Error on UConn website highlights how confusing conference realignment is

Christopher Wilson

As soon as the clock struck midnight on July 1, the latest round of conference reshuffling became official. Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Notre Dame switched over to the ACC while the American Athletic Conference rose from the ashes of the old Big East. It’s a big day, and the websites and social media accounts of all the schools are celebrating it.

Still, even with the best of intentions, this is not easy to digest because there are still more changes to come next summer. Here is a list of teams playing football in the American Athletic Conference for the 2013-2014 season:

  • Central Florida
  • Cincinnati
  • Connecticut
  • Houston
  • Louisville
  • Memphis
  • Rutgers
  • SMU
  • South Florida
  • Temple

Reference that to the logos in the above image, which is from UConn's official athletics site and was highlighted by ESPN's Brett McMurphy this morning. You’ll notice Central Florida is missing, while Tulane, Tulsa, East Carolina and Navy are represented. In Connecticut’s defense, the Green Wave, Golden Hurricane and Pirates are all joining up next summer, while the Midshipmen join the year after that. The whole thing is really confusing, so let’s try to clear it up as best we can.

So Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Notre Dame are all in the ACC now?

Yes, but Notre Dame is not a full member for hockey (they're heading to Hockey East) or football. They will play five ACC football opponents a year starting in the fall of 2014, but they will not be eligible for that conference championship.

I thought Louisville was joining the ACC, too?

They are, but not until next summer. They will replace Maryland when the Terps leave for the Big Ten.

Because both Maryland and Rutgers will be going to the Big Ten next summer?

Yes, correct.

With the additions of Maryland, Rutgers and Nebraska, does anyone know if Jim Delany just loves the color red?

Tough to tell, but great question.

And so now Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville (for one year), Rutgers (for one year) and South Florida are in something called The American?

Correct. That’s even their website’s URL:

Do they have Tulsa, Tulane and Navy logos on their site?

They do not.

What about Central Florida?

The Knights made the cut, yes.

Does the American Athletic Conference get the Big East's old automatic BCS bid?

You bet they do. BCS officials will surely l be hoping for undefeated Louisville and a Teddy Bridgewater Heisman win. (If you were curious, the Fiesta Bowl has the last at-large pick this time around.)

What happened to the other Big East teams, like Georgetown and Villanova?

They are still in the Big East! It’s all the programs that did not have FBS football programs, and then they added Butler, Creighton and Xavier.

That’s a pretty good basketball conference!

Yeah, it ended up working out really well for them. Football revenue is what it is really driving all of the realignment, so they can stay out of that maelstrom and have their pick of quality basketball schools going forward.

I thought San Diego State and Boise State were both joining the Big East? Or American Athletic Conference? This is really confusing.

They were going to join the old Big East, but when things started to look unstable, they chose to stay in the Mountain West.

Is there anything else I should know?

Let’s see:

  • The Mountain West adds San Jose State and Utah State for this coming season.
  • Conference USA adds Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee, North Texas and Texas San Antonio for this coming season.
  • The Sun Belt adds Georgia State and Texas State.

Rest in peace, WAC.


This post was updated to add the question about the AAC getting the Big East's old automatic BCS bid.

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