The almost total transformation of the Big East Conference over the last decade continued apace Tuesday, with news that Tulane University would become the league's newest full member and reports that East Carolina University would join the conference in football only. The Big East has struggled since 2005 to sustain itself as a viable big-time-sports entity as its members continue to be plucked away by richer and stronger leagues, with Rutgers University (which last week joined the University of Maryland at College Park in announcing moves to the Big Ten Conference) the latest defection.
In adding Tulane and East Carolina, the Big East has continued to take its misfortunes out on Conference USA, from which it will have taken a total of 11 members since 2005. The additions of Tulane and East Carolina would give the Big East 13 football-playing members as of 2014. That might seem like an unwieldy number, but that's because the Big East leaders are apparently awaiting another falling domino, with the expected departure of the University of Connecticut to replace Maryland in the Atlantic Coast Conference.