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Big East Conference Is Getting Bigger

Big East Basketball Tournament
Michael Heiman, Getty Images

Let’s be honest: 2011 has been a year of turmoil for the Big East. We have seen Syracuse and Pittsburgh announce their eventual departure for the ACC, as well as West Virginia trying to fight its way into the Big 12 Conference before the end of the 27-month transfer period. But today, news has broken about the Big East Conference suddenly having an apparent light at the end of the tunnel.

According to numerous sources, including Andrea Adelson from ESPN.com, the Big East Conference will be adding five new members as soon as Wednesday. After months of rumors swirling, there will be two schools joining for only football, while three others will join in all sports.

Boise State and San Diego State will reportedly leave the Mountain West Conference to join as football-only members, while Conference USA members Houston, SMU and Central Florida will join in all sports. All five of these schools joining the Big East would take effect in the 2013-14 academic year.

It is very clear that this desperation move is an attempt to not only have the Big East remain as a relatively viable FBS conference, but also to hold onto its automatic bid for the BCS bowl games. After factoring out Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia, the addition of these new schools will bring Big East Conference membership back up to 10 in football.

Meanwhile, an additional rumor is starting to circulate that Navy (currently an Independent in football) is looking to join the Big East as a football-only member as well. Despite this satisfying piece of news, the question still remains – can the Big East Conference survive in the long term? I guess only time will tell.

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