Big East Expansion: Navy To Join Conference In 2015

After being long rumored, on Tuesday, Navy confirmed that they will be in the Big East in 2015. This is another step by the conference to grow the league that will be losing Pitt, West Virginia, and Syracuse at some point in the next few years.

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For Navy, the choice apparently came down to the potential decreasing relevance of independents in college football:

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Navy has been playing football as an independent since 1879, but academy officials said they believe that model will be too difficult to maintain as other powerful conferences grow. Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk said scheduling games late in the season, landing desirable television deals and securing bowl bids will become a problem in the near future.

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"Opportunities to exist as independents into the future are clearly in jeopardy," he said.

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While Navy isn't a powerhouse on any level, they've fielded competitive football teams in recent years. Since 2007, Navy has beaten Notre Dame (three times), Wake Forest (three times), Missouri, and Pitt. The Midshipmen also nearly beat Ohio State and South Carolina over that span.

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This move doesn't make guarantee the Big East will continue to receive an AQ BCS bid in football, but under the circumstances, it was about as good as they could have reasonably done.

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