The Big East has changed its line-up, and this time it seems the changes are going to stick. The new Big East conference will span the country covering four different time zones, spanning the entire United States coast to coast and eventually have a total of 12 teams.
The new teams include: Boise State, SMU, Houston, Central Florida and San Diego State. The update will be effective as of 2013. With the new additions the conference is hopeful to gain a huge television contract thanks to now being host to to an array of football dominating schools.
"The Big East conference is the first truly national college football conference," Commissioner John Marinatto said Wednesday during a teleconference with the university leaders from the five schools. Boise State President Bob Kustra said the announcement was "a significant step forward in the evolution of Boise State University and our football program."
The Big East recently has been part of the spotlight in regards to the exiting of Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia. The new additions is the Big East attempt at rebuilding the conference to be the home for 12 teams.
Not all the teams joining are coming just for the football however. Boise State and San Diego State, which currently play in the Mountain West Conference, will be joining the Big East only for football but Houston, SMU and UCF will be leaving Conference USA and joining the Big East in all sports.
The Big East has also been pursuing Air Force and Navy as football only members but the Air Force has made it a point that they are making no plans to change their conference home. Lt. Gen. Mike Gould, the superintendent of the academy, told The Colorado Springs Gazette that the school will stay in the Mountain West."We're proud members of the Mountain West, and for now we're going to stay there," Gould told the newspaper.
The way the tide falls currently the Big East has only five teams that will remain committed to playing football in the conference beyond the current season. Those teams are Connecticut, Cincinnati, Louisville, Rutgers and USF. One must be scared for the 2012 season right?
For the Big East, which in 1979 was born as a predominately basketball conference with members such as Miami and Virginia Tech, maintaining a strong football league has been difficult. Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College left the Big East for the ACC in 2004 and '05. All of these moves have taken a significant toll on the comfort and stability of the remaining members of the conference.
The most recent add on's to the conference seem to make it all about football and the television markets. Boise State has been one of the most successful programs in the country over the last decade playing mostly in the Western Athletic Conference before joining the MWC this season. With the addition of Boise State, the Big East will likely see quite a bit more TV time, and likley generate a significant increase in revenue.
The five new members are hoping that the move to the Big East will bring increased TV revenue and exposure, along with better access to the Bowl Championship Series and its multimillion-dollar payouts. "This is a game-changer for us," University of Houston President Renu Khator said. Getting to the BCS has been a particular problem for Boise State. For the second straight season, Boise State went 11-1 and ranked among the top teams in the country but was left out of the marquee bowl games.
For the Big East it seems the money making time is about to roll right into their laps. Only time will tell if the change was worth all the head-ache.