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BIG EAST announces conference realignment, Boise State placed in West with Temple and Memphis

With six new members set to enter the BIG EAST next year, conference commissioner Mike Aresco announced the league will use a two division format starting in 2013 on Tuesday.

Boise State will be grouped with Houston, Memphis, San Diego State, SMU and Temple in the West Division, while Central Florida, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Rutgers and South Florida will make up the East Division.

“This unique combination of nationwide scope and regional flavor reflects our commitment to innovation in response to the changing landscape in college football,” Aresco said.

With this structure, each member will play eight conference games a year - five against teams within the division and three against schools from the cross-over division.

Aresco also announced that the winners of the East and West divisions will meet in the first ever BIG EAST Championship Game. The matchup will take place at the home field of one of the participating schools instead of a neutral site, which was once speculated.

The home and away teams for the 2013 season will be announced at the annual BIG EAST athletic directors meeting on Dec. 3 in New York.

Aresco added that realignment could be revisited following the 2014 season when Navy and possibly another school join the BIG EAST.

It is widely speculated that either Air Force or BYU will get an invite to become the 14th member of the conference. If that is that case, Navy could be slotted in the East with either BYU or Air Force going to the West.

If neither Air Force or BYU choose to accept membership, then future realignment could be more radical.

— Jay Tust (Follow on Twitter: @KTVBSportsGuy)