Big East commissioner: Boise State "as committed as they've ever been"

By Brian Murphy

On the same day his league added Tulane as an all-sports member and East Carolina as a football-only member, Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco said Boise State and San Diego State – the league's westernmost members – remain committed to the Big East and its vision for a national football conference.

Boise State and San Diego State are scheduled to join the league as football-only members in July.

"They are extremely committed to the Big East. I've talked to them on a number of occasions," Aresco said. "They are as committed as they've ever been."

Both schools have reaffirmed their commitment to the league, even as it lost Rutgers to the Big Ten last week and future defections are possible.
Both schools have been pushing for additional Western members, though Big East President Bob Kustra praised the additions of Tulane and East Carolina.

"Boise State welcomes East Carolina and Tulane to the conference as the Big East solidifies its membership with these additions. The Big East is proactively responding to the national changes in conference affiliations, and Boise State remains committed to building and competing in a strong Big East future," he said in a statement.

Aresco said the conference still has a Western strategy.

"We've looked at that and will continue to do so," Aresco said. "There have been many schools that have expressed interest in joining the Big East."

Tulane (located in New Orleans) and East Carolina (about 90 miles from Raleigh, N.C.) will begin play in 2014. reported that BYU declined an invitation to the league.

Aresco said the league did not offer an invitation to BYU.

"There has been no offer to BYU to join the conference. BYU is a quality institution," Aresco said.

The Big East's additions could be a preemptive move against more losses as Louisville, Connecticut and Cincinnati are considered possible additions to the ACC. Aresco said the league is still considering additional expansion.

"We have left the door open to 16 teams (in football)," Aresco said. "It depends on the quality of teams that want to be in the conference. There are quality institutions who want to be a part of the Big East."

Aresco said television negotiations will resume shortly. They were halted when Rutgers left and the Big East reignited its expansion decisions.

"We have great value to the networks," Aresco said, pointing out that the conference is the last one up for a television contract for several years.

For 2014, the Big East will have the following members in football (as of right now):

Big East West Division

Boise State
San Diego State

Big East East Division

East Carolina
South Florida
Central Florida

Navy is slated to join the league in 2015.


From the Big East:

PROVIDENCE – Commissioner Mike Aresco has announced the addition of Tulane University, one of the most highly regarded and selective independent research institutions in the United States that boasts one of the oldest and most storied athletics programs in the Southeast, as a full conference member.

The BIG EAST Board of Directors, by a unanimous vote of its Presidents, extended the invitation to Tulane, which will begin competing in the BIG EAST in the 2014-15 academic year.

“I am pleased and excited to welcome Tulane University to the BIG EAST Conference,” said Aresco. “Tulane University is an outstanding academic institution and is committed to excellence in athletics. They will be a valued member of the BIG EAST.”

Founded in 1834, Tulane is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, an association of 62 leading research universities in the United States and Canada. Located in New Orleans, Tulane has an enrollment of 13,359. The university is ranked by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a university with “very high research activity.”

“Tulane University is pleased to accept membership in the BIG EAST Conference,” said President Scott Cowen. “The BIG EAST is a distinguished collection of institutions that will be a wonderful home for Tulane. We look forward to our mutual association and we are delighted to welcome the BIG EAST to the Big Easy!”

Tulane sponsors 16 sports, 10 women’s teams and six men’s teams. The women’s sports are basketball, tennis, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, cross country, golf, swimming and diving, bowling volleyball and sand volleyball. The men’s sports are football, baseball, basketball, tennis, outdoor track and field and cross country.

Tulane’s football team currently plays in the Mercedez-Benz Superdome. The school is building a new football venue, Yulman Stadium, which will have a capacity of 30,000. It is expected to be completed in 2014. Tulane’s men’s and women’s basketball teams compete on campus at Devlin Fieldhouse. A majority of BIG EAST games will be played at New Orleans Arena.

The football team is coached by Curtis Johnson, who is in his first season. The men’s basketball program is led by coach Ed Conroy who is in his third year. The Green Wave won 15 men’s basketball games last season and are off to a 4-2 start this season.

Lisa Stockton is the head women’s basketball coach. She is the winningest coach in Conference USA history with 372 victories. During her tenure, the Green Wave have enjoyed a nine-year streak of NCAA Tournament berths, four regular-season conference championships and five conference tournament titles.

The baseball program has earned five regular-season conference championships, eight conference tournament crowns and has played in the College World Series twice in the last 11 years. The men’s tennis program has won eight national championships.

Over the last eight years, Green Wave student-athletes have been among the highest achievers nationally in the classroom, according to the most recent multi-year Academic Performance Rates (APR).

The BIG EAST has previously announced other new full members that will be begin playing in 2013. Those schools are: University of Central Florida, University of Houston, University of Memphis, and Southern Methodist University and Temple University. Boise State University and San Diego State University will compete only in football. The Naval Academy will start BIG EAST football play in 2015.


From the Big East:

PROVIDENCE – BIG EAST Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco has announced the addition of East Carolina University, one of the nation’s emerging research institutions, as a conference member that will compete in the BIG EAST in the sport of football.

The BIG EAST Board of Directors, by a unanimous vote of its Presidents, extended the invitation to East Carolina. ECU will begin BIG EAST football competition in the 2014 season.

“We are very excited to welcome East Carolina University into the BIG EAST Conference for football,” said Aresco. “They have a strong football tradition and a consistently successful program that will help elevate our football league. The University is an outstanding academic institution that reflects the values important to the BIG EAST Conference.”

“ECU is excited to become a football member of the BIG EAST Conference,” said ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard. “We know we will be successful and add value to the BIG EAST. While hundreds of dedicated Pirates have contributed to this day, I especially want to recognize the relentless energy of Terry Holland and Nick Floyd in making this day a reality. It is a great day to be a Pirate.”

Founded in 1907 in Greenville, N.C., East Carolina University is a 105-year-old public university and research institution that is nationally recognized for preparing rural family physicians, educational professionals and for its strong performing arts programs.

It enrolls 27,500 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students and is North Carolina’s largest producer of education and primary care professionals. It operates the Brody School of Medicine, a new school of Dental Medicine and a growing undergraduate Honors College in Greenville.

On the football field, East Carolina has been a consistent winner. The Pirates went to five straight bowl games and won two conference championships from 2006-10. Under third-year head coach Ruffin McNeill, ECU has compiled an 8-4 regular-season record this season, which included a 7-1 conference mark. The Pirates will be headed to their 18th bowl game.

The ECU football team plays in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium that has a capacity of 50,000. The team has averaged more than 47,000 fans per game in each of the past three seasons.

The BIG EAST has previously announced new members that will begin playing football in the 2013. Those schools are: Boise State University, University of Central Florida, University of Houston, University of Memphis, Southern Methodist University, San Diego State University. Tulane University will begin play in 2014. The Naval Academy will start BIG EAST football play in 2015.

Conference USA statement

"We thank East Carolina and charter member Tulane for all their contributions to the league and wish them well. These are unprecedented times in higher education. Notwithstanding the changes, we are excited about our future and we remain committed to our strategic plan — a major market, two-division conference that is student-athlete friendly.

"To be clear, we have several options but no new member agreements have been made at this time. We appreciate the support of our members and will immediately begin a presidentially led process to evaluate our future options." — Commissioner Britton Banowsky.

I'm surprised the Big East didn't grab Tulsa.

Granted, N.O. is a much cooler city to visit, but Tulsa is more deserving of an invite.

I'm surprised

They didn't take UMASS. It seems the New England TV market would move the needle for the TV negotiations. I agree Tulsa would be a fit and TV draw too.

Two more ...

stinkers to an already pathetic conference. More cupcakes for Cupcake State. How exciting!

typical vandal

What FBS conference wants yours vandals? By 2015 you will be off the front porch with the " Big Dogs" and back in the Big Sky where you belong serving as a mediocre team experiencing marginal success.


You know what is pathetic? Someone that reads and makes posts about a team they hate. When you go to a movie do you make sure you go to one that you are going to hate? You probably do because you would rather do something you don't like so you can bit** about it. Here is a idea you are probably to stupid to come up with on your own, go to the forums for the team you like. Then you might make comments that don't make you look like a complete idiot.

Folks (Big East)

BYU, has their own Football network,end of conversation.The local University, will never and never play a football game representing the Big East.

Enjoy your Poinsettia (WAC) bowl

Independent schedule = WAC bowl.

Change the name of the conference

To the Big Yeast, because whenever someone pulls out, someone else gets an irritation.

$$$$$$$ for Play

This whole deal done by Kustra is like a Bangkok hooker scenario...get in bed with whoever offers you mo' money!!! It stinks ............


Bob, likes his name in the newspaper.

Still amazes me how so many

know so little.....

Know so little What?

How are you?


This joke of a conference is quickly lining up to be about as strong as the WAC. It will soon be a football powerhouse, just like the Sun Belt. It's obvious that the conference leaders will do anything to try & get a TV deal, even if it means inviting Tulane (2-10 in football this year). Next, they will invite the Idaho Vandals.

Boise & SDSU needs to get away from these guys as fast as possible - don't walk, RUN! They need to talk Houston & SMU into joining/rejoining the MWC.

If we stay in this league, any bowl game we get in will ALWAYS be in the east, and, we will be in the 9th or 10th worse conference, and, will get about as much respect as the Sun Belt or the WAC gets.

Kustra - time to eat some CROW & some $$$ & go back to the MWC.

I don't understand where

I don't understand where this comment is coming from. How can you say that taking the best teams from the MWC, Conference USA, and remaining Big East members is somehow worse than the MWC that BSU and SDSU will leave behind?


that makes sense....

Why not get the western schools to join the MWC and make it a stronger conference....

If you look at all the schools in the Big East, why would they want those 4 potsy schools from the West? Heck, half the Western division of the Big East is still East....

When will the Big East invite UT Martin?

It could be just a matter of time...

I read in the above statements the Big East has a western strategy so I think its important to be patient. Bye the time this is all done it could be a sweet deal.


"This joke of a conference is quickly lining up to be about as strong as the WAC"

The MWC IS the WAC........

ECU is a better program in ALL aspects than any school in the "new" MWC.......

Do some research!

No wonder the two MAC schoold pa$$ed


Enjoy the ride Boise Ohio....

This may not mean a thing

Take it for what it's worth, but since I like playing with numbers, I looked at the average ranking of teams by conference using Jeff Sagarin's numbers. I compared Sunday's numbers with the conferences as they are today and as they will be organized next year:

(Format is Conference: 2012, 2013)

SEC: 34, 34
Big 10: 49.4, 52.9
Big 12: 26.8, 26.8
PAC12: 41, 41
ACC: 71.2, 66.7
Big East: 63.4, 85.8
Mountain West: 100.4, 96.2

On the surface, it looks like the Big East comes out the loser in all of this, but still marginally better in absolute terms than the Mountain West. Of course, this is college football - whatever happens this year means next to nothing next year.

Like I said, take it for what it's worth - you can make statistics say what you want, right?

Those stats remind me of Nowhere Man leading his

team to Nowhere Land....

'He's a real nowhere man, leading his team to nowhere land. and playing their games in front of fans that cares about nobody.'


Did you have Rutgers in the BE or B1G in 2013?

Also did you include Tulane and ECU in the BE for 2013?

I had done something similar using the BCS rankings (prior to this latest move)


I put Rutgers in the Big 10 for 2013 and I included Tulane and ECU in the Big East in 2013 as well.


If I read your stats right it shows the MWC will improve next year. How did that happen?


Utah State and San Jose St. had the best years in school history.

If you were to use the 2011 Sagarin, the "2013" MWC would be 106.6 and the "2013" BE would be 78.33

To be fair, 3 years of date should be used in this case.....

Using 3 years of Sagarin data

The "new" Big East = Average rank 80.37

The "new" MWC = Average Rank 100.66

Korp....He uses

fuzzy stats....

kind of like global warming and using only the weather stations that support it....


They're not fuzzy, I just wouldn't draw any conclusions beyond the obvious from them.


I think that it goes to show the unpredictability of college football. Two years ago, Auburn was a steamroller. This year, their coach got fired. Last year, BSU finished number 7. Look at Notre Dame.

The Mountain West would improve with the addition of San Jose State (28) and Utah State (25)

The Big East drops with the addition of Houston (116), Memphis (133), SMU (80), Temple (103), ECU (88) and Tulane (163).

But like somebody said, it's probably worth looking at several years' worth of data, although given the realignment shenanigans, I'm not sure that you'd be able to say much more than "that's interesting". About the only conclusions that I'd draw is what we already suspect - the SEC, Big 10, Big 12 and PAC12 are the front running conferences; the ACC is hanging in there; the Big East is losing its grip; all the other conferences are irrelevant to the BCS (or whatever it's becoming).

Incidentally, since strength of schedule is the big thing lately, here's Sagarin's SoS data in the same format:

SEC: 26.5, 26.5
Big 10: 42.8, 47.64
Big 12: 14, 14
PAC12: 16.6, 16.6
ACC: 62.2, 60.8
Big East: 75.1, 96.6
Mountain West: 96.6, 92.9

Now, remember, the numbers for next year have about as much meaning as those pre-season polls that come out every August. It's just an interesting exercise. case is proved well and confirms what

Ugly has been saying for over a year now....

My objection to the Big East is that it adds no value starting in 2014....yes, there is value for the one AQ year....

your stats shows no separation between the MWC and the Big East when it will become an BCS SOS bonanza....

your stats also confirms the Big 5 and how they will be treated versus the little 5....

My question: How can Boise Fans think that they have a better shot at one of the big BCS 6 Bowls each year by being in the Big East versus the MWC? Your stats shows that it is nata....

the big east isnt finished

Cincinnati, Louisville and UCONN are all actively trying to get into whatever conference will take them. All 3 will be gone when Boise joins. Take them out of the sagarin and I'm sure the conference comparisons are a lot different. Whatever conference gets BSU wins.

BSU joined C-USA, destroyed their non-football sports, destroyed regional rivalries, and payed top dollar for the privilege. All for chasing "mythical" TV riches.

Thanks Hardcase

Some great info there, its to bad we just can't have North, South, East and West divisions. But that would be to simple. The more the Big East changes the worse it looks, however it still does not look near as bad as the MWC. It's to bad if the MWC would have had better management and went after better TV deals they may have hung onto TCU, BYU and Utah.

Here's the 3 year average for each team

San Jose St. - 95th
Utah St. - 73rd
Fresno St. - 74th
Nevada - 66th
Hawaii - 101st
UNLV - 145th
New Mexico - 161st
Colorado St. 131st
AFA - 71st
Wyoming - 100th

Average 100th
Best - 66th
Half the conference over 100....

Houston - 71st
SMU - 71st
ECU - 88th
Tulane - 156th
BSU - 19th
SDSU - 52nd
Cin. - 47th
Louisville - 56th
Temple - 71st
UConn - 75th
UCF - 58th
USF - 63rd
Memphis - 162nd

Average (wo BSU) 80th
Best - 47th (5 teams ranked higher than Nevada, the leader of the MWC/WAC)
2 out of 13 over 100

Φ The only possible solution

to all of this is to bring in ceesey as chief adviser.

As long as we don't take him into a

Movie theater.......


"ECU is a better program in ALL aspects than any school in the "new" MWC....... Do some research!"

So, from your stats BS43 - ECU would be 5th if they were in the new MWC? Or are they better than any school in the MWC as you said earlier?

And you should take UCONN, Cincinnati and Louisville off this list. They're all but gone. Funny how stats can fall apart so easily.

Mr. Cripe(Prediction )

Where have you been lately with your Bowl Predictions?


Let's see New Orleans for a trip or Laramie or Las Cruces----man that is a tough decision!


What happened to their committment to adding more western schools. This stinks & appears to be the BB schools screwing the football schools.

Kustra - this is what you get for getting sucked into something you should have never even considered.

Now for the biggie - I bet the TV deal isn't much better than what the MWC has today. So this is what you have - more travel - more costs - no better revenue - worse competition - worse strength-of-schedule.

The only smart one in this Big East fiasco is BYU.

Φ Just heard

on KTIK was a portion of Aresco's news conference announcing Tulane (with Murph asking questions). Prior to that was a statement from Tulane's president about their investment, past football success, outlook, and "how great it is to be joining the BE". He also mentioned the effects of Katrina, calling it the "worst man-made disaster to hit the US".

Caves and Prater both missed it.

Pretty funny "misspeak". Maybe next time he'll read from a prepared statement ... unless that was deliberate and he was going after FEMA, in which case the misspeak would be very clever.

My guess is he was being clever...

Wrote a paper years ago, before Katrina, about this very same thing. When doing research I came across a number of experts and scientists who said it was just a matter of time before New Orleans area was destroyed by a natural disaster. They also said it would be too costly and not worth rebuilding, given chance of a repeat disaster. For what its worth....

What would be worse

Playing in San Jose next year in front of 10,000 people


Playing San Jose St in Boise in front of 20,000 people



The one thing that really stinks is everyone of your are a bunch of morons.

yeeeeeeeaaaaaahhhhh tulane!!!!

what a conference...can you say who cares??? All those with larger than normal foreheads dont need to answer because you dont know...

Any truth to the rumor...

that the new qb recruit needs a specially made helmet because of his abnormally large forehead??

Speaking of rumors, any truth to the rumor that several players have been overheard calling their position coach "coach uncle daddy"??

Φ Nope, just saluting

fumduck with


Φ Louisville exits

the Big East for the ACC in 2014. Hardly a surprise.