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East Carolina applies to the Big East

A week ago Big East football was being read its last rites.

Pittsburgh and Syracuse had jettisoned the league for ACC and speculation was running rampant that West Virginia, Connecticut and Rutgers were following them out the door.

The SEC rejecting West Virginia, the PAC-12 announcing its intention to stay at 12 teams for now and Oklahoma re-affirming its commitment to the Big 12 have given hope that Big East football might survive.

The league received more good news from East Carolina, which officially announced it has completed a membership application to join the Big East.

ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard and Athletics Director Terry Holland issued a joint statement confirming the news.

The statement read in part: “East Carolina University will always maintain a proactive approach in regards to positioning itself for future success, and the fluidity of current conference realignment possibilities is no exception.”

It certainly isn’t news to Conference USA that East Carolina wants to leave. But with such uncertainty surrounding non-BCS schools, no one wants to be left without a seat at the big table.

There’s no guarantee that the Big East, which is reportedly looking to add the service academies, will accept East Carolina. The school covered itself.

“While we have formalized our interest in Big East Conference membership as a viable option,” the statement red. “ECU will remain focused on competing at the highest level through the efforts of Conference USA.”

Although not a football power, the Pirates have made five straight bowl appearances. The highlight of that stretch came in 2007 when East Carolina topped Boise State, 41-38, in the Hawaii Bowl.

Including TCU, and assuming none of the other FBS programs leave the league and ECU is accepted, the Big East will have right teams for next season.


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