I've been hired to help them evaluate their athletic program, not to get them in a conference," Tranghese, who was hired Aug. 1, said Wednesday in a phone interview. "I can't get people into conferences. That's not what I do."

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The Big East football coaches conference was today and here are some highlights.

South Florida QB Matt Grothe threw for 208 yards and two TDs, becoming the Big East's all-time leader in total offense to help South Florida down Western Kentucky 35-13 Saturday.

The senior QB added 53 yards rushing to boost his career total yardage to 10,702, breaking former West Virginia QB Pat White's record of 10,329.

Tags: Big East Football, Adam Zagoria
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The Big East announced its weekly football award winners for this week.

BIG EAST OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

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PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- The cars were backed up for half an hour on River Road for the start of what was supposed to be an exciting new season of Rutgers football.

Red-clad fans, old and young, a record 53,737 of them, made their way to sold-out Rutgers Stadium -- the one with the $102 million renovation -- for the season opener against Cincinnati. College kids with red- and white-painted faces filled up the new student section under the gigantic state-of-the-art scoreboard, hoping to be seen on ESPN.

The ticket was so hot that a scalper even asked passers-by if they had extras for sale, something that would have been unheard of just a few years ago in these parts.

Tags: Big East Football, Rutgers Football, Adam Zagoria
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**See Greg Schiano's press conference by clicking on the Video Player at right**

Cincinnati head coach Brian Kelly doesn't know who will start at quarterback for Rutgers when the two teams meet a week from today (Sept. 7) at Rutgers Stadium.

And he says he doesn't care, either.

Tags: Big East Football, Rutgers Football, Adam Zagoria
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There isn't a single Big East football team ranked in the top 25 of The Associated Press or USA Today Coaches' poll.

But don't try telling West Virginia coach Bill Stewart that his conference's teams don't belong among the elite.

"Our league is the black and blue league," Stewart said on Monday's Big East conference call. "We're tough and physical.

Tags: Big East Football, Adam Zagoria
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