Last night it was announced that the Big East Conference will be adding five schools. The University of Central Florida, Southern Methodist University, and Houston from Conference USA will be added for all sports while Boise State University and San Diego State University will be added as football-only schools. Navy may also join the conference soon but nothing is official yet.
These moves come after Syracuse and Pittsburgh have notified the Big East that they will be joining the Atlantic Coast Conference. West Virginia University plans to leave the Big East for The Big 12, but are currently in a lawsuit with the Big East for violating bylaws.
The Big East has been scrambling to add schools so that it in two years, it can retain it's automatic qualifier status - meaning the champion of the Big East automatically earns a Bowl Championship Bid, which allows them to play in one of the more "Prestigious Bowls" such as the Orange Bowl. Boise State has had a good team for the past four years including an undefeated season but has not been able to consistently obtain a BCS Bowl Bid.
Before conference realignment, The Big East Conference stretched as far west as Cincinnati, Ohio and as far south as Tampa, Florida. Now, the School Stretches as far southwest as San Diego, California, as far south as Houston, and as far Northwest as Boise Idaho. The Big East is really no more in my mind. As Hardu suggested, it might as well be the Transcontinental Conference. Or if Canadian Universities in the NCAA such as the University of British Columbia, the Big East could be renamed "The North American Conference."
In my opinion, it is sad day when geography has nothing to conferences anymore. And this maybe just the beginning; As more and more schools transfer from weak conferences, such as The Big 12 and the Big East, to stronger ones, such as The Big Ten and the Southeastern Conference, there may end up being two super-conferences.
The NCAA failed to recognize this early enough and it is too late to stop it. If The University of Texas, which has the biggest market in Collegiate Athletics, and the University of Oklahoma transfer out of the Big 12, that will begin the massive realignment into the two conferences as the Big 12 schools will be sent scrambling - and sadly there are really no viable replacements that are not in strong conferences already except for Rutgers University and the University of Connecticut.
Rutgers and Uconn could also begin a massive realignment. If West Virginia leaves, those two schools will be powerhouses of The Big East, as far as the market goes. They have already stated that they are a package and if they move, both schools would have to go to the same school - whether that would actually occur. Both have expressed in the Big Ten and the ACC, even though more interest has been expressed in the ACC. However, they are not actively pursuing transferring conferences - only "interested."
The future of college sports looks somewhat bleak. This radical realignment may not happen today, but it will probably happen sooner or later. But for generally good "Basketball-Only Schools" and "smaller schools" they future looks even worse as they will be passed upon when applying to transfer conferences. In the end, if radical realignment starts to take place, the NCAA must break it up and completely realign conferences themselves based on geography like it was before all of this started to happen. aaahhhh the good ole' days.......