According to multiple reports, San Diego State is expected to rejoin the Mountain West Conference, effectively putting an end to the Big East's Manifest Destiny western expansion plan. The school's decision comes on the heels of Boise State's December 31 decision to remain an all-sports member of the conference.
The Aztecs will not have to pay an exit fee to leave the Big East. Because Boise State changed its mind about joining the Big East, there was specific language in the Aztecs' contract with the Big East giving the school a Get Out Of Jail free card.
This is a move in the interest of all involved parties.
San Diego State stays in the Mountain West, making the conference a 12-program football conference starting next season -- Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, San Diego State, San Jose State, UNLV, Utah State and Wyoming. The league can split into two six-team divisions and hold a conference championship game at the Jerry World of the desert. Above all else, the MWC survives as a viable non-AQ Division I-A conference, saving off being picked apart by the Big East.
With its western expansion plan squashed, the Big East can focus on rebuilding as the Eastern U.S. football conference foil to the Mountain West among the ranks of the non-AQ. I'm not sure how much value add San Diego State football alone, without Boise State, afforded the Big East given that the school would have been an extreme geographic outlier. The conference can now turn its attention towards landing a new media rights contract and take a more measured approach on the topic of expanding the football side even further before pulling the trigger (UMass? FIU? Tulsa?).