LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 22: Head coach Chris Petersen of the Boise State Broncos watches his team warm up before playing the Arizona State Sun Devils in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas at Sam Boyd Stadium December 22, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Boise State won 56-24. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Jon Wilner, a writer with the San Jose Mercury News who has been heavily engaged with conference realignment issues as they relate to western schools, reported this morning that the Big East is pressuring Boise State to join the Big East for the 2012 season. You can see the tweet of his report here. According to Wilner, the Big East wanted Boise State to go ahead and join in 2012 to offset the possible loss of West Virginia for the 2012 season.
The possibility of Boise State joining in 2012 raises a number of questions. Would the Big East be willing to pay for whatever Boise State has to pay to get out of the Mountain West Conference on such short notice. Also, would the Big East simply give Boise State the schedule that West Virginia would have played in 2012? If so, Boise State would travel to Louisville, Pittsburgh, and Connecticut while hosting Rutgers, Syracuse, South Florida, and Cinicnnati. If the Big East does not do that, would it reshuffle the entire schedule or perhaps stick it to Pittsburgh and Syracuse and make them make the road trip to Boise State next year?
Finally, Wilner also mentioned that the Big East might end up with Air Force as its 12th member after all. Brett McMurphy with CBS has previously mentioned in print and in appearances on radio that he felt the addition of Navy would likely change things for Air Force and make it reconsider its decision not to join the Big East. Adding Air Force as the 12th football member would be a nice geographical addition to the conference's new western division and reduce travel for new member Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, and SMU. Air Force's addition would likely be easier to work out than Navy because Air Force is in a conference and does not have numerous individual game contracts to work out of in order to join.
Stay tuned to Big East Coast Bias and our Big East Expansion section for more news on the subject.