Big East Considered Adding 4 Big 12 Teams

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.

Read the full story at SNY.

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Pitt Picked to Win Big East

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. To read more of this story, click here

West Virginia Reaffirms Pledge to Big East

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.

“WVU’s commitment to the Big East is as deep as can be.”

Read the full story here.

(Photo courtesy MSNBC.com)

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West Virginia Coach Says Big East May Disband

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.”

“It’s exciting,” he said. “It’s disheartening as well. … The Big Ten could … they’ll pick a couple of our teams. However, the SEC and the ACC will also do the same, so that’s exciting. I don’t know where we’re going to land. We could land, whatever, in one of maybe three conferences, the ACC, the SEC, maybe the Big Ten. To read more of this story, click here

Rutgers Ends Strong With Recruiting Class; Clemmings, Fonti, Willis Talk Recruiting

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.

With the additions of 6-foot-6 four-star wide receiver Brandon Coleman of Forestville, Md., and 5-10 four-star safety Rashad Knight of Jacksonville, Fla., the Knights are headed strong to the finish line.

Read the full story here.

**Check out the Video Player at right later today for interviews with T.J. Clemmings of Paterson Catholic (Pittsburgh), Chris Fonti of Wayne Hills (Rutgers) and Mike Wills of Rutherford (Princeton). These guys combine to be 19 feet, 6 inches and 880 pounds of offensive and defensive linemen.

**Brooklyn Sal also has an interview with five-star DE Dominique Easley of Curtis High School on Staten Island, a top five national recruit.

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Signing Day Special: Rutgers, Pitt, Syracuse Recruits Talk; Rutgers Lands Two 4-Stars

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.”

Knight, out of of Trinity Christian (Fla.) High School, is the No. 19 safety nationally, according to Rivals, but he will play CB at Rutgers. He chose the Knights over Michigan, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Mississippi, Purdue and West Virginia.

Lemming said Knight had the ability to play both wide receiver and cornerback, but “I like him more on defense.”

Rutgers also got a commitment from three-star S Jeremy Deering of Tampa, Fla, who chose the Knights over Florida State.

**For more Signing Day coverage, click on the Video Player at right for interviews from Tuesday with Rutgers OL Betim Bujari, the first member of the Class of 2010 to commit. The 6-4, 290-pound Bujari, out of Secaucus High, enrolled early and now lives on campus with fellow OL Frank Quartucci of Hamilton and Hofstra transfer Matt McBride. Bujari talks about his decision to come to Rutgers, his roommates and what his role may be in helping to replace departed OL Anthony Davis, Kevin Haslam and Ryan Blaszczyk.

**We also have interviews with West Virginia-bound LB Doug Rigg of Bergen Catholic and Syracuse commit Mario Tull, a WR/LB out of Brooklyn Xaverian. Mounties and Orange fans will want to check those out. Chris Melvin of EliteRecruits.com joined us in the SNY studio to provide his expert analysis.

**Check out SNY.tv on Wednesday for more interviews with Rutgers commit Chris Fonti, a 6-7, 305-pound OL from Wayne Hills; Pitt-bound DE T.J. Clemmings of Paterson Catholic; and Princeton-bound OL Mike Willis of Rutherford High School.

**Also tune in to SNY on Wednesday at 4 p.m. for more Signing Day coverage with SNY’s Chris Carlin, Aditi Kinkhabwala and myself. What more could you ask for?

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