EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — New Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco confirmed Thursday that the conference wants to add a 14th member for football, and is planning to have a championship game after next season.
Aresco spoke with reporters Thursday night before Connecticut's football game with Massachusetts.
"We're looking at a 14th," he said. "I'm not talking about which ones. There are some obvious candidates, but we're not talking about raiding anyone and there are some independents that might potentially want to be a member."
Aresco also said he's confident the teams currently committed to the Big East, including Connecticut, will stay.
The Big East lost West Virginia to the Big 12, and will lose Syracuse and Pitt to the ACC next season. Connecticut last year expressed an interest in joining the ACC, but has been working with the Big East on its expansion.
"I think they'll stay," Aresco said, "and I think they'll want to stay because I think we'll work hard to keep them here."
The revamped football conference will span four time zones, with Boise State and San Diego State joining for football only, and Central Florida, Memphis, Houston and SMU coming on board for all sports. Navy is set to join for football only in 2015.