Source: BYU serious about Big East

BYU is seriously considering joining the Big East Conference as a football member, a Big East source told ESPN's Joe Schad on Tuesday night.

Houston, UCF and SMU are ready to join the Big East. But Air Force and Boise State are interested in hearing more about how the western component of the conference would be composed, the source said.

A person with knowledge of the conference's expansion plans told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Big East officials have been in discussion with the school to become part of a newly configured 12-team football conference.

Big East commissioner John Marinatto has been given permission from the conference's member presidents to invite new members, as the league attempts to rebound from losing Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the ACC and TCU and West Virginia to the Big 12.

Sources have said the league is interested in adding Houston, UCF and SMU of Conference USA as members in all sports, along with Air Force and Boise State of the Mountain West as members for football.

Earlier this month, BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said the Cougars, a football independent, have had discussions with the Big East about joining the league.

"With the landscape changing, the main benefit I can see on a short-term scale would be inclusion to the BCS system," Mendenhall said. "That is up in two years, and whether the Big East can hold that spot with the new teams going in, my guess would be yes. I can't speak as to what we are going to do other than just to verify we have been approached."

ESPN college football reporter Joe Schad and ESPN.com college football writer Andrea Adelson contributed to this report. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.