UCF still waiting on Big East

Big East expansion plans are on hold, which means more waiting for schools like UCF.

Of course, that is nothing new. UCF has been waiting for years for its opportunity to join an automatic-qualifying conference. But the prevailing thought was once a decision was made on whether Villanova would become a Big East member, UCF would get more clarity on its future.

The news earlier this week that no decision is imminent meant no clarity. UCF athletics director Keith Tribble told The Orlando Sentinel for Wednesday editions, "We're sitting on the sideline trying to monitor the situation."

UCF and Houston are thought to be among the top potential candidates to join the Big East. Memphis and East Carolina have also been mentioned, but the Knights appear to be in the best position of the Conference USA schools that could become members. They add another school in recruiting rich Florida, have a natural rivalry with USF and just missed out on joining the league during the last major wave of expansion. Their upgraded, expanded facilities and recent success also adds to their résumé.

There appears to be a struggle in the Big East among the basketball powers and football powers. Adding Villanova to the football mix never seemed to make much sense because that would do nothing to enhance its reputation. And the Big East needs all the help it can get in that department, beyond adding TCU for 2012. Featuring a school that has a small fan base and would be playing in an off-campus soccer stadium clearly started giving some of the Big East presidents second thoughts.

So until a decision is made, the waiting game continues.