We have official word at last that the Big East will, in fact, pursue expansion to ten football members. More importantly, we've gleaned via the conference's official website that the conference uses ALL CAPS when referring to itself in print:
The BIG EAST Conference submitted the results of its extensive self-analysis and evaluation of the college athletics environment today at its annual Conference Board of Directors meeting. Based on those results, the BIG EAST 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.
SB Nation's Syracuse community takes issue with the characterization of the statement as an outset of exploration if the conference has already spoken to TCU and Villanova, at least, and faces up to the geographical blind eye-turning that's about to ensue:
Big East fans are going to have to set aside their whole "east" thing from now on. This is about building a network and the only way the conference is going to become a viable network is by being as national as possible. Combine Dallas and Houston with NYC, Philly, DC, Tampa, Chicago and Pittsburgh and the Big East now has the kind of access the Big Ten Network dreams of.
Despite overtures having been made to two schools that we know of, no official candidates have been announced.