According to Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post, the Air Force Academy is getting ready to leave the Mountain West Conference to join the Big East in football only. The Falcons' other sports will move to the Missouri Valley Conference.
Kiszla spoke to Air Force's athletic director Hans Mueh on Saturday following the Falcons' game against Notre Dame. Mueh said "Our interest is high in the Big East. That's fair to say." He also added "this stuff is moving fast." After the disappointing conference call the Big East had on Friday
, Air Force announcing their interest in the Big East was unexpected. How fast are things moving? Mueh thinks that things will be settled about his program's new destination by the end of this month.
The most shocking thing in Kiszla's article is the following: The Big 12 pursued Air Force and the Falcons turned them down. Why? Recruiting. Everything else seemed to fit except for that crucial element.
Mueh sees the Big East at 10 football members in the near future. Navy is for sure one of the targets. Both Air Force and Navy will try to lobby Army to join the league with them. Other than that, we fall back on the familiar C-USA schools we always discuss here and Temple (and maybe Villanova), but Mueh was either not asked about other schools or otherwise didn't name any outside of the service academies.
What do you think about Air Force joining the Big East as a football only member? Do you see any way the Big East will retain AQ status after this round of realignment is over (remember that conferences are judged against each other)? Oh, and do you think the Big East is actually going to survive now???