PROVIDENCE, R.I., Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Memphis is joining the Big East Conference, giving the league 12 football-playing members by the 2015 season.
Memphis is leaving Conference USA, where it was a founding member. Conference USA started play in 1995. Memphis officially joins the Big East as a full member in the 2013-14 academic year.
The Big East is losing West Virginia to the Big 12 and Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the ACC. Big East officials have been recruiting in recent months trying to get the league to 12 football teams.
The addition of Memphis, along with previously announced new full members Central Florida, Houston and Southern Methodist and football-only members Boise State, Navy and San Diego State, reaches that goal.
Those schools will join current Big East members Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Rutgers and South Florida in the conference football race effective 2015.
The Big East is looking into have two divisions in football and setting up an annual conference championship game.