Historically, the Big East conference has been one of the most celebrated and respected Division I college sport conference. When you look at the success that the conference has had in basketball it is eye-opening, with 16 appearances in the final four and six members win the national championship. The conference has also achieved successes on the gridiron as well as West Virginia, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Louisville and South Florida with each getting atleast a share of time in the top 10 of the BCS rankings since 2005 and Miami winning two national championships when it was a member of the Big East.
Despite the success it has had in football, the game of football was also what lead to the downfall of the conference. When the Big East was first formed, its intent was to be able to contend with the other major basketball conferences in Division I thriving off of that with successes of the teams in the conference early on such as Georgetown and Villanova. But things began to get tricky for the conference realignment of 2005 involving the Big East, the ACC and Conference USA. What really hurt the Big East in this situation was that they lost important football member schools Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College to the Atlantic 10. As a result, it led to the Big East extending invitations to five Conference USA member schools, such as Depaul and Marquette (non football members) while, Cincinnati, South Florida and Louisville were also added as football members.