East Carolina is finally going to make its way to a bigger conference*, joining the Big East in all sports in 2014. It was reported at pretty much the same time by Pete Thamel, Brett McMurphy and Ralph Russo, with Jeremy Fowler reporting the Big East wanted BYU also, but was turned down.
That it's joining alongside the highly, highly questionable Tulane shouldn't mar the achievement -- ECU has some of the best mid-major attendance in the country, has an actual fan base and has produced reasonably successful football teams (five straight bowl seasons through 2010). I am happy for East Carolina fans, though getting into the 2014 Big East has got to feel less awesome than getting into the, say, 2009 one would've.
You'll note much of the reaction to Tulane joining the Big East centered around ECU not getting in. Well, that injustice appears to have been corrected. The Big East probably could've avoided a whole lot of snark if they'd made sure the ECU part made its way out first.
That's not to say East Carolina is a game-changing program for the Big East. The key remains making sure Boise State and company don't bolt back to the Mountain West if the ACC picks off UConn or Louisville. But at least there's a geographical argument for ECU, it's always had football potential and it has football fans.
* The Big East, no matter what, is still better than Conference USA. If for nothing else, it's adding all of C-USA's schools.
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