Big East conference football will feature two divisions beginning in 2013, according to a news release.
Conference commissioner Mike Aresco said Tuesday there will be East and West divisions of six teams each in football, culminating with a new Big East championship game. The change is for the next two seasons.
“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,” Aresco said.
Unlike the Big Ten championship game held in Indianapolis, the Big East will hold its championship game at one of the participating teams' facilities.
“This unique combination of nationwide scope and regional flavor reflects our commitment to innovation in response to the changing landscape in college football,” Aresco said.
Each team will play eight conference games each season under the new format. Aresco said the alignment may be changed after the 2014 season, when Navy and another school are expected to begin playing in the Big East.
League officials have discussed how to change the divisions when the conference grows to 14 teams, ESPN reported. Sources told the network the league would prefer another team from the West as the 14th member, most likely BYU or Air Force. Sources also told ESPN the most popular 14-team model would feature Red and Blue divisions that are not based on geography.
The proposed Red Division in 2015 would consist of Louisville, UConn, Memphis, Navy, San Diego State, USF and SMU. The Blue Division would feature Boise State, Cincinnati, UCF, Houston, Rutgers, Temple and the 14th team.
The Big Ten switched to its current divisional form before the 2011 season. This season’s championship game in Indianapolis will feature Wisconsin from the Leaders Division and either Michigan or Nebraska from the Legends Division.
The temporary Big East divisions:
San Diego State