San Diego State to the Big East? Now I’ve Seen Everything!

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Why are they calling it the Big East anymore? Let’s just call them the Big America Conference, because this absolutely ridiculous expansion plan for the Big East literally puts a team into every corner of the country. But, if expanding into Idaho, California, Texas, and Florida wasn’t enough (with Colorado also a possibility with Air Force), the conference is also reshaping the definition of what it means to even be a conference.

Not only will this conference have eight schools who do not  play football, mostly clustered around the urban areas between Washington-Philadelphia-New York City, but now they will have several football teams who don’t play basketball in their league. When this 20-something member goliath is really examined, only about 5 or so teams will play both football and basketball in the conference.

In adding Boise State, San Diego State, SMU, Houston, Central Florida, as well as, possibly Navy and Air Force, the Big East is really saying that football money matters more than any other of the denominators combined. Travel time for their athletes? Doesn’t matter. Natural geographic rivalries? Doesn’t matter. History and tradition? Doesn’t matter.  How about quality of football on the field? Actually, doesn’t really matter…unless San Diego State, SMU, and Central Florida immediately come to mind when you think powerhouse BCS bowl game participants.

But, maybe this really shouldn’t surprise you. The Big East expanded its “footprint” dramatically in 2005 by expanding to Marquette, DePaul, Cincinnati, Louisville, and South Florida. At the time, it seemed bold, but in many ways, it has hastened the movement of Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and West Virginia away from the conference.

In this expansion, the Broncos, Aztecs, Midshipmen, and Falcons would be football only members. That means, each would be searching for other conferences for their other sports. While that may be a boon to the Big West (who already added Hawaii after they jumped to the MWC in football only), it also means that the Mountain West Conference who raided the WAC for previously said Boise State, plus Nevada and Fresno State is now going to lose San Diego State and Boise State, in addition to BYU who for some reason decided to go independent and then join the Catholic college dominated WCC in other sports.

The irony of this mess is that Boise State will now suddenly come knocking on the door of the WAC again to join again in their other sports. So, apparently it is worth it to Boise State to send their basketball team off to play Texas – Arlington and Texas State – San Marcos for the glory of playing road football games against Cincinnati and Rutgers. I am sure Broncos fans will much rather see home visits by Central Florida, rather than the games they get against Wyoming and Colorado State currently..

I don’t get it…I really don’t. Boise State and San Diego State would have been so much better off simply allowing the Big East to implode and then have the Mountain West claim that automatic BCS qualifier status. It would have also helped their cause had BYU stayed put.

Really…Is the chance at a BCS bowl really that worth it? Somehow I doubt that the Aztecs will be playing in the Fiesta Bowl anytime soon. But, we do know their rising basketball team will soon be playing in San Luis Obispo against Cal Poly or up at UC Davis and have just hurt their strength of schedule and RPI in getting to the NCAA tournament in the process.

Maybe the Big East isn’t finished yet. To really expand their footprint, there is the possibility of bringing Alaska-Anchorage into the league.