The Big East has officially announced that Boise State, Houston, San Diego State, SMU and UCF will join the conference in 2013.
The addition of these five schools gives the Big East a total of ten football schools. Boise State and San Diego State will be football-only members, while Houston, SMU and UCF will join in all sports.
Although no specifics have been offered yet, the Big East will split into Eastern and Western Divisions. The conference also desires to stage a football championship game. Currently, NCAA rules stipulate that conferences need 12 schools for a championship game, but the Big East can petition to allow 10.
From the Big East release:
“Over the last 32 years, the BIG EAST Conference has constantly evolved along with the landscape of college athletics,” said BIG EAST Commissioner John Marinatto. “The inclusion of these five great Universities, which bring a unique blend of premier academics, top markets, strong athletics brands and outstanding competitive quality, marks the beginning of a new chapter in that evolution. We are proud to welcome these schools to the BIG EAST family.
“Much like the conference as a whole, the BIG EAST name — though derived 32 years ago based on the geography of our founding members — has evolved into a highly respected brand that transcends borders, boundaries or regions. It’s national. Our membership makeup is now reflective of that.”
“Over its history, the BIG EAST has changed and adapted as needed to maintain its place and leadership in the world of college athletics. And it has always done so with great respect and reverence for its heritage and legacy,” said Judy Genshaft, University of South Florida President and Chair of the Conference Board of Directors. “And so it is today. Boise State, Houston, San Diego State, SMU and UCF are all fine schools that will enhance every aspect of the BIG EAST.”