During the Jan. 24 teleconference that welcomed Navy football into the Big East starting in 2015, conference commissioner John Marinatto was pretty clear: “I’m not done with regard to our expansion efforts.”
Less than a month later, he’s apparently made good. Multiple reports, including one from USA Today, have Memphis joining the conference in all sports as of 2013. If the rest of the conferences’ arrivals and departures go off as scheduled, Navy will enter a 12-team football league, likely split into two to-be-determined divisions, in 2015.
Memphis leaves Conference USA to join the Big East, creating a reunion of sorts with six other former C-USA football programs — Central Florida, South Florida, Southern Methodist, Houston, Louisville and Cincinnati. While Navy football’s team has never played in a conference, Army tried it a few years ago — in C-USA. It didn’t go great.
While the Big East sorts itself out, another conference has made even larger headlines, with the Big Ten reportedly discussing a playoff plan that would include semifinal games on campus. How would this affect the Bowl Championship Series by 2015? Would the Big East’s status as automatic BCS qualifier — a selling point for any conference-shopping school — mean anything if the postseason system suffered major upheaval? Would there be a BCS? Will USC be coming to Annapolis to open the 2015 NCAA Football Playoffs, sponsored by [insert highest bidder here]?
It’s about as likely as Navy dumping Air Force from its football schedule. But you never know.