Big East could let Pitt, Syracuse out for '13

While it appears all but guaranteed that Pitt and Syracuse will remain in the Big East for the upcoming season, the door is open for the two schools to leave for the ACC in 2013.

Big East commissioner John Marinatto told the Associated Press he "would not be open to a conversation" with either school about departing in 2012. "But given the strength and speed of our expansion efforts, I think our board might be open to a discussion about 2013."

When Pitt and Syracuse announced they would leave for the ACC back in September, they said they would wait the required 27 months and leave for the 2014 season. But with West Virginia departing early, and new additions set to replenish the Big East for the 2013 season, there is reason to believe in the softened stance Marinatto is taking.

As for the major scheduling concerns for 2012, Marinatto didn't rule out the possibility of an incoming member joining a year early. UCF has reportedly said it is not leaving early, and Boise State president Bob Kustra said last week it was "too late" to join for 2012.

"There are challenges on the table right now," he said. "We've considered all of that. We're looking at various scenarios in order to address that. We have plans in place to deal with each possibility."