The Big East is scaring schools off left and right these days.
According to ESPN, Boise State, San Diego State and BYU have contacted the Mountain West Conference about possibly returning to the league in the near future. This is after the departure of Maryland from the Big East to the Big Ten. Rutgers is also leaving for the Big Ten, leaving one original Big East team (Temple) left in the conference.
The discussions began after last week’s decision by the BCS commissioners to give an automatic bowl berth to the highest-rated team in the “Group of Five” conferences. The “Group of Five” includes the Mountain West, Big East, Conference USA, MAC and Sun Belt conferences. The automatic berth puts these leagues on an equal playing field for access to the future playoff format.
Now that the Big East has lost two more schools and has the same playoff access as the MWC, Boise State and San Diego State are having second thoughts about joining the league. The main reason for their departure to the Big East was to draw more television revenue. And with the loss of Maryland and Rutgers along with two schools to the ACC, it’s uncertain how much more the Big East media rights will be worth compared to the MWC.
The door seems to still be open for Boise State and San Diego State to return to the conference after MWC commissioner Craig Thompson said the league intentionally didn’t expand past 10 teams in case the Broncos and Aztecs wanted to rejoin.
Both schools will mostly likely have to pay an exit fee from the Big East. Like much of their future, it’s still unknown how much that amount will be.