Big East Expansion Update: Air Force Could Wait Until January To Decide

In early October, the Big East's leadership approved a plan to expand the conference to twelve football playing members and play a conference championship game. Nearly two months later, no teams have officially been invited or added and it doesn't look like that situation will change any time soon. At a press conference introducing its new athletic director, Boise State president Bob Kustra told reporters that the Big East continues to try and work out the numerous intricacies necessary to bring on seven new members with some being full members and some being football-only members. According to a report in the Idaho Statesman, Kustra said:

"Every day something changes," he said. "We’re still trying to work it out and where we really are is trying to work out the other sports. That’s where we are. It’s not easy. … Believe me, I would have loved to have done this a month ago.

"I personally think that this would be a good thing for us to do, yeah, but I can’t say I’m sure it’s going to happen because there’s just these obstacles to getting there and trying to find a conference that wants us and is right for us. Those are the things we haven’t figured out yet."

Also delaying things is indecision on Air Force's part. According to Kustra, Air Force is still undecided and isn't close to making a decision, even if the Big East is able to get Boise State and San Diego State on board in the creation of a West Division. From the Statesman report:

He hopes to finalize the Big East deal in the next couple weeks. He expects San Diego State to join Boise State as a Western partner. He also hasn’t ruled out Air Force, which has indicated it might not make a decision until January, he said.

Many expressed disappointment that BYU wasn't able to be lured in and that an announcement wasn't made during the week that ESPN's College Gameday was in Houston for the Houston-SMU game (both likely future Big East members). If the decision lingers on into January, patience on the part of many fans will grow awfully thin. Additionally, if Air Force decides against a football-only membership in the Big East, it could impact Navy's decision to join. If neither academy joins, it's difficult to see which schools the Big East could invite that would add potential television contract value and remotely help the football side of the conference's perception nationally.

Stay tuned to Big East Coast Bias for additional news on expansion by checking our Big East Expansion section and if things turn south, well check out the Big East Falls Apart section, too.

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