With the continuing conference realignments and the death of the Big East as it once stood, changes are still happening.
As I’ve previously discussed Louisville is moving to the ACC along with several of its former Big East competition. And, quite frankly nearly all of the Big East is moving conferences so to counteract that the Big East essentially pilfered a lot of teams from Conference USA.
Well, Conference USA has responded by looking towards the Sun Belt Conference; as such Western Kentucky University is packing up their bags to join Conference USA.
Along with the Hilltoppers, the Texas headquartered Conference has signed agreements with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Louisiana Tech, Western rival Middle Tennessee State, North Texas, Old Dominion, and the University of Texas at San Antonio.
In response the Sun Belt conference is adding Georgia State, Texas State University- San Marcos, University of Texas at Arlington, Georgia Southern University, and Appalachian State.
Meanwhile, Western rival Eastern Kentucky will remain in the Ohio Valley Conference who is one of the few conferences who will see no school changes- additions or subtractions- in the next few years; at least currently.
All that said, I can’t help but go back to the Big East, who is currently closing a chapter. The Big East was one of the most dominant conferences in a number of sports through the years; notably basketball, but as the conference changes this year the massive conference shake-up was inevitable.
The “Big East,” name will continue with the seven non-football playing Catholic schools currently in the conference adopting it for a conference of their own.
The remaining football playing schools who have not signed deals with other conferences will continue in a separate conference that’s yet to be named. This conference will be rounded out with the new “Big East” schools and will feature Cincinnati, Connecticut, Houston, Memphis, Southern Methodist University, South Florida, Central Florida, East Carolina, Tulane, and Temple.
The original Big East was founded in 1979 in Providence, Rhode Island with Providence, St. John’s, Georgetown, Syracuse, Seton Hall, Connecticut, Holy Cross, Rutgers, and Boston College.
What’s most interesting about this whole shake up though is all the question marks left on the table which will undoubtedly be answered in the coming months.