Big East Adds Five Schools

The Big East football conference plans to add Boise State, Houston, SMU, San Diego State and Central Florida in 2013 hoping to keep up with other expanding BCS conferences.

There has been plenty of shuffling going on in college football in 2011. The Big 12 is swapping teams with the SEC. The Pac-12 (formerly the Pac-10) is steadily expanding and the Big Ten welcomed Nebraska from the Big 12 this year. However, the Big East seemed to lag as other BCS conferences expanded. Currently, three teams are making moves to leave the conference. Pittsburgh and Syracuse are leaving for the ACC and West Virginia will join the Big 12, leaving the conference depleted.

The Big East also lost Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College to the ACC in 2004, making it weaker ever since.

In a move to keep up with the rapidly changing structure of college football, the Big East will invite Boise State, Houston, SMU, San Diego State and Central Florida in 2013, according to reports. TCU was also supposed to join the Big East, but changed their minds to go to the Big 12. According to sources, the Big East also wants to invite Navy and Air Force to join.

The Big East plans to hold Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia to the minimum 27-month exit requirement, according to the New York Times. This will force the schools to stay in the conference until 2014. West Virginia has filed a lawsuit, which is currently underway, against the Big East to leave immediately. Syracuse and Pittsburgh have taken no legal action at this point.

San Diego State and Boise State will join the conference as football only members and SMU, Houston and Central Florida will join in all sports, according to the Boston Globe. Houston, SMU and Central Florida were members of Conference USA and San Diego State and Boise State will be coming from the Mountain West. Boise State and Houston has enjoyed huge success lately, both finishing 11-1 in 2012. However they were left out of BCS bowl games because they played in smaller, non-qualifying conferences.

Boise State has finished the last five seasons with at least ten wins, including undefeated seasons in 2006 and 2009, but was often left out of the BCS picture because of their weak conference and weak schedule. They began to make noise when they played in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl and upset Oklahoma, a consistent powerhouse in college football. Joining the Big East will solidify them as contenders for BCS bowls every year, as well as a national title bid.

The Big East is an automatic qualifying conference. Meaning the winner of the conference will get an automatic bid to play in a BCS bowl. There are four BCS bowls and the BCS national championship. They are the Orange Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl, the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl. West Virginia, who won the Big East this year with a 9-3 record, will face Clemson in the Orange Bowl. The other automatic-qualifying (BCS) conferences are the Big Ten, The Big 12, the Pac-12, the SEC and the ACC.