Memphis joins Big East, expected to be in Boise State's division

By Brian Murphy
bmurphy@idahostatesman.com

The Big East is getting bigger — again.

Boise State's new football conference announced the addition of Memphis as an all-sports member on Wednesday afternoon. With Memphis, the Big East will have 12 football-playing members beginning in 2015 when Navy joins.

Memphis will join on July 1, 2013, the same date that Boise State is scheduled to become a member.

Big East Commissioner John Marinatto said the league does not plan to have a conference title game until 2015 when Navy joins. He also said the league does not plan to add additional football-playing members, unless something changes with the membership.

"It was our goal to get to 12 football-playing members. We're pleased we have fulfilled our primary objective," Marinatto said.

Marinatto would not answer a question about a new member potentially joining in 2012 to offset the potential loss of West Virginia to the Big 12. Boise State President Bob Kustra said it is likely "too late" for the Broncos to join the Big East in 2012.

"The question is related to the impending litigation that we're involved in," said Marinatto, who added that part of the appeal of adding Memphis over other schools was its ability to play in the west division.

CBSSports.com is reporting that West Virginia and the Big East are nearing a $20 million settlement and that West Virginia is trying to convince one of the future members to join the Big East in 2012.

Marinatto said he has high hopes for Memphis' dismal football program. "We fully expect Tiger football to return to form that went to five bowl games" in the early 2000s, Marinatto said.

The Big East said its television reach will be more than 31 million homes — or nearly 28 percent of all U.S. households — when it adds its new members.

In 2015, the Big East football membership will consist of Boise State, Central Florida, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Houston, Louisville, Memphis, Navy, Rutgers, San Diego State, SMU and South Florida.

In 2015, the Big East basketball membership will include Central Florida, Cincinnati, Connecticut, DePaul, Georgetown, Houston, Louisville, Marquette, Memphis, Notre Dame, Providence, Rutgers, St. John’s, Seton Hall, SMU, South Florida and Villanova.

Report: Conference USA to discuss merger with Mountain West this week

The long-discussed Conference USA-Mountain West merger could be moving forward this week,
ESPN.com reports.. The Conference USA Board of Directors will discuss the merger this week.

Akey on Boise State's Big East move

I spoke with Idaho football coach Robb Akey last week for a story on the Vandals' fortunes. (You can read my column here.)

But one of the things Akey talked about what conference realignment and here's what he had to say about Boise State's move to the Big East.

"Boise had to go to the Big East. There’s no way they couldn’t do that. They’ve been trying so hard and saying so many things. They finally got a chance to be in what is a qualifying conference, they had to take that," Akey said. "But for the Big East to go all the way to San Diego, it’s pretty bizarre."

Better visibility = better recruits and more $$

"The Big East said its television reach will be more than 31 million homes — or nearly 28 percent of all U.S. households — when it adds its new members". This is compared to how many homes in the mtn/cbssports/versus? 31 million, that is a huge number, BSU didn't get that in the WAC even with ESPN pampering them. Can anyone who thought this was a bad move still think that? I mean, seriously, how can better coverage, nationwide exposure, more money and better conference affiliation not be a good move for BSU. I've heard people say, the Big East will lose AQ status. Have you been living in a cave for the last few months? 2015 will bring some sort of a playoff system and so it doesn't matter who had AQ status before because it won't be around to matter by then.

But it's stupid CABLE.

Don't even bother to argue with me! I'm not paying $50 for anything without four wheels, calories or magnetic tape inside.

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VOICES is the only realy part of the Statesman LEFT. Guess McClatchy has finally killed the paper.

Oh Wow

You never cease to entertain me. Your words make me actually work to understand what exactly you are trying to say. Sometimes I just give up, and chalk it up as one of those things that make me go "Hm".

You automatically assumed I would?

WOW! By the way, what channel is it?

The

Timberwolves are crying grey and it's snowing. Purple shadows delight. Then again, most would agree.

What costs $50 and has magnetic tape inside?

Anything with tape inside is outdated.
I think you're getting screwed. |:

I still think adding

I still think adding Fresno,BYU or AFA would have been a better choice, still need a western div. of the BE for all our Oly. sports.

The only problem. . .

The only problem is that they tried two out of the three: AFA and BYU. AFA is content in a conference they helped create (unlike two others). BYU, on the other hand, is too stuck on themselves to see past their own back ends. Fresno wouldn't be a bad choice, seeing as BSU is now going to need warmup games. Joking aside, I think the Fresno market would be a huge boost. Maybe they think that the San Diego market is good enough. Is it? How should I know, nor would I even know where to look.

Football expansion

When will the Big Sky conference the addition of the Idaho Vandulls?

I'm impressed.

What a mastery of our language RickC1 possesses.

I think

Rick just left out the word "consider". Funny, how if you omit a key word it makes you look like Weisberg.

The Big East of San Francisco

It is too bad there are no more Drive-by games to go to unless Boise State schedules OOC Northwest games with Washington, Oregon, Stanford and California, Berkley.

Otherwise save you Frequent Flyer Points:

City/State Air Miles
Memphis, Tn 1514
Houston ,TX 1287
San Diego,Ca 915
Annapolis, MD 2016
Dallas,TX SMU 1271
Cincinnati, OH 1449

Fie on Bronco Nation

It's all about the money, not the fans.

Yes, the fans were

perfectly happy with Utah State, Idaho, New Mexico St. et al.......

Already forgot about

the 12 year deal with BYU?

Home games

I hear they're going to play a couple of games at Bronco Stadium.

Memphis is a

cupcake with a frosting of sweet dollars. Bring on that new TV contract! This commisioner Marinatto is looking better all the time, seems to be thinking like a Tony Soprano type of guy.

Akey....jealous much?

Akey is like a jealous ex-botfriend

jealous of what?

sounds to me like he was asked a question and he gave it a little bit of thought and tossed out an answer to a question that probably shouldn't have been asked to him to begin with. To me, he was pretty much spot on, in that we have been trying so hard and saying so many things about being BCS worthy. Would you disagree?

I agree, TBK

Akey's response sounded like he felt the Boise State move was a no-brainer, but San Diego State was kinda silly. He seems to acknowledge that Boise State is taking the next logical move, since they can't do anything more in their current situation. They've accomplished about all they can in a non-AQ status, and the next step is to join an AQ conference. Since the Big East is the only one to come calling, Akey understands completely the position Boise State is taking.

I don't think he's jealous, but rather respectful. Akey's a good guy.

I too agree

Akey has always been a straight shooter (with a sense of humor). His comments were spot on for a coach from a state of Idaho University.

I have always supported Akey and I will continue to do so

More lipstick on the Big Least pig

Louisville and UConn will be headed elsewhere in the next year or so - this conference will be a non-AQ in two years and even then there may be no BCS - then what? More cupcakes and whining for sure. Back to the WAC for everything else - about the right level for Cupcake State sports and academic powerhouse! Wrestling anyone?

the big east is becoming a much stronger conference

The loss of Pitt/Syracuse, and West Va coupled with the new additions, yes including Memphis, makes the new BE so much better in every aspect that is important to the BCS and their cohorts. Why would Louisville ever think of leaving the BE, or for that matter U Conn?They have had some success in football, but rank among the best in BB.

Now that Memphis has joined Louisville will be forever happy and the media even more so. These are huge forums. The swat that the BE has is more than enough to outweigh the Mountain West argument that they should be AQ instead of the Big East. The two teams that made the Mountain even viable are leaving and were the Bowl winners for the conference,

There is way too much support for the BE, those that remain most likely will not seek other arena. Only Syracuse of those leaving could play basketball and they were not even on the same plain as U Conn and Louisville, add Memphis to the equation and the conference is so much stronger in basketball, As for football the addition of Boise State far out weighs any losses that the BE has taken with the departures of Pitt and WV?

You all have a nice day!

Let's be realistic

No team from the Big East is really any good. Occasionally, the conference gives us a team that doesn't suck as much as the rest of the conference, but those teams are usually exposed in the BCS games. West Virginia was a surprise this last year. But, one surprising year doesn't make them anywhere near an elite team. They may be the best team in the Big East, but that's not saying very much.

Seriously, are Pitt, WVU and Syracuse all that good? Not really. Boise State should dominate the Big East whenever they join. I hope it's for 2012.

Maybe to the BE in 2012?

Dr. Kustra's comment notwithstanding, check this article from today's "Sporting News":

http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/Fourdown-territory-More-Big-East-craziness.html

If the BE lawsuit and West Virginia's counter lawsuit are nearing a settlement as the article portends, the main contingency is that the Mountaineers find a team to replace them. Guess which team that is likely to be.

Powerhouse

Memphis....Now there's a powerhouse in college football! I guess they are at the same level as BSU. The Big East will not be an AQ conference in two years.

Yup

BSU is doomed.........