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The Empire strikes back staff report from wire dispatches

The New York Post reported on its web site Saturday morning that the Big East is contemplating a major counter-offensive against the Atlantic Coast Conference's raid on its turf by targeting a pair of key ACC schools for membership.

Florida State and Maryland, both considered ACC linchpins, would be targeted, according to the report. And a Conference USA school — perhaps Louisville — might be brought into the mix.

If such an aggressive move by the Big East were successful, reported the paper, it would likely also spawn a new basketball-centric alignment of schools comprised of prominent Big East institutions which do not field Division I-A football teams, supplemented by Marquette and DePaul of C-USA and Xavier of the Atlantic 10.

The scenario, according to the paper, is the most daring of various strategies being considered by the league to fend off the ACC's attempt to lure away Big East members Miami, Boston College and Syracuse.

Copyright 2003  All rights reserved.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

02/23/2007 10:36:26 AM

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