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TCU, UCF deny contact with Big East

While the Big East officially announced Tuesday that they will be expanding their football schools from eight to 10 at some point in the future, the conference chose, as expected, to not divulge any names that may or may not be under consideration.

Of course, that has not prevented the conjecturing from beginning in earnest.

Two of the schools most heavily involved in the speculation in the 24 hours or so since the announcement have been TCU and UCF, which merely has served as a continuation of the rumors connecting the universities to the conference over the past few months.

As expected, however, both schools have denied any previous contact with the Big East winkwinknudgenudge.

TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte told the Dallas Morning News that he has not been contacted by the conference regarding expansion, although there was no mention of whether other school officials had. As a result of the speculation connecting their school to a potential move, UCF released the following statement this afternoon addressing the talk.

“There has been no contact between UCF and the BIG EAST Conference. We continue to be a proud member of Conference USA.”

Regardless of whether or not there has been any contact between the schools and the conferences -- we find it hard to believe that the Big East would jump headfirst into the expansion pool without first putting out feelers -- it’s reasonable to assume there will be. Both TCU and UCF would bring significant television markets to the table, making them very attractive to a conference looking to start their own fledgling network. Of course, the Horned Frogs would bring along a powerful football résumé at a time when the league desperately needs a signature football school. UCF, on the other hand, has quietly become one of the top schools in Conference USA this season, and have a three-year-old stadium that currently seats 45,000 but is expected to expand to 65,000 within the next ten years.

So, regardless of the current denials, it would seem to be only a matter of when, not if, at least one/both of the schools begin serious negotiations with the Big East.