It's official: Big East adds 5 new members
(Sports Network) - The Big East has officially announced the addition of five new members in a move that re-stocks the conference in the wake of several high-profile departures.
Current Mountain West members Boise State and San Diego State will join the Big East as football-only members, while Conference USA schools Central Florida, Houston and SMU will be added for all other sports.
The announcement was made on a conference call Wednesday and comes months after Big East staples Syracuse and Pittsburgh announced they were leaving to join the ACC in two years and West Virginia said it was going to the Big 12.
Big East presidents voted unanimously to invite all five schools. Boise State and San Diego State will begin competing for the Big East in football in the 2013 season; teams from Central Florida, Houston and SMU will also play for the conference starting in 2013-14.
Four of the five schools, excluding Central Florida, are located west of the Mississippi River. But commissioner John Marinatto said the Big East, as a brand, "transcends borders, boundaries or regions."
"It's national," he said. "Our membership makeup is now reflective of that."
With a reach that stretches to both coasts, the Big East said it considers itself "the first truly national college football conference."
It plans to have 12 football teams, enough to create both eastern and western divisions in the hopes of staging an annual conference championship game. Air Force and Navy are reportedly targets for addition.
West Virginia's planned exodus resulted in lawsuits being filed by the school and the Big East concerning the conference's bylaws regarding departures.
TCU had earlier agreed to leave the Mountain West Conference for the Big East, but accepted an invitation to join the Big 12 instead.
12/07 18:35:33 ET