The Big East Conference — minus the departing “Catholic Seven” schools — will henceforth be known as the American Athletic Conference.
The “America 12 Conference” name was under consideration, but was ultimately rejected to avoid locking in a particular number as additional schools are added over the next few years.
The so-called Catholic Seven (i.e., DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John’s, and Villanova) bailed on the existing Big East to form a new league but took the name with them. Butler, Creighton, and Xavier will soon come aboard the reconstituted Big East.
Going forward, the new American Athletic Conference will consist of the following colleges: Central Florida, Cincinnati, Houston, Memphis, SMU, South Florida, Temple, and UConn.
East Carolina, Memphis, Navy, Tulane, and Tulsa are scheduled to come into the American Athletic Conference (not to be confused with the real ACC — the Atlantic Coast Conference) over the next couple of years.
To the confusion of just about everyone, colleges all over the country have been hell-bent on changing conferences in football and basketball with little or no regard to geography. The traditional Big East has been particularly hard hit by defections. “The league sought to improve its football standing by adding TCU, Boise State, and San Diego State, but all those agreements fell through as other top programs began leaving the conference. West Virginia started the exodus in 2011 by announcing its move to the Big 12. Pittsburgh and Syracuse followed by heading to the ACC. Those two schools will be gone in 2013, with Louisville following in 2014. Rutgers is headed to the Big Ten the same year, and that spurred the the next big fracture of the league.”
Do you like the name American Athletic Conference for this patchwork league? Will you miss the traditional Big East rivalries?