Depending on what happens in the next week or so with Big East expansion, Central Florida could be a member of a new conference as early as 2013, the Orlando Sentinel reports today.
With Idaho’s State Board of Education voting today to pass Boise State’s motion to change conference affiliation, it looks like things are beginning to fall into place for the Big East as they attempt to rebuild from the losses of Pitt and Syracuse to the ACC, as well as TCU and West Virginia to the Big 12.
Central Florida figures to be part of those plans, but school president John Hitt said that if the Knights will obey Conference USA exit procedures, which include a $7 million buyout. The earliest UCF could compete in the Big East is 2013.
“I think their expectation is that we’ll honor that contract,” Hitt said. “And if that’s what they think ought to happen, that’s what we’ll do.”
But UCF might be able to play a current Big East team and former rival as early as next year. Hitt added that he had been in discussions with USF athletic director Doug Woolard about renewing their series in 2012 because of scheduling issues.
“He was very cordial and even said, `Look, we may have a vacancy on our schedule next year. Maybe we could start that series next year,’” Hitt said. ”There’s no reason we can’t have a good rivalry where we fight it out on the field, but there’s a lot of mutual respect.”
The two teams have met only four times before, with USF winning all four games.