Even as the Big East is seemingly ripping apart at the seams with each passing hour, with reports that West Virginia could announce its intentions to leave for the Big 12 as early as Wednesday, the conference is continuing its efforts to cobble together some semblance of a football league.
Boise State officials confirmed to Brian Murphy of the Idaho Statesman that the school met with Big East officials in Washington D.C. on Sunday. No decision on whether to move the Broncos’ football program from the Mountain West, where it’s in its inaugural season, to the Big East has been made.
“It was informational in nature and Boise State continues to consider and evaluate its options,” a spokesperson told Murphy.
Especially with the looming departure of the Mountaineers, Boise State is considered a linchpin — the linchpin — in the Big East’s fading hopes of maintaining its status as an automatic qualifying BcS conference. It’s believed BSU’s biggest concern, even more so than the obvious geographical aggravations, is the Big East losing its automatic qualifier status when the current cycle ends in 2013. Sources have confirmed to CFT that the Broncos have been seeking assurances from the Big East and other entities that the conference will maintain a presence in the BcS rotation beyond 2013; it appears highly unlikely BSU will receive any type of ironclad guarantee, particularly if the WVU reports are accurate.
The “instability and uncertainty” of the Big East’s future as a viable football conference is also a significant concern to BSU. The meeting this past weekend was in part the Big East’s attempt to allay the school’s concerns on several fronts.
BSU is reportedly one of six schools the Big East is close to issuing invitations to, the others being Air Force and Navy as football-only members, and Houston, UCF and SMU in all sports.
According to the Dallas Morning News, SMU also met with Big East officials Sunday in the nation’s capitol. That school’s officials would not confirm a meeting, and it’s unclear whether any of the other half-dozen schools were involved in meetings with the Big East this past weekend.
It was reported Monday that Houston’s Board of Regents will meet Thursday and are expected to grant UH’s chancellor the power to pursue the school’s future conference affiliation.