The University of Houston has accepted an invitation to move all its inter-collegiate sports to the Big East Conference.

UH is one of five schools moving to the Big East. They're joining Boise State, Central Florida, San Diego State and SMU, effective in the 2013 football season.  UH, Central Florida and SMU enter the league as full members, while Boise State and San Diego State join the conference for football only.

The expansion gives the Big East 10 long-term football members, with the five newcomers joining Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Rutgers and South Florida.  UH football will have easier access to a BCS bowl game, because the Big East champion automatically qualifies for the BCS series.

With UH, SMU and Central Florida, Big East men's and women's basketball will expand to 19 teams, with a list that already includes some of the toughest teams in the country.

Six Big East men's teams are ranked in the top 25, and three -- Syracuse, Louisville, and Connecticut --are in the top 10, almost every year.

The Big East is also a perennial powerhouse in women's basketball, with a number of top ranked teams.  Connecticut has won seven national championships, including four between 2000 and 2004.

In 2009 two Big East schools -- Connecticut and Louisville -- met in the NCAA Tournament Championship game. UConn won it.  South Florida won the WNIT Championship.

This year, UConn and Notre Dame both made the NCAA Final Four. The Lady Irish beat the Huskies in their semifinal, but lost to the Championship game to -- wait for it -- the Lady Aggies of Texas A&M.

via UH officially joins Big East Conference - Houston Chronicle.

For its entire 32 year history, the Big East Conference Men's Basketball Championship game has been played in Madison Square Garden in New York City with national television coverage.

via Free On-Demand Videos at

Yes indeed.  It's going to be an entirely new and tougher sports world for the UH Cougars.  It's also going to be more expensive because of the costs of traveling to Big East schools for road games.