John F. Silver
Boise State, the linchpin to the Big East’s reinvention, will back out of its commitment to the Big East according ESPN and stay in the Mountain West Conference.
Boise State’s departure could also result in San Diego State backing out without a an exit fee penalty and could lead to further defections as the Mountain West seems to have won out over the Big East as the best of the rest in college football.
ESPN is also reporting that SMU and Houston could be targets of the Mountain West.
The Boise State makes Big East football almost unworkable. Any further defections, such as San Diego State, would deny the westward expansion and could have other teams, such as Navy, back out of its ultimate Big East entrance.
The league now has to replace Boise State on the schedule for next season as the league tries to regroup.
UConn, South Florida, Temple Cincinnati are the only Big East members left.
Next year, Central Florida, Houston SMU, San Diego State, Memphis were supposed to join with Louisville and Rutgers.
That would make next year 11 teams without Boise. If there are further departures, it could become difficult for the league to field.
This leaves UConn athletics in an even worse position if possible. The Huskies have no desire to remain in the Big East, but also have no outlet with the ACC unwilling to extend an invite. With the basketball schools having departed, the basis of football/basketball league remains problematic from a television and strength standpoint.