Minutemen Minute Big East Expansion Nov 18 3:29 PM Previous Next No Caption Recap Comments0 ******With the end of the season upon us and the UMass already having clinched the Big East Conference Title, its first such championship, attention has turned to what the ever changing Big East landscape will look like next year. A year ago, the Big East lost Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the ACC while adding UMass from the MAC, Central Florida from Conference USA, and welcoming back Boston College back from the ACC. Their membership now stands at nine. After all the moving and shaking, the Big East will enter next season with at least fourteen members and a Conference Championship game to close out the season and crown a champion. (Boston College *********** to complete its transition back to the ACC) The primary importance of a championship game is adding another avenue of revenue for the conference, as well as an opportunity to further it's brand by showcasing the best it has to offer on a national stage. Additionally, expansion affords the conference a chance to extend its geographic footprint into parts of the country where it has no presence; again providing branding opportunities and exposure for its brand and opening recruiting markets for its members. Six teams are tenatively committed to joining the Big East next season; the University of Houston, University of Memphis, Southern Methodist University, the United States Naval Academy (better known as Navy), Boise State University, and San Diego State University. Accessing the Houston, Dallas, and Memphis markets alone is a coup for a conference rising in prominence, especially when it is able to do so by adding high quality programs like Houston and SMU. Addition of Navy, located in Maryland, further embeds the Big East as the standard barrer for college football in the Northeast. However, the possible additions of San Diego State and Boise State are truly the most newsworthy additions. The Big East Conference is now college football's first conference who can legitimately boast a true coast-to coast presence. Beginning next season, the Big East Football can literally be seeen at any hour of a typical College Football Saturday. **** very large and real extent, The Big East will look more like Conference USA next year than Conference USA. Call it the Big America Conference. The most interesting aspect of these addition is what it provides for its member schools in ters of recruiting. Most of the schools in the conference are too small to have any national profile of there ink. However, much like five fingers coming together to make one fist, together these historically irrelevant programs now have a recruiting presence in Southern California, Texas, Florida, and the Northeastern United States. Yikes!!!