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The Big East’s situation is tricky because of seven nonfootball members _ such as Georgetown and Villanova _ that help make it one of the nation’s strongest basketball conferences. The basketball schools and football schools often have different agendas. But losing Pitt and Syracuse would be a huge blow to Big East basketball as well as football.

The other football-playing members of the Big East are Rutgers, Connecticut, Louisville, South Florida and Cincinnati.

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AP College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo in Tallahassee, Fla., AP Sports Writers Luke Meredith in Iowa City, Iowa; Jaime Aron in Fort Worth, Texas; Joedy McCreary in Raleigh, N.C.; Hank Kurz in Blacksburg, Va.; Beth Rucker in Lexington, Ky., and Greg Beacham in Pasadena, Calif., contributed to this report.