And the Big East's new name is....
In case you haven't been a frequent viewer of "As Conference Realignment Turns", here's a quick rundown. The Big East has lost a lot of schools. I mean, a lot of schools. In fact, they've lost so many schools that Temple, who was kicked out of the league in the early part of last decade, was invited back in and is now the conference's longest-running member. Fed up with defections on the football side, the Big East's non-football schools such as Villanova, St. John's and Georgetown decided to leave. As with any divorce, their shared property had to be divided. While the football schools got to keep conference offices and staff, the "Catholic 7", as they became known, got to keep the name.
So, the conference formerly known as the Big East, which at one time stretched to San Diego but now only goes as far as Tulsa, Oklahoma, had to pick a new name. That name was revealed today.
American Athletic Conference is new name for former Big East, sources told @espn— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) April 3, 2013
As is always the case with that league, the Internet took turns kicking its announcement around like a hacky sack.
The American Athletic Conference is the Conference the USA has been waiting for.— Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples) April 3, 2013
Not sure if the AAC is a football league or a new company devoted to natural energy solutions.— Paul Myerberg (@PaulMyerberg) April 3, 2013
I'm sure we'll get used to it, but seriously, "American Athletic Conference" is the marketing equivalent of "no comment."— Matt Hinton (@MattRHinton) April 3, 2013
AAC isn't confusing with ACC. No, not at all. RT @mcmurphyespn: American Athletic Conference new name for former Big East, sources told ESPN— Travis Haney (@TravHaneyESPN) April 3, 2013
The AAC needs to hold their basketball tourney at the AAC, there are no other options.— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) April 3, 2013
Would love to see a ACC-AAC Challenge. Loser has to take UConn for the long-term.— Adam Kramer (@KegsnEggs) April 3, 2013
So both the AAC and ACC will have automatic BCS bids this season.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) April 3, 2013
The Big East is expected to release a formal announcement on Wednesday evening, presumably without any puns.