Big East Conference Realignment: Memphis Reportedly Set to Join Big East in 2013

Alex KayCorrespondent IFebruary 7, 2012

DALLAS, TEXAS - MARCH 17:  The Memphis Tigers mascot, 'Tom II' cheers on his team against the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles during the First Round game in the 2006 NCAA Division 1 Men's Basketball Championship Tournament on March 17, 2006 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Big East Conference is on the verge of adding the University of Memphis Tigers for the 2013 season.

Brett McMurphy of first broke the news that the final stages of negotiations were nearly complete, and the program is set to abandon Conference USA—along with Houston, SMU and UCF—after next season.

This is welcome news to a Big East that was on life support after Syracuse and Pittsburgh announced they would be heading to the ACC and West Virginia agreed to join the Big 12.

They desperately needed to reload and add more talent, especially to keep conference basketball competitive and maintain their reputation as one of the most respected groups of teams in the nation.

Big changes are on the horizon for the conference, and West Virginia could be gone as soon as next season in all sports.

Syracuse and Pitt are expected to try to speed up their exit to the start of the 2013 season.

According to McMurphy, this is what the Big East could look like at the start of the 2013 campaign if those plans are realized.

If Pitt and Syracuse leave in 2013, then the Big East could be left with 11 football members – Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida, UCF, Houston, SMU, Boise State, San Diego State and Memphis. Also the league would have 17 basketball members: Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida, UCF, Houston, SMU, Memphis, Notre Dame, Marquette, Georgetown, Seton Hall, St. John’s, Villanova, Providence and DePaul.

Navy is also set to join the conference for football purposes in 2015.

It’s definitely a new look for the Big East, but these small schools that are joining now have access to great recruiting channels and a ton of new doors have just opened for them.

It also finally expands the conference to the south, which is something that they needed to do now for a while. 

There might be a rough start at first for the revamped conference, but in the long run, this might work out for the best.