According to an ESPN report, Boise State will remain a member of the Mountain West Conference, the latest in a string of crippling blows to the Big East. The Broncos choose an all-sports existence in the Mountain West over joining the Big East for football and the Big West for all other sports.
Boise State will have to pay a $10 million exit fee to the Big East even though they haven't spent a day in the conference.
As it stands today, the Mountain West will have 11 members in 2013, as the Broncos join Air Force, Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, San Jose State, UNLV, Utah State and Wyoming.
All eyes now turn to San Diego State. While the Aztecs have repeated said that they are committed to joining the Big East for football next season, the school's contract with the Big East allows them to withdraw without penalty if the conference doesn't have another football-playing member west of the Rocky Mountains on July 1, 2013.
Should San Diego State join Boise State on bailing on the Big East, that may just be enough positive momentum to also jar Houston and SMU loose with the Cougars and Mustangs sent running for the MWC in the formation of a 14-team all-sports conference.
In addition, Navy sounds to be a soft commit for joining Big East football in 2015. Navy and former Boston College athletic director Chet Gladchuk told the Baltimore Sun that Navy "will take a real hard look at what's left standing" before deciding whether or not they'll join the Big East as a football-only member.
Should Boise State, San Diego State and Navy all bail on the embattled conference, the Big East will be left with just 10 football playing members next season: Connecticut, Rutgers, Temple, Cincinnati, Louisville, South Florida, Houston, SMU, UCF and Memphis. The following season Tulane and ECU would replace ACC-bound Louisville and Big Ten-bound Rutgers in a 10-team football conference.
Highly uneducated guesswork here: San Diego State sticks with the Mountain West, Houston and SMU leave the Big East for the Mountain West, Navy sticks with football independence and Big East football (once again) reloads with UMass and Florida International.
So, uhh, Happy New Year, Big East!