While the future configuration of the Big East football conference had been an ongoing debate since the announcement last month that Syracuse and Pittsburgh were leaving for the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big East's spot as a conference with an automatic bid is secure through at least the 2013 season and probably through the 2015 season.
""There's been a lot of talk about the Big East losing its bid,'' said one highly placed college official with knowledge of the BCS requirements."But as long as the conference exsists in football l the contract is iron clad for two years and there is also a two-year grace period (an NCAA rule) which extends it through the 2015 season. .
The BCS will soon begin discussions of a new contract which would start in the 2014 season.
The Big East must meet the minimum performance requirements like the other BCS conferences which have automatic BCS bids (Big 12, Big Ten, SEC, Pac-12, Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference), but if a school such as Boise State which has been in the Top 10 the past several years can be added to current members such as Cincinnati and West Virginia who have finished in the Top 25 in the BCS ranking the past few years, meeting the minimum standards should not be an overwhelming obstacle.
The other key to the Big East security is the 27 month transition period which the Big East requires for any team wishing to leave. Big East officials have said that it will hold all schools to the agreement, meaning that both Syracuse and Pittsburgh and any other teams that might want to leave can not do so before the 2014 season.
Such security might be enough to assure teams under consideration such as Boise State, Central Florida, Air Force, Navy and Houston that the Big East will still be able to offer the carrot of a BCS bid for the immediate future.
- Michael Vega
- Mark Blaudschun
- Nancy Marrapese-Burrell