University of Memphis In Serious Discussion With Big East

Matt SmithSenior Analyst IMay 15, 2008

After another 30-win season, their third in a row, their first No. 1 ranking ever, and a trip to the national title game, the Memphis Tigers are now in serious discussion with the Big East to join their conference.

Sources tell Fox News 13 that talks are underway for the school to join the Big East during their annual spring meetings.

Memphis went undefeated in Conference USA this season, winning all 16 games, but it came with some backlash.  Many felt that their weak conference schedule would hurt them during NCAA tournament play, and the school and players felt disrespected due to the lack of legitimacy in their schedule.

The move makes a lot of sense for Memphis.  Being affiliated with one of the six BCS Conferences not only means better games for the Tigers, but more money and a better recruiting advantage.

Many thought Memphis would be included in the Big East after Virginia Tech, Miami, and Boston College departed to join the ACC, but the school was rejected in 2003. 

If this merger is completed, Memphis will rejoin its rivals Louisville and Cincinnati in the Big East since the teams departed from Conference USA.

While the move is a good fit for Memphis, is it the best for the Big East.  Already labeled a "super conference", the addition of Memphis would add another team to total 17 all together in the conference.  That's a lot of teams, for not many games, especially during the football season.

The deal is still up in the air, but we should hear soon if Memphis will get a spot in the conference and earn the respect they deserve with a new schedule and the reverence a BCS conference holds.