Big East Realignment: Navy, Air Force Almost Invited; East Carolina Applies For Entry, According To Reports

For those that think John Marinatto wasn't doing anything to save the Big East before Syracuse and Pittsburgh bolted for the ACC, think again. Marinatto had a master plan and that master plan apparently included inviting Navy to join the conference. So says CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy...

Before the sudden news broke last weekend that Pittsburgh and Syracuse were leaving for the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big East was in the final stages of acquiring Navy as a football-only member.

No official invitation was extended by the league, but both parties had extensive discussions about Navy joining the league in football only and it very well could have happened in the next couple of weeks, college football industry sources told CBSSports.com.

Brett also notes that the Big East was targeting Air Force as a potential new member as well. Air Force would have given TCU someone else relatively close.

Meanwhile, East Carolina has officially applied for membership in the Big East once again. This time, they've even got the backing of the North Carolina governor.

"The thing I think a governor can do and do very effectively is let the other governors and other decision makers and these other schools that might have a vote understand what a fabulous school (East Carolina University) is," said Perdue.

The Big East football members are meeting Tuesday evening and perhaps any one of these schools or more will be part of the discussion. Or perhaps, with the departure of SU and Pitt, the conference has moved on to Plan B.

For more on the Big East, check out Big East Coast Bias.

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