The Big East commissioner’s plan to ask Navy football to join the conference earlier than the planned 2015 entry date caught many observers by surprise.
Including the academy’s athletic director.
Chet Gladchuk told The (Annapolis, Md.) Capital that the academy has pointed all its planning toward a 2015 Big East entry — from scheduling to TV deals to a stadium renovation. There’s too much set in motion to change now, Gladchuk told the paper, and Commissioner Mike Aresco’s decision to announce the proposal to the public before telling Annapolis officials means it shouldn’t be taken seriously. Key quote: “I don’t put any credibility in it.”
If the Big East was serious, it’s certainly possible to begin conference play in a small stadium and buy out any existing television contracts. But a look at Navy’s future schedules — thanks to our good friends at FBSchedules.com — shows what Gladchuk’s talking about. The 2014 slate is already full, including a season-opening game at Ohio State and a locked-in Nov. 1 date against Notre Dame that probably would conflict with any new league schedule. Navy’s 2015 dance card, on the other hand, is wide open. Even the away game at Hawaii on Nov. 28, likely after any league schedule was over, doesn’t count against the total number of games available thanks to the so-called “Hawaii exemption,” which allows teams flying over the Pacific to play an extra game as a way to recoup travel costs.
Navy made several scheduling moves to clear that schedule for Big East play. Clearing 2014 this late in the process would take a mix of luck and cash the Navy and the league aren’t likely to part with.