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It will be a challenge for Navy to compete regularly against Big East schools with better athletes and lower academic requirements. The fear among some observers is that Navy will have an experience like Army, which joined Conference USA in 1998 and went 9-41 in the league before departing after the 2004 season.

“Are we biting off more than we can chew?” Niumatalolo said. “I don’t know, but our players are excited about it.”

Probably not as excited as Marinatto when he envisions promotional opportunities in the conference’s new markets in Dallas, Houston, Orlando, Fla., and San Diego. As long as another wave of expansion doesn’t lead to four 16-team superconferences in football, the Big East should survive, which seemed unlikely before its radical, aggressive growth spurt.

But Marinatto has to lose the name. C-USA has baggage and might be out of the question, anyway. So I suggest the following: From here on, it’s no longer the Big East conference.

It’s the Coast-to-Coast conference. We can call it the 3C for short.