Unpredictable Big East football

If my crystal ball worked better I wouldn't have 6-9 weeks in those dreaded picks. And I might be able to tell you what the endgame was going to be in the Big East. Truth is, right now not even the folks who are charged with finding a viable solution could predict for sure how this reconfiguration stuff will shake out.

The only certainty at this point is that there are more questions/conjecture/confusion than answers.

I mean, are Syracuse and Pittsburgh staying through the 2013 season? Will Connecticut and Rutgers also end up somewhere else? Would the Big 12 target West Virginia, Louisville or TCU, especially if Missouri leaves? Will whatever is left of the conference be strong enough to remain BCS worthy? Will the football schools, at some point, go their own way? And regardless of what happens now, will there be more movement in the not-too-distant future?

A presidential meeting is scheduled for this weekend, where Rev. Peter Donahue of Villanova is expected to reiterate the university's desire to be a part of all this. In April, Villanova was set to vote yes to make the financial commitment and move up from FCS. But at the last moment the conference had the vote tabled, to take more time for due diligence. Many variables have changed since then. That doesn't mean the Wildcats lost their window of opportunity forever. It does, however, mean that everyone's dealing with a different landscape now.

And it fluctuates almost hourly.

It's tougher to make decisions of this magnitude when the ground rules aren't entirely clear. The Big East could add three teams, to get to 10. Or it might opt for five, as a precaution against further defections.

Is there any wannabe that's not a possibility, bona fide or otherwise? Depending upon which scenario you subscribe to, Temple is among them. One well-placed source even gauged its updated chances of getting in as "55-45" for. In this race, though, you learn to hold all tickets until it becomes official. Before Syracuse and Pitt bolted, the smart money had Villanova getting in with two of the service academies. Then the inquiry light began flashing.

For North Broad Street this is a no-brainer, regardless of what shape the new Big East might take on, either now or later. It doesn't matter, because it would still be way better than what the Owls have in the Mid-American Conference, which was a life preserver that's served its purpose of keeping the program going until it could get to a much improved state.

From a Big East perspective, Villanova obviously can't provide that same kind of immediate help. Even if it ramps up the transition process, it'll take at least 2 or 3 years to become somewhat relevant at a higher level. But if you don't think the Wildcats can eventually be competitive, keep in mind they did play Temple even in 2009 and '10 with 25 fewer scholarships, when the Owls were winning a combined 17 times. Just a consideration.

The biggest dilemma for either side of the equation shouldn't be where you want to be in the next year or so. In these times, you really have to project out much longer term.

So, how's your crystal ball doing?

As for me, I'd like to please ask Vanna if I can buy another clue or two.

TRIVIAL PURSUIT:

Hawaii's Bryant Moniz just tied an NCAA record with seven touchdown passes in a half against UC Davis. He now shares it with three others. The first to do it was San Diego State's Dennis Shaw in 1969. The last two played for the same program in the 1990s. Name them. See Answer man.

WELCOME ABOARD:

Nebraska makes its Big 10 debut, at Wisconsin. Think that was by chance, or was Minnesota simply not available? The Cornhuskers, by the way, host Ohio State next.

TOUGH STRETCH:

With apologies to Tennessee, the degree of difficulty quotient is about to ratchet up a notch for Florida and first-year coach Will Muschamp. This week the Gators host third-ranked Alabama before traveling to No. 1 LSU. Then they're at Auburn. How's that for your SEC crossover games?

SMALLS STUFF:

Widener will honor former coach Bill Manlove, who was just inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, and his 1981 Division III national title team this weekend.

ANSWER MAN:

That would be Florida's Terry Dean (1994) and Doug Johnson.

SPOTLIGHT ON . . . RG3:

No it's not something out of any "Star Wars" prequel.

Robert Griffin III is Baylor's fourth-year junior quarterback, who has already thrown for over 7,000 yards and rushed for 1,700 more in his career. And the Bears, who opened with a 50-48 win over TCU, are ranked 15th heading into Saturday's game at fellow Big 12 unbeaten Kansas State, which is coming off that win at Miami.

The Bears haven't won a conference road opener since 1995. It's their first 3-0 start since 2005, when they finished 5-6. They haven't been 4-0 since 1991, which was also the last time they've been this high in the polls (actually No. 8, on Oct. 7 of that year). They beat K-State (47-42) last year, when they got to 7-2 before losing their last four.

They're averaging over 51 per, having scored over 40 in three straight games for the first time.

Griffin, the son of a retired military man, was born in Japan but his hometown is Copperas Cove, Texas. The 6-2, 220-pounder got his degree in political science last December and is now in graduate school. He aspires to be a lawyer.

He has thrown 13 touchdowns and 12 incompletions (70-for-82, 85.4 percent), with a pass efficiency rating of 236.23. The NCAA season record is 186.0, by Hawaii's Colt Brennan in 2006. Griffin's gone 142 passes without an interception, after starting his career with an NCAA-best 209 consecutive pass streak without a pick. In 31 games he's accounted for 54 plays of 30 or more yards, including 30 for scores.

Wouldn't you want to have him on your fantasy team?

MAC ME UP:

-- Toledo freshman Jeremiah Detmer, who'll be in South Philly on Saturday, converted a 52-yard field goal in his first collegiate attempt last week at Syracuse, the second-longest by a Rocket.

-- Bowling Green, supposedly a year away, is a missed extra point at Wyoming from maybe being 4-0 for former Villanova assistant Dave Clawson. And if Boston College is ever looking for another coach, don't be surprised if former Villanova athletic director Gene DiFilippo looks Clawson's way.

COUCH POTATO GUIDE:

TONIGHT

7:30: Texas Southern at Jackson State, ESPNU

8: South Florida at Pittsburgh, ESPN

TOMORROW

8: Utah State at BYU, ESPN

SATURDAY

Noon: Air Force at Navy, Channel 3

Noon: Toledo at Temple, Channel 6

Noon: Texas Tech at Kansas, CSN

Noon: Texas A&M at Arkansas, ESPN

Noon: Northwestern at Illinois, ESPN2

Noon: Tulane at Army, CBS College

Noon: William & Mary at Villanova, TCN

Noon: Penn State at Indiana, ESPNU

Noon: Minnesota at Michigan, Big Ten

12:30: Wake Forest at Boston College, Phila. Nonstop

2:30: Nevada at Boise State, Versus

3:30: Auburn at South Carolina, Channel 3

3:30: Michigan State at Ohio State, Channel 6

3:30: Georgia Tech at North Carolina State, ESPN

3:30: Arizona at USC, CSN

3:30: TCU at SMU, CBS College

3:30: Richmond at James Madison, TCN

3:30: Bethune-Cookman at Miami (Fla.), ESPNU

3:30: Washington State at Colorado, Fox College Sports

6: Clemson at Virginia Tech, ESPN2

7: UMass at Old Dominion, TCN

7: Duke at Fla. International, ESPNU

7: Texas at Iowa State, FX

7:30: Washington at Utah, joined in progress, CSN

8: Alabama at Florida, Channel 3

8: Nebraska at Wisconsin, Channel 6

8: Notre Dame at Purdue, ESPN

8: North Carolina at East Carolina, CBS College

9:15: Mississippi at Fresno State, ESPN2

10:30: Oregon State at Arizona State, Fox College Sports

11: UCLA at Stanford, joined in progress, CSN