Big East Expansion Official

Submitted by justingoblue on December 7th, 2011 at 6:54 PM

The Big East announced today that Boise State, Houston, Central Florida, San Diego State and SMU are joining the conference in 2013. Navy and Air Force are also expected to join in 2014 or 2015, according to ESPN. Boise is football only with other sports back in the WAC, SDSU is putting its other sports in the Big West, and the other three are all-in for the Big East.

"The Big East conference is the first truly national college football conference" 
- John Marinatto, BE Commissioner




December 7th, 2011 at 7:04 PM ^

The Big East should just scrub the name and go with the 'Manifest Destiny' conference or something.
<br>And hopefully now we can stop hearing about Boise complaining all the time, they'll be an AQ every season.


December 7th, 2011 at 7:10 PM ^

Split the Big least into two conferences.  One for football membership and one for basketball schools.  That to me is the best solution.


December 7th, 2011 at 8:02 PM ^

I think this is what will end up happening. I'd like to see a conference of Nova, G-Town, Seton Hall, Providence, St. Johns, Marquette, DePaul, and maybe a couple of the best A-10 teams. It would be in their best interest to get away from the mess that expansion has left them with.

Mr. Yost

December 7th, 2011 at 8:20 PM ^

I work at one of the school that benefits from this...and even though I can't wait to see UConn basketball and Notre Dame everything (except football). It's just dumb.


Break football away and basketball can replace those schools with Butler, Valpo, Dayton, Temple and other A10 schools.


The schools like L'Ville, Rutgers, UConn, Cincy, USF, UCF, SMU, Houston and whoever else I'm missing can add Memphis, ECU, UMass and Tulsa. Boise and SDSU can be football only schools. Rick Pitino and Geno Aure-I don't even wanna try to spell his name...they're heads can explode and we can all laugh.


December 8th, 2011 at 2:01 AM ^

Basketball schools give the football schools a premier home for non-revenue sports. Rutgers Lacrosse needs a home too, as does USF swimming, etc. Additionally, the football and basketball schools help each other for TV deals by packaging their products together. More money for all.

If UConn were to leave though, it would remove the last football school that's a real basketball brand. The money may no longer make sense for the football schools.

Likewise, if the football league lost its BCS auto-bid, the resulting loss in revenue and TV value may cause the conference to drop football. This would allow them to keep a brand like UConn, but also give the football schools flexibility to do...whatever they needed to do with football. Probably make a football only conference with a different name. Or join the Mount-USA Union.

As of right now the Big East's strange nature does make a bit of sense. But it's still very unstable, and a few major pieces (BCS, UConn) can change the game completely.


December 7th, 2011 at 7:17 PM ^

I just can't see this working.  Not only is traveling absolutely going to kill them but the matchups and schools aren't going to pull in much money in the end anyways.  Nobody wants to watch Houston vs. Boise State unless the teams are both top 10 teams (or at least one).  This will fail and is more of a temporary fix if anything.


December 7th, 2011 at 8:18 PM ^

Big East football was a reaction to Penn State's joining the Big Ten - and for a while it gave the best eastern independents a secure home with a BCS bid. But it was unsteady from the start, and as its power continues to wane, the Big East seems to be stacking more and more jenga blocks on a crumbling foundation. But if it doesn't last long - how does it end?

I honestly don't know that it does. Travel costs are high, but when we're only talking about football, the money that they bring in will cover it. Houston and SMU for all sports won't kill the AD budgets, and if they do they'll cut non-revenue men's sports to compensate. But Big East football will survive.

And really, which of these teams is capable of escaping? UConn, maybe. Rutgers finally looked to have turned a corner five years ago - and then fell into a sort of Illinois-like mediocrity - except in the Big East instead of the Big Ten. They're certainly not as terrible as they once were, but I think everyone expects more from a program that sits in a populous region that they do. I wonder if the Big East would have lost 'Cuse and Pitt if Rutgers had made themselves into the national brand ESPN had wanted them to be 5 years ago. Louisville is the only other school that looks somewhat attractive.

But none of those schools are really movers and shakers - they're stuck in the Big East until Notre Dame moves and they can grab their coattails. (Yes UConn is a great basketball school, but this is all about football.) And Notre Dame isn't moving unless something drastic happens - and now that the Big 12 looks somewhat stable, it's doubtful anything major happens in the big 5 conferences.

And even if some major shakeup does happen - it may make sense for the Big East to keep limping along, and keep absorbing the best mid-majors as "football only" if they're too far out there, or as full-sport members the closer they are to the basketball schools.

And in a way, isn't it good for the powers that be to have a league of the best mid-majors with a BCS birth? It kinda takes the wind out of the "Death to the BCS" sails when most decent teams play for an auto-bid. Rather than reform, the BCS just pitched a slightly larger tent.


December 7th, 2011 at 11:12 PM ^

You make some pretty good points.  I haven't thought of it this way yet, but I might agree that this situation (and continuing "situations", being conference realignments and bringing the mid-majors to  the "major level") may help cement the BCS as the de-facto NCAA Football post-season for some time.

I also don't view these distances between conference cities as being a huge deal (again, especially dealing with football $$ making).  As someone else noted, I also can't blame schools/teams like Boise St. and Houston for doing what their doing either.


December 7th, 2011 at 8:20 PM ^

Considering all the fantastic bowl sponsorships that we have now... when will we have a conference sponsorship? For example, the Big East could become the United Airlines Conference or the Big East Conference Transported by Delta to save on travel expenses.

Serious question: will all of this realignment eventually slow down or will this be a continuous thing from now on? That could get old fast.

Maximinus Thrax

December 7th, 2011 at 10:01 PM ^

No.  This is a miracle.  A miracle of life.  We are witnessing the birth of a mid-major conference, accumulating  the prodigious detritus of several mid majors, and housed in the decaying husk of a former major conference.  A wonder of the galaxy.


The most annoying part though is that BSU is really going to think that they are king shit now that they can say they kicked ass in a bona fide BCS conference.  That is unless Chris Petersen bolts for a bigger gig...