After a Sunday meeting where the seven non-football schools in the Big East (henceforth referred to as The Seven) met with Commissioner Mike Aresco to discuss the future of the league, it seemed as if the meeting was more for information purposes only.
I can only guess that something changed between now and then. From ESPN.com's Brett McMurphy, Andy Katz, and Dana O'Neil:
The presidents of the Big East's seven Catholic, non-Football Bowl Subdivision schools are expected to decide on their future in the Big East in the coming days, and it "would be an upset" if they remained in the league, sources told ESPN.
The seven schools -- DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall and Villanova -- are "close to a consensus on what they want to do next," a source said Wednesday.
The presidents of the seven schools are scheduled to conduct a teleconference with Big East commissioner Mike Aresco on Thursday and are expected to issue a statement on their schools' future in the next 24 to 48 hours.
Well, then. That's as close to facts as we're going to get right now. How about some rampant speculation and rumormongering? Here's what I think happened:
After news of the Sunday meeting got out, other basketball schools started calling every one they could think of at one of The Seven to let them know that their school was willing to move to take an available spot to round the numbers out at an even number. This blog post from this morning from Andy Katz seems to support that idea.
While those calls were coming in, representatives of The Seven picked up the phone and called their favorite television executive. I'd like to think that none of The Seven have any intention of leaving with at least a handshake deal for television already lined up, and I'd like to think that said deal is going to pay MU at least something similar to what they're getting now.
Combine a long list of schools willing to join up and a network's promise to pay at least $1 million per school for television, and that adds up to why The Seven are ready to make a decision. If one or both of those aren't true, then I can't possibly figure out why The Seven appear to be ready to split off from the Big East.
Got your own theories? Hit the comments section below!