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Conference Realignment: Navy To Join Big East Football In 2015

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This is probably the first move that actually makes some sense for the Big East.

Navy is expected to announce soon that it will join the Big East Conference for football in 2015, a source said Monday.

The Big East, which has been hit by the departures of Pittsburgh and Syracuse (to the ACC) and West Virginia and TCU (to the Big 12), will reload with Boise State and San Diego State in football, and Central Florida, Houston and Southern Methodist for all sports, starting in 2013. The addition of Navy in 2015 ups the total number of football-playing members to 11. The conference will no doubt be looking to add a 12th and a conference championship game, adding either another western school or a program like Temple or East Carolina.

I've been underwhelmed with every Big East football addition since Virginia Tech, Miami and BC all left, but adding the Naval Academy makes a lot of sense. Navy has a national following that will help the conference in TV negotiations, as the Academy arguably has the most value of any remaining non AQ program. The Navy football program also fits well within the Big East's traditional geographic footprint (err, east). All things considered, the Big East could have done a lot worse than Navy. You know, like, Memphis.

Navy has long been a traditional opponent of the Eagles that I would love to see back on a future football schedule. However, I'd imagine the Midshipmen's move to the Big East may make that more difficult going forward. After playing an eight (or nine?) game conference slate in addition to non-conference matchups against Army, Air Force and Notre Dame (should neither of the other two service academies join the Middies in the Big East), I doubt there'd be much room left on the annual schedule to face Boston College.

Anyway, I'm sure Susan Herbst will be happy with Big East football's most recent addition. Gotta cut down on all those football travel costs, you know, because UConn is all about the student-athlete and graduation rates.