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More realignment news, championship game finds a home

In case you missed it this morning, the Sun Belt is on the verge of adding four teams to push the league to 12 members. Not to be outdone, the Big East (or, more accurately, conference soon to be known as the former Big East) has reportedly jumped back into the fray by picking up Tulsa from Conference USA. Additionally, East Carolina, previously a football-only member, will receive full Big East membership when the Pirates join the league in 2014. 

We noted earlier today that, with the Sun Belt jumping to 12 teams, the Big 12 and Big East were the only FBS conferences that did not host, or have plans to host, a conference championship game. It turns out that piece of news was accurate for all of about six hours, as the addition of Tulsa will boost the league to 11 football-playing members in 2014 with Navy scheduled to join in 2014. Nine of those 11 teams are former members of Conference USA. 

Big East commissioner Mike Aresco stated the league expects to announce a new name by next month; its too bad Conference USA is already taken. It's unknown at this time whether Tulsa's move will set off another round of reactionary moves that could result in the Sun Belt needing to expand yet again. Conference USA will fall from 14 to 13 members and could conceivably look to the Sun Belt, where it plucked four future members, to even out its divisions.

In other news not related to conference realignment, ESPN's Brett McMurphy reported today that Cowboys Stadium has all but locked up the inaugural championship game of college football's upcoming four-team playoff. The Arlington, Texas, stadium was such a heavy favorite that McMurphy reports Tampa, Florida, was the Dallas area's only competition to host the game. 

Considering the news of the day, this seems like an appropriate time post the future rosters of the Big East, Conference USA and Sun Belt before anything changes again.

Big East
Remaining Members
Cincinnati
Connecticut
South Florida
Temple

Joining in 2013
Central Florida
Houston
Memphis
SMU

Leaving after 2013
Louisville
Rutgers

Joining in 2014
East Carolina
Tulane
Tulsa

Joining in 2015
Navy

Conference USA
Remaining Members
Marshall
Rice
Southern Miss
UAB
UTEP

Joining in 2013
Florida Atlantic
Florida International
Louisiana Tech
Middle Tennessee
North Texas
UTSA

Leaving after 2013
East Carolina
Tulane
Tulsa

Joining in 2014
Old Dominion

Joining in 2015
Charlotte

Sun Belt
Remaining Members
Arkansas State
Louisiana - Lafayette
Louisiana - Monroe
South Alabama
Troy
Western Kentucky

Joining in 2013
Georgia State
Texas State

Joining in 2014
Appalachian State
Georgia Southern
Idaho
New Mexico State

 

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