Big East Expansion: Boise, San Diego State, Houston, UCF & SMU Officially Introduced

The Big East Conference made it official Wednesday during a conference call when they officially introduced the the Houston Cougars, Boise St. Broncos, San Diego St. Aztecs, Central Florida Knights and SMU Mustangs as new members of the conference.

Houston, UCF and SMU will join as full members while Boise State and San Diego State will join as football-only members.

Big East commissioner John Marinatto lauded the invitations, saying the conference now has the "single largest media footprint spanning from coast to coast in football. The Big East will truly be the first national football conference."

Marinatto reiterated as much in official statements.

"Over the last 32 years, the BIG EAST Conference has constantly evolved along with landscape of college athletics," said BIG EAST Commissioner John Marinatto. "The inclusion of these five great universities, which bring a unique blend of premier academics, top markets, strong athletics brands and outstanding competitive quality, marks the beginning of a new chapter in that evolution. We are proud to welcome these schools to the BIG EAST family."

Marinatto also confirmed that the Big East will be split into two divisions, an East and a West. The two top teams in each division are expected to play one another in a championship game. No specific timetable and timframe have been given.

Also, regardless of the move, Syracuse, West Virginia and Pittsburgh are still going to be held to the 27-month waiting period as part of the Big East bylaws before leaving for their respective new homes.

"The bylaws are the bylaws are the bylaws."

Marinatto said the goal is to eventually settle on 12 football-playing conference members.

Keep up with the latest news and notes on the conference expansion whirlwind, with SB Nation's comprehensive conference realignment coverage. And for more fan perspective on the Big East, head to our blog Big East Coast Bias.

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