The University of Connecticut is set on transferring conferences, leaving the American Athletic Conference for the Big East Conference.
UConn’s inevitable departure will shake up the conference, and may pave the way for a complete toss up in several sports, especially women’s basketball.
The Huskies were formerly a member of the Big East Athletic Conference from 1979 to 2013. On July 1 of 2013, seven of the schools that did not play football retained the Big East name.
The other six universities formed a new conference with four other schools from surrounding conferences, now known as the AAC.
Despite being the only founding member left in the AAC, UConn is expected to leave the conference by the end of the week, in order to rejoin the Big East.
On Monday, the Big East‘s Board of Directors voted in favor to formally extend an invitation to UConn to rejoin the conference.
The UConn women’s basketball team remains a staple and a dominant force in the history of the sport.
Especially women’s basketball within the AAC, the Huskies have shown a level of dominance and skill that has always been well above the rest of the teams in the conference.
In the last five seasons, UConn has had three seasons where the team has gone 36-1 during the regular season, and one year where the Huskies went undefeated.
No other team has even come close in the AAC, and if UConn officially joins the Big East for the 2020-2021 season, there is no clear team that will take its place at the top.
The University of South Florida has proved itself to be a runner up to UConn’s throne, having a 13-3 record in the AAC last season, and 12-4 during the 2017-2018 season.
East Carolina University has the opportunity to sneak into the top five teams in the conference, along with the University of South Florida, the University of Cincinnati, and the University of Houston.
On the other hand, UConn’s football program has been hardly dominant.
Since the joining of ECU in 2014, UConn’s best record was 6-7 in 2015 and the team had a 1-11 record last season.
Playing UConn in football has always been a bright spot for the Pirates, regardless of the team having a winning season, a new coach, or a rebuilding phase.
ECU has only lost to UConn once in a five year span, making UConn practically a guaranteed win on the schedule.
The Big East does not have football teams, so UConn will be trying to convert the rest if its teams to the Big East, but keep its football program in the AAC.
The American is bound to put up a fight to kick UConn out entirely, as the conference would have no benefit to keep the Huskies just for football.
If the team was a close contender to make the AAC Championship, or even a winning season, perhaps the conference would be more willing for UConn to stay.
There is no concrete evidence that the AAC would look to add another school to its conference.
The next step is for UConn’s Board of Directors to vote formally to leave the ACC for the Big East.
Such a decision is expected to take place at some point today.