From the Providence mafia:
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The BIG EAST Conference formally announced the addition of five prestigious universities to its ranks today, bringing its football membership to 10 and securing a strong core group of FBS schools as it expands into two divisions and works toward its goal of staging an annual conference football championship game.
The University of Central Florida, University of Houston and Southern Methodist University have accepted full membership into the BIG EAST while Boise State University and San Diego State University will compete as members in the sport of football. The BIG EAST Conference Board of Directors, by a unanimous vote of its Presidents, extended the invitations for membership. UCF, Houston and SMU will begin competing in all BIG EAST-sponsored sports in the 2013-14 academic year, while Boise State and San Diego State will start competing in football in the 2013 season.
This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, as the majority of these names have been thrown around for a while. San Diego State came around once BYU decided to continue being an independent.
Nothing says "East" though like California and Idaho. Seriously, someone better sue the Big East for false advertising. What is the conference "East" of? Honolulu? Alaska? The conference is also hyping up the fact that the Big East is the only major conference to have members in four timezones. It's probably because no other conference has a desire to be in four timezones.
Obviously, as Pitt fans, we only care about whether this means we're getting out of this sprawl of a conference sooner. Sorry to disappoint all of you, but John Marinatto plans to have everyone around by 2013 (including Navy and Air Force/Temple), which means 15 football schools and 19 basketball schools. Ridiculousness at it's peak.
For now, let's continue to keep an eye on the West Virginia situation. We all know that if WVU gets out sooner, Pitt and Syracuse can and likely will do the same. Syracuse AD Daryl Gross shares a similar thought with Brett McMurphy of CBSSports.com. Marinatto said during today's teleconference that he has been very involved with getting this move done so he hasn't discussed any early withdrawal with Pitt or Syracuse. Let's see if this finalized move opens discussions. I seriously doubt that Pitt and Syracuse want to sit around for two lame-duck seasons, as Marinatto seemed to indicate in the teleconference.