Mountain West Expansion: Boise State, SDSU Wise to Consider Ditching Big East

Ben ChodosCorrespondent IINovember 20, 2012

Oct 27, 2012; Laramie, WY, USA; Boise State Broncos head coach Chris Petersen before game against the Wyoming Cowboys at War Memorial Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-US PRESSWIRE

College football’s conference carousel is still spinning, and now Boise State, San Diego State and BYU are in talks to follow the realignment trend.

The Broncos and the Aztecs were set to join the Big East for the 2013 season as part of a western division, as was reported last week by ESPN’s Brett McMurphy. But McMurphy’s most recent report claims that Boise State and SDSU may renege on their commitment to the Big East and stay in the Mountain West Conference after recent events. 

McMurphy—who has been the busiest man in sports recently—reported along with Dana O’Neil on Monday that Maryland and Rutgers are joining the Big Ten in 2014. In his report on the Mountain West’s possible expansion, he notes that Connecticut and Louisville are potential candidates to move from the Big East to the ACC after Maryland’s exit.

The Big East appeared to be on its way back to prominence after losing West Virginia. TCU, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Notre Dame and Rutgers all either left or stated their intention to do so, as McMurphy noted when reporting on the Mountain West. In addition to the planned expansion that involved San Diego State and Boise state, the conference scored with the recent “Group of Five” decision.

As Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated notes, an automatic entry to a BCS bowl game will be given to the highest rated champion from the Big East, Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West and Sun Belt.

This seemed like a victory for the Big East a few days ago, but now that it is facing the exit of two teams, it may derail the conference’s future plans. The Mountain West teams have the exact same chances as Big East members at earning a lucrative BCS bowl birth.

Both the Aztecs and the Broncos have a major decision on their hands, but staying put is clearly the best option.

The losers in conference changes are often the fans, as rivalries that have been forged over the previous years are thrown away in favor of a new league that makes little geographic sense. However, these moves can sometimes be too lucrative to pass up.

But that is not the case when it comes to SDSU and Boise State’s proposed move to the Big East. There is no guarantee that these schools would make more money from their new conference's media deals, as McMurphy notes, and they will not increase their chances at playing in a marquee bowl game.

With the headache a conference change change would cause, these schools need a concrete reason to make a move. Right now, neither of them have this, and both would be better off staying in the Mountain West.