Football to compete in Big East West in 2013

The football team and other new additions to the Big East Conference will compete in the newly established West Division of the conference next season, Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco announced Tuesday.

The 12 teams set to compete in the Big East next season will be split into two, six-team divisions, where the winner of the divisions will meet in the Big East Championship game. Temple will be in the West Division along with other conference newcomers: Boise State, Houston, Memphis, San Diego State and Southern Methodist University.

“I’m not involved with all these meetings here, but for the beginning part of this thing, we will be on the Western side,” coach Steve Addazio said in a press release. “I’m excited to do that. I think that’ll be good. We’ll still have some of our regional games in here, and I think it’s a great new beginning and I’m excited for it.”

Each Big East team will play eight conference games per season, five within its division. That means Temple will have to head out west for at least two games against Western opponents next season. Home/away breakdowns will be announced after the Big East athletic directors meeting on Dec. 3.

Addazio said playing in western markets opens up new doors for recruiting.

“It’s exciting. You’re talking about some great trips and some great programs,” Addazio said. “You’re playing nationally. It’s a national perspective, and I think the kids will enjoy that. When I was at Notre Dame, we played a national schedule. I know that’s a bit of a difference scenario, but it was a cool deal – going to places you’ve never been. It can be very, very exciting. The future is really exciting. I’m thrilled that we’re a part of I,t and I’m looking forward to bringing this young team into that whole new beginning. I think it’s going to be nothing but growth.”

The conference alignment is likely to be revisited after the 2014 season when Navy will be added to the Big East, among other schools, the press release indicated.