The process has lasted longer than Kim Kardashian's wedding, but the courtship between the Big East Conference and UCF will become official tomorrow in New York according to CBS Sports' Brett McMurphy who first broke the newson that confirmed a late Monday night report by Tom Luicci in the Newark Star Ledger.
UCF has been trying to get into a BCS conference since 2003 when they and USF both went after a spot the last time the conference expanded. At that time, UCF had severe facility issues as it played basketball in a poorly-designed multi-purpose gymnasium and was still playing its football games in the dilapidated Citrus Bowl. Since losing out to USF, UCF has spent the time upgrading its facilities so that it now has an on-campus football stadium, the state's first indoor football practice facility, and one of the best basketball on-campus basketball arenas in the region.
UCF will come into the conference with SMU, Houston, Boise State, and San Diego State with Air Force and Navy expected to join at later dates according to multiple reports. The other unknown in this situation is who they will be joining. West Virginia, Syracuse, and Pittsburgh are all leaving the conference after 2013 per the existing conference agreement but West Virginia is suing the conference in hopes of winning the case to join the Big XII in 2012.
UCF gaining all-sports acceptance into an auto-qualifying (for now) conference can only help their recruiting efforts that were in a bit of a standstill following the loss of lead recruiter David Kelly a midst the NCAA inquiry into recruiting violations of now Louisville prospect Damarcus Smith.