The Big East is finally done expanding. Took them long enough. Memphis is the newest team to be added in all sports beginning in 2013. Good move for the Big East, much better than San Diego State who only got the invite because they were so desperate to bring in Boise State. But at any rate, this really hurts the MWC and CUSA, so now merger talk is on the table and for good reason.
First, let’s just recap who is going to be where in football. Once all the moves take place, here is how things will shake out:
San Diego State
For those keeping count, that makes 12 for the Big East, meaning two divisions and a conference championship. Presumably those divisions will be all the northeast schools in one and everyone else in the other. So Boise State, San Diego State, SMU, Houston, UCF and South Florida will probably be one league while Navy, Cincinnati, Uconn, Louisville, Memphis and Rutgers will be the other. That’s a decent conference. Their champion should get some respect in the polls and everything.
And if you were counting the other two conferences, you’ll see they have 8 teams each. That makes perfect sense for a merger, a full merger. The reason is Hawaii is only in the MWC for football and not all sports. A 7 team conference is pretty weak. Heck an 8 team conference is pretty weak, and not just in football as we’ve seen. Think about basketball too.
So by merging the two you get a 16 team football conference. That makes two divisions of 8 teams, presumably the conferences as they are now, and a conference championship. You play the 7 teams from your division plus 2 from the other each year. Makes a lot of sense. And in basketball the Big East has more teams than 15 so you know it is totally workable. These conference champions were each going to play each other anyway by an existing agreement, so a full merger of the two schools isn’t a bad idea. Of course Hawaii and East Carolina being in the same conference makes as much sense as Uconn and San Diego State being in the same conference, but that’s the monster the BCS has created.
Now we just have to wait for the Sun Belt to announce their merger with the WAC. Florida Atlantic and Seattle in the same conference…I guess there’s worse though.