Big East approves East Division, West Division alignment for football

By Chip Patterson | College Football/Basketball Writer
Boise State and San Diego State will be football members of the Big East West Division in 2013. (US Presswire)

Big East football will enter a new chapter after this season, officially welcoming six new members to the conference for the 2013-14 academic year. With Syracuse and Pittsburgh headed to the ACC, league officials get a fresh start with the football membership -- which now spans from New Jersey to San Diego and everywhere in between.

On Tuesday, the league announced the alignment of two divisions for the 2013 season. The winner from each six-team division will meet in the brand new Big East Championship Game at the conclusion of the regular season.

"This new alignment gives the Conference and its fans the best of both worlds -- national exposure that is a result of the Big East being in six of the top 10 U.S. media markets -- with a schedule that focuses on spirited regional rivalries," Big East commissioner Mike Aresco said in the official release.

Check out the alignment of each division below:

East Division
Central Florida
Cincinnati
Connecticut
Louisville
Rutgers
South Florida

West Division
Boise State
Houston
Memphis
San Diego State
SMU
Temple

According to Aresco, each team will play eight conference games per season. Five of those will be against division opponents, with three cross-division conference games. No further scheduling announcements are expected until after the annual meeting of the athletic directors on Dec. 3.

The split is practical, with the exception of Temple's place in the West Division. Of the six new football members joining the conference next season, five (San Diego State, Boise State, Houston, SMU, and Memphis) are not East Coast teams. With a 7-5 split of Eastern Big East teams (confusing, I know), one team from the East would have to join the West Division.

One reason Temple gets nominated for the cross-country division might be its disjointed Big East history. The Owls just rejoined the league after getting the boot in 2004, and with Pittsburgh leaving there is not that true in-state conference rival. USF, another team that could have joined the West, now has an in-state conference rivalry with UCF.

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