Here we grow again - Big East gets bigger
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
It didn't take long for the Big East to react to Rutgers' departure for the Big 10.
Tuesday, Tulane University announces it will join the Big East Conference as an all-sport member, beginning in 2014...effectively replacing Rutgers in the league line-up. Additionally, East Carolina University is expected to join the Big East as a football-only member - also in 2014.
The moves come as the conference attempts to recover from losing Rutgers, which announced last week that it will join the Big 10. The additions give the Big East even more of a "Conference USA" presence, as the league will feature former C-USA teams USF, Louisville, Cincinnati, Central Florida, Houston, Memphis and SMU. In fact, when the shuffling ends (perhaps) nine former C-USA schools will have a new home in the Big East; two schools from the Mountain West (Boise State, San Diego State) and one from the MAC (Temple) will round it out.
The addition of Tulane, along with East Carolina will give the Big East 13 football members in 2014, provided there are no further moves - UConn, Louisville, South Florida, Cincinnati, Tulane, Temple, Boise State, San Diego State, UCF, SMU, Memphis, Houston and ECU. Navy is scheduled to join the Big East as a 14th member for football in 2015.
The Big East is currently negotiating a new television contract and stressing its national reach and presence in large markets. In effect, the league has traded Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Morgantown, WV and Piscataway, NJ (departing schools Syracuse, Pitt, WVU and Rutgers) for Dallas (SMU), Orlando (UCF), Houston (University of Houston) and New Orleans (Tulane).
As for the basketball picture, assuming Rutgers does remain through the 2013-14 school year, there could be as many as 19 schools in the (very) Big East Conference for next year.