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Big East Expansion: Is It Over Yet?

The Bunk Isn't Happy

I am sure you have all heard the news by now: The Big East is taking over the country by adding Central Florida, Southern Methodist, and Houston in all sports, and Boise State and San Diego State as football-only members. It is also likely that Navy and possible that Air Force join the conference. Here is what I think:


  • It adds big TV markets, bigger than if the Big East had just concentrated on basketball-only schools (not that that was ever an option)
  • It is a big enough move to protect from future raids - mainly if the ACC goes after Connecticut and/or Rutgers
  • The Big East actually ends up being a better football conference than it was before
  • Orlando and Houston are much better destinations than Syracuse and Pittsburgh
  • It helps Georgetown recruiting
  • I get to hear stupid people mock the name "Big East" as if any of the other moves made by conferences accounted for their conference brands
(More After the Jump)


  • Big East basketball suffers, a lot, and I don't give a damn about football
  • The destruction of the college athletics landscape sucks
  • Syracuse becomes Boston College: irrelevant
  • We don't schedule Syracuse again
  • Temple joins instead of Air Force
  • We have annual home/home series with Villanova, St. John's and Marquette
  • The new Big East contract goes to Comcast/NBC Sports. ESPN sucks and I hope all of its backroom engineering leads to its downfall
Here are thoughts from others:

Big East might survive but never again thrive - NCAA Basketball - Sporting News
Forced into a desperate situation, the Big East has chosen to respond desperately, according to CBS Sports. On Tuesday, the website reported the league would expand to include San Diego State and Boise State in football and Central Florida, Houston and SMU in all sports. There’s nothing wrong with adding new football members. The Big East’s football brand never has been on par with the entertainment value of its competition. The Big East championship race came down to the final day and concluded with three teams tied for the title. Matt Hayes told you who was going to win the SEC back in June.

Big East basketball will never be the same | Beyond the Arc
That makes half the league either in rebuilding mode (DePaul, Providence, Seton Hall, Houston) or building mode (Rutgers, South Florida) or irrelevance (SMU, UCF). Sure, the league’ll stick around – how can it not when UConn, Georgetown, Villanova, Louisville, and Marquette, among others? – but it’ll never be the same glorious conference it once was.

Big East hoops forever changed for the worse -
It's incredibly stupid. Again, look at this and tell me it makes sense. Of course it doesn't. And naturally I'm annoyed as hell by it. The country's best basketball league has been bastardized, and it's had an active hand in doing so. Essentially, the Big East has just swapped out Jim Boeheim for Donnie Jones. Bob Huggins for Matt Doherty. Jamie Dixon for James Dickey! No slight on the men of Conference USA, but that's a serious, serious downgrade in coach and program.

Realignment opens up recruiting in Big East -
The new moves will certainly alter the recruiting landscape in the Big East. Current conference schools now have new avenues of recruitment, while the new ones can now include the Big East as part of the pitch. It’s tough to find a bright side for the Big East in realignment, but recruiting could be the one.

Boise State football to join Big East on Wednesday, according to reports - One Bronco Nation Under God
I appreciate that the Broncos are making every effort to move the program forward and to keep growing into one of the best football schools around. The Big East will help, no matter what shape it's in when the Broncos get there. Sure, I worry about the Big East retaining its AQ bid and scoring a big TV contract. But in a college football world where you have to keep moving to survive, I'd rather see Boise State take a leap than stand still.

Source: Big East adding Boise State, four others in 2013 - NCAA Football -
"I think what John Marinatto just did, he should get a substantial raise for what he just accomplished," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. "Getting Boise State. Getting Houston, SMU. I think that is as good of a job for a commissioner with his back against the wall as I've seen since I've been in athletics. The teams you lost aren't as good in football as the teams you're bringing in."

Person with knowledge of league to AP: Big East adding Boise, San Diego St, Houston, SMU, UCF - The Washington Post
"The Big East has been the No. 1 conference in all of basketball, obviously, by the amount of bids," Pitino said. "Now, have you made basketball stronger? No. You’re not replacing Syracuse and Pittsburgh, so my hope is that they’ll go out there and get a Temple or a Memphis to keep basketball strong."

Boise State, 4 others to join Big East in 2013 -
Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, SMU and UCF will join the Big East Conference in 2013, sources told Boise State and San Diego State will join the Big East as football-only members, while Houston, SMU and UCF will join as all-sport members. With those five schools on board, Navy is expected to join as a football-only member - possibly as soon as next week - to boost the football membership to 11 schools. The Big East hopes to add Air Force as its 12th football school - as a football-only member - but the Falcons still remain undecided. If the Big East can not get Air Force, Temple would be a likely candidate to become the Big East's 12th member.

Navy won't be joining Big East, at least for 2014 | College Football | Idaho Statesman
As the league appears set to announce its plans Wednesday to add five schools, Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk said Tuesday night that "there were too many obstacles" to overcome for the Midshipmen to join for football only as early as 2014. Among the roadblocks, Gladchuk said, were Navy's bowl tie-ins through 2016, an existing television deal with CBS Sports that runs through the 2018 season and its game contracts with a number of schools going for several years, including one with Notre Dame though 2026.

Big East adds Boise State, Houston, UCF, SMU, San Diego State - The Early Lead - The Washington Post
Sources told that, even with the new schools, the Big East will still try to make West Virginia, Syracuse and Pittsburgh honor the conference’s 27-month exit requirement and remain until June 30, 2014. John Marinatto, commissioner of the Big East, has said that the conference have more than 12 football members and 16 basketball members during the 2013 season. West Virginia and the Big East are hashing this out in court; other schools are monitoring the situation

Big East set to announce Boise State and San Diego State joining conference as football-only members - NY Daily News
The addition of the first five schools is expected to boost the Big East's chances of retaining its automatic BCS automatic qualifying status following the 2013 season although there is a growing movement to away with AQ conferences altogether in the new contract. At the current time, the league still does not have a TV deal after the 2012 season.