As we first mentioned three weeks ago, the Big East has formally asked Villanova's football team to join their conference. Of course, such a move would mean Villanova has to jump up a level to the FBS (1-A). PressCoverage.us wrote that it's a no-brainer for the school. However, it's far from a done deal.
Such a move would cost money. Villanova would have to expand its stadium or move to a different venue (PPL Park?). They would also have to fund an additional 22 football scholarships, plus women's sports scholarships to comply with Title IX. Of course, joining the Big East would provide additional football revenue. Currently, the basketball team is the only sports program that is profitable for the school.
And that may be the main reason why Villanova would accept this offer.
I am a Nova grad, and quite honestly, very few people care about football at Villanova (although being a 1-A team would change that). The main reason why Villanova should make this move is to sustain its top-flight basketball program. Schools like Nebraska and Colorado have just shifted to the Big 10 and the Pac-10, respectively. They signify a shift in college sports. In a few years, schools that are not aligned with a power football conference will likely be left in the dust. Meaning Villanova's basketball team could be relegated to mid-major status. A shift to the Big East for the football program, provided the conference survivies, would allow Villanova to remain a national basketball power… and bring the school all of the free publicity and money that goes with it.
There's no reason to think that the football team couldn't grow to be competitive- Villanova holds more team and individual championships than any other school in the Big East.
The decision probably won't come anytime soon, but it would be wise for 'Nova to say "yes."