Memphis, TN-The BIG EAST Conference announced the league’s home and away opponents for the 2013 season on Tuesday. The University of Memphis will play five BIG EAST teams who are heading to bowl games this holiday season including three which the Tigers will play at home in 2013.
Memphis’ inaugural BIG EAST home schedule consists of Cincinnati, San Diego State, SMU and Temple. The Tigers will travel to Boise State, Houston, Louisville and USF in 2013.
Playing dates for the 2013 BIG EAST schedule have yet to be determined.
Memphis will renew old rivalries with Cincinnati, Louisville and USF; take on Houston and SMU programs which also make the move to the BIG EAST in 2013 and play a trio of first-time opponents during the university’s inaugural season in the new league – Boise State, San Diego State and Temple.
The Tigers’ home conference schedule includes three games against 2012 bowl qualifiers – Cincinnati (9-3) which will take on Memphis 2013 nonconference opponent Duke; San Diego State (9-3) which will play in the Poinsettia Bowl and SMU (6-6) which will play in the Hawai’i Bowl. Temple, which was 4-7 in 2012, won the New Mexico Bowl in 2011.
Highlighting the conference road schedule will be games at Las Vegas Bowl participant Boise State (10-2) and Louisville (10-2) which will play in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2.
The 2013 season will mark the first BIG EAST football season in a new 12 team, two division format.
The conference schedule will produce 48 regular-season games – the most in BIG EAST history – with each of the 12 teams playing eight league contests. The 2013 season will include two divisions of six teams, in which teams will play each of the other five schools in its division along with three schools from the other division.
The East Division will consist of UCF, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Rutgers and UCF. Boise State, Houston, Memphis, San Diego State, SMU, and Temple will make up the West Division.
The East and West division winners, determined by final conference record, will meet in the first BIG EAST Football Championship Game, which will be played at the home site of one of the division winners.
Memphis will play a total of seven home games for the first time since 2008 including six home games against teams which finished the 2012 season with .500 records or better.
UM will open the 2013 season against Duke on Sept. 7. The Tigers will travel to Middle Tennessee on Sept. 14 before playing host to GoDaddy.com Bowl participant Arkansas State on Sept. 21. The Tigers’ nonconference schedule also includes UT Martin on Nov. 9.
Memphis’ four, nonconference opponents have so far combined for a 31-16 record in 2012 – Duke currently has a 6-6 record, Middle Tennessee finished the season at 8-4, Arkansas State is 9-3 and UT Martin posted an 8-3 record in 2012.