A move to the Big East for the Air Force Falcons gives them more money, guaranteed BCS access better television exposure when they do appear on one of the ESPN channels, however road trips for fans would be next to impossible and Air Force fans are speaking out against a potential move to the Big East for their football team.
In the Colorado Springs Gazette, Air Force beat writer Frank Schwab has found the fan response overwhelmingly negative:
In feedback to The Gazette - in comments on blog posts, and in Twitter and Facebook discussions - the reaction to the potential move has been almost unanimously negative. Those fans have issues with travel and its cost, the health of the Big East especially after TCU left for the Big 12 before arriving, Air Force's ability to compete and losing regional rivalries. Air Force has said the travel change won't be too dramatic, it wouldn't join an unstable Big East, the Falcons rank favorably with other Big East football programs in budgets and stadium size, and regional rivalries could be part of non-conference scheduling.
Here is a sampling of some of the fan reactions, there are a lot so go check out the article for all of them:
- MKL: "I live in Big East country, and the sentiment here is that the Big East is a sinking ship. Makes no sense geographically, makes no sense for recruiting, and it makes no sense if what AF wants is to get their football team into a higher-profile conference."
- Falcon backer: "Geographically speaking a move to the BE in football makes no sense. Maybe it would mean greater revenues for AFA. Having all three academies in the same conference does hold an appeal and AFA could always schedule CSU and WYO as nonconference games to maintain those regional rivalries. Still, I favor AFA's football team remaining in the MWC."
- @b_sanch_76: don't like it. Would ad a lot of travel and would not really be a step up in competition
- @MyLobotomy: it makes sense if Army and Navy also join. The Big East will not be viewed in the same light as in the past though.
- @IReilly1912: I think bad move. Split conferences and unequal revenue structures aren't going to survive.
- @PeterCBigelow: It'd be a short-term fix, a garbage move and one beneath Air Force.
Out of what was posted there was only one positive comment:
- @1310ticketless i'm all for the BE now... MWC has lost so much the past 15 months or so...
The overwhelmingly fans do not like this move and do not want to lose local rivalries for a money grab and a minor step up in competition and even the fans who are warm to this idea only would consider it if Army and Navy join Air Force in the Big East. However, Army is out of the picture as they declined to join the Big East. Also, this large negative fan response will probably not make a difference in deciding if Air Force does go to the Big East.