Big East Football: Boise State, UCF, SMU Set to Join Conference

  @http://twitter.com/jtalty on July 02 2012 4:43 PM
Boise State
Think the blue turf is weird? With conference realignment, Boise State could join both the Big East and Big West. Reuters

Boise State has officially withdrawn from the Mountain West Conference to join the Big East as a football-only member.

Boise State was tabbed as a Big East addition months ago, but the school didn't officially announce its intentions to withdraw from the Mountain West until it sent a letter to the conference's school presidents at 10 p.m. on Saturday night, according to the Idaho Statesman.

The school had some difficulty finding a suitable conference for its non-football sports programs and had reportedly considered backing out of moving to the Big East, but decided to avoid a $5 million penalty and announced its intentions before a deadline.

There is no doubt that conference affiliation is a difficult and complex issue, but I am very pleased where we stand today and excited for the future prospects of all of our Bronco sports, Boise State president Bob Kustra said in a statement Sunday.

Boise State will spend one more year in the Mountain West before making the move to a reformed Big East. Boise State is one of seven football playing schools that the Big East will add over the next three years.

Joining Boise State in 2013 are Houston, SMU, Central Florida, Memphis, and San Diego State. Navy, one of four service academies, will join the conference in 2015. Temple will play return to the Big East in 2012 after getting kicked out in 2004.

The addition of seven schools is meant to offset major losses through conference realignment. The Big East lost West Virginia and TCU to the Big 12; Pittsburgh and Syracuse bolted to the ACC; and Louisville has actively pursued joining another conference.

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