The Big East Heads West With Invites to Boise State and San Diego State

The conference is adding five new teams and hopes to become a 12-member football group by 2013.

Posted: 12/07/2011 03:47 PM EST

The Big East is doing what it can to remain relevant — even if that means heading to the wild west to find new members.
The fledgling league will announce that Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, SMU and Central Florida will be joining the conference in 2013, according to and the Associated Press. The Big East, decimated in recent months by the losses of power members Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia, has seemed in jeopardy of losing its automatic BCS qualifier standing. And speculation worsened when TCU decided to decline an invitation for membership this fall, which left the Big East with just five football-playing schools committed.
But now it hopes to maintain its place as one of the six major conferences by becoming a 12-member league with a western division.
According to reports, Boise State and San Diego State, both currently members of the Mountain West, will join the Big East as football-only members. SMU, Houston and UCF are exiting Conference USA to become full conference members.
The Big East is believed to still be pursuing Air Force and Navy, which would give the league 12 football-playing members.
Contact Terrance Harris at or follow him on Twitter @Terranceharris.


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