Big East Conference Needs To Find Some Stability

"We've been partners with ESPN since we were both born," he said. "We like them. They like us."

Check back on Nov. 1. The basketball and football deals are to be negotiated separately and Carparelli said a hybrid deal could be struck with more than one network.

"We're in the process of strategizing on that," said Carparelli, who would not confirm if he is one of the remaining candidates for commissioner. "I think you're seeing multiple networks being a much greater option now than ever. We can't really focus on that until we have our discussion with ESPN."

And leveraging a great basketball heritage to sell football?

"That might be a good idea," he said.

The Big East remains the only one of the six BCS conferences not to have an agreement for a bowl for its conference champion. Carparelli said that the Orange Bowl, which signed a 12-year deal with the ACC, is in the mix of discussions along with some other high-profile bowls. He said the idea of the Big East starting its own bowl is also being explored.

ESPN reported that the Big East is seriously considering a "zipper concept" to divisions, where natural rivals are split, but Carparelli said no decisions have been made. Being in all four time zones, being able to play any time in the day, he said, is the No. 1 emphasis for selling the league. There has been talk that NBC Sports would be hot for a Saturday night game.

"I think you'll see us doing a lot of different and unique things in the future," Carparelli said. "We've always been different and we've made it work."

I'd like to see the "grants of rights" work. The Big Ten has had this arrangement for nearly a quarter of a century.

"It's a chicken-and-egg thing," Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany told The New York Times. "You do it not to become stable, but you do it because you are stable."

I'd argue that the time is now to become stable for five years. If it works, go longer term like the Big Ten. If not? Punt. There's nothing else better out there at the moment for the Big East teams. Why not commit? See how it goes.

"Change can be a little uncomfortable sometimes," said coach Steve Adazzio, who is bringing Temple back into the Big East fold this season. "But change can bring great things."

Or at least something as good as the ACC.