Thursday, December 8, 2011
Mountain West members Boise State and San Diego State are moving to the Big East as football-only members. Conference USA members SMU, Houston, and Central Florida. are moving to the Big East in all sports to replace West Virginia, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse. Since the three leaving schools will be held to the 27-month departure period, the Big East would have 13 football teams in 2013 and then would be down to 10 football teams in 2014.
There is no guarantee after the 2013 season that the Big East will continue to have an automatic qualifying bid to the BCS, nor is there a guarantee there will even still be a BCS after the contract expires in 2013. A larger share of television revenue was the other benefit of joining the Big East by the five new members.
I think it is stupid having a conference spread across the entire United States in four different time zones. Think of the travel costs for the institutions and fans. I think it stupid these teams moved to a conference that only has two more years of an automatic BCS qualifier guaranteed. The five new members will only have a shot at the 2013 BCS slot as they will not join until the 2013 football season. I question the long-term stability of this arrangement.
The Big East is still looking at expanding to 12 football members. Names being thrown around are Navy in football only or schools such as Temple, Memphis, or East Carolina in all sports. The Temple and Memphis basketball programs would beef up Big East basketball after the losses of three quality basketball schools.
A Mountain West-Conference USA merger is probably imminent in the future.