ESPN.com is reporting that Maryland is indeed joining the Big Ten. The same report indicates that Rutgers will announce they are doing the same.
Maryland is leaving the ACC, which doesn't directly effect Boise State, but Rutgers will be departing a continually shrinking Big East Conference, which should feel like deja vu for Boise State fans.
The last time the Broncos joined a conference, the Mountain West, premiere members announced departures before the Broncos could even play a down.
With Maryland now leaving, the ACC will no doubt go shopping for an addition. Top contenders will be Louisville and Connecticut out of the Big East. If Connecticut leaves, it won't be nearly as bad as if Louisville is the one to go, at least from a football standard.
According to a Bleacher Report story by Timothy Rapp, Connecticut is as good as gone, and the ACC is looking at South Florida and Cincinnati. If that is true, it doesn't look good for the Big East.
However, even if Connecticut leaves there is no guarantee that Louisville doesn't get picked up by the Big 12. If the Big 12 takes Louisville they will no doubt choose at least one other team to raise the conference back to its label of 12 teams. That other team could be BYU, but who really knows at this point?
So what should Boise State do? The leadership at Boise State is probably doing exactly what they need to do. They are no doubt trying to put the school in the best position possible no matter the way the conference dominoes fall this time around.
A bigger question is what is the Big East doing?
If the Big East loses the television sets from the Rutgers New Jersey and New York markets it could effect the new television deal commissioner Mike Aresco is working on. Not only that, but if Louisville bolts, there is another top-50 T.V. market gone.
However, if Aresco could land BYU and make a sweetheart deal with the Cougars, it could help to take away the sting. It would have to be an incredible deal to land BYU and exposure for the Utah based religious school would be a key factor.
Another team that Aresco might look to land is UNLV. Not that they are a huge football success, because they are not, but they do bring a top-50 television market. Las Vegas is ranked No. 42 in television sets. The city is also home to the Las Vegas Bowl which could be a nice addition for the Big East bowl lineup.
One more out of the box thought would be looking to the newcomer University of Texas San Antonio. They are members of the WAC currently and headed to C-USA in 2013. They have a decent football program, and UTSA is located in the No. 37 television market in the country.
Adding Air Force would be decent as well. However, to make that an effective grab, Aresco would probably have to land Army too. That would give the Big East all three of the major service academies because Navy is slated to join the conference in 2015.
One other school to consider would be Fresno State. They are located in the No. 55 television market and have an above average football program.
In saying all of that, Mike Aresco might have a much more "eastern" list in mind. East Carolina would have to be at the top of that list. But, who else might be?
No matter what happens, the Big East will need to counter somehow. It is an unfortunate situation for the conference and for teams like Boise State.
With BYU the Big East would add football clout and a large number of devoted fans. With UNLV and UTSA they would get television sets and possibly a bowl game added into the mix.
Fresno State adds a decent market and a good football program. With Air Force and Army the conference would get tradition, rivalries and pageantry.
Here we go again.
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