Are you ready for a Big East West?
Chicago - The new Big East will have a West Division, and Temple, located in Philadelphia, will be part of it.
The conference revealed its divisional alignment Tuesday for the 2013 football season, when it becomes a 12-team league. The announcement came after the Big East presidents approved the plan at a meeting in Chicago.
The East will have Central Florida, South Florida, UConn, Louisville, Cincinnati and Rutgers. The West will have Boise State, Houston, Memphis, San Diego State, SMU and Temple.
Navy will join the Big East for football only in 2015, and the conference plans to add another football member to reach 14.
"Despite the fact that Temple will be in the West Division during the 2013 and 2014 football seasons, we will have every opportunity to play institutions from the East Division and be eligible for the first Big East championship game," Temple athletic director Bill Bradshaw said in a statement.
"Beginning with the 2015 football season, there will be two seven-team divisions with the addition of Navy and another football school (to be announced later) with every indication that division alignment will be reconstructed."
Commissioner Mike Aresco indicated that division alignment would likely be revisited after 2014.
"This new alignment gives the conference and its fans the best of both worlds - national exposure that is a result of the Big East being in six of the top 10 U.S. media markets - with a schedule that focuses on spirited regional rivalries," Aresco said.
The Big East championship game will be played at the home field of one of the participating teams.
"This unique combination of nationwide scope and regional flavor reflects our commitment to innovation in response to the changing landscape in college football, while honoring a tradition of success on the field and in the classroom," Aresco said. "Combined with the extension through 2026 of our historic relationship with Madison Square Garden for the Big East basketball championship, the new Big East football championship game will provide two signature events of national significance in college sports."
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The University of Connecticut Board of Trustees, as expected, voted Wednesday to accept an invitation to return its athletic programs to the Big East Conference.
UConn football is on the road to independence and the American Athletic Conference is not feeling any pressure to replace the Huskies when they leave for the Big East.