The four Division I-A football-playing members of the Big East will meet in Washington today to discuss forming a Big East football conference that includes independents Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Temple and Rutgers.

Representatives from Boston College, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and newly added Miami, all Big East basketball members who play independent football schedules, will continue talks on the subject that began two years ago but recently intensified as conferences across the nation have realigned.

Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese yesterday denied a Philadelphia Daily News report that this meeting would result in a Big East football conference. He did say that a football league involving Big East schools probably would be decided by spring.

"It is another in a series of meetings that will lead us to a decision," he said. "But I haven't met with a school president about it yet. That report is premature. If there is a vote at this meeting, it will be on a concept, but I don't think there will be a vote saying this is what we are going to do and this is who we want to do it with."

In October, the Big East voted to admit Miami as its 10th full member, alleviating the temptation for its three major football members to jump to another league.

"When we took Miami in, the purpose was to hold the league together," said Tranghese. "Syracuse, Pittsburgh and B.C. have felt being an independent in football will soon be a dinosaur. . . . We said ultimately there will have to be a football solution. If we don't eventually have a solution, it means we took in Miami for no reason. We helped them in basketball {the Hurricanes have been independent in basketball} and they helped us in football."

But Tranghese and Georgetown Athletic Director Frank Rienzo, who heads the league's executive committee, said no such cooperative relationship will exist with the next schools invited to join the league.

"I have told everybody that it is football and football only," Tranghese said. "If you come in with the notion that you will want to be invited to play basketball three or four years down the road, then don't come."

Temple Athletic Director Charles Theokas said his school would be very happy to be a Big East football member and remain in the Atlantic 10 in other sports.

"If you are in the I-A football business and are not in a conference three to five years from now, you will have no chance as an independent," Theokas said. "If there is an exception, it might be Notre Dame, and I don't even think they can do it forever. I have no problem with a 10-year commitment, because at least I will know who I am playing for 10 years."

If a league is formed, Pittsburgh Athletic Director Ed Bozik said play probably could begin within two years since many of the eastern independents now play each other.

"In many ways, we have already behaved as a conference with a group of officials and television tie-ins," he said.

A Big East football league eventually could inspire members Villanova and Connecticut, which play I-AA football, to upgrade to I-A.

But Rienzo is skeptical that Georgetown will someday return to I-A from its Division III (nonscholarship) status. "First," he said, "someone would have to tell me where we get the approximately

$5 million a year it takes."