Big East Conference Adds Miami, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Pitt and Syracuse

749a253e60f273d7c0cc498f9fe8463e
The Big East became the latest college conference to expand today, adding five top-tier athletic programs that should make it the the most balanced overall basketball and football conference in America.

"This move allows us to maintain our dominance in basketball," said Big East commissioner John Marinatto, "while also adding some great football schools that will clinch our status as an ongoing BCS conference and make us a player for national championships."

The additions also allow the conference to maintain geographical integrity.

"You hear programs talking about adding teams like Boise State or Air Force or TCU in a desperate attempt to stay relevant," said Marinatto. "Luckily we didn't have to go down that course. We remain a regional conference befitting our name, but a national factor in all sports. The Big East is clearly the most dominant conference in college athletics."

SEC commissioner Mike Slive said all he could do is tip his cap to the Big East.

"I believe we still remain the premier football conference, but you have to admire the Big East's balance between the two major sports," said Slive. "My job now is making sure none of my schools jump ship to the Big East. It won't be easy."

The Big East will likely shed it's basketball-only schools, giving it an 11-team conference with Boston College, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Miami, Pitt, Rutgers, South Florida, Syracuse, Virginia Tech and West Virginia. Marinatto says the conference will look to add a twelfth member — possibly East Carolina or Central Florida — but could also poach a school like Penn State, North Carolina, Missouri, Florida State or even Texas from another BCS conference.

"We're in control of college sports now," said Marinatto. "It's really up to us what directions things go next. Has Texas showed interest? Sure. Why wouldn't a team be interested in playing in a conference of this quality and in these markets? But it's ultimately our decision because the Big East is in the power seat."

Marinatoo closed his press conference by saying that the new Big East "feels vaguely familiar," adding: "I am excited for the future, but I think we can all agree that the 1990s were pretty kick-ass, too, right?"

Advertisement