UPDATE: According to Pete Thamel of New York Times Big East has not discussed this and wants 12 teams.
Just when conference realignment could not get any more crazy there is a report from Boston.com that the Big East is considering merging with the Mountain West and Conference USA as well as a few teams from the WAC to create a 28- or 32-team league with four divisions. This also would only be for football.
This is even a worse idea than the Mountain West and C-USA merging together. The article mentions this as a way for the Big East to return their BCS bid, but does not really say how. Actually, the details are sketchy for someone who said they obtained a document. The only details are what a 32 team league would look like and no mention of scheduling or if the four division winners would compete in a four-team playoff to earn an automatic bid to the BCS.
The writer in the article believes that the Mountain West and C-USA would like the idea because it would increase their access to the BCS without having to go undefeated.
Here is the divisional format proposed:
|Boise State||Air Force||Marshall||Louisville|
|Fresno State||UTEP||UAB||South Florida|
|San Diego State||SMU||Rice||Central Florida|
|Utah State||Tulsa||Temple||East Carolina|
|San Jose State||Houston||Louisiana Tech||Navy|
One glaring omission is the West Virginia Mountaineers and connecting the dots this seems to me that they are on their way out to join the Big 12 because the Missouri Tigers are packing up and going to the SEC. This could mean that the Big 12 is going to stay at 10 and not go to 12 by inviting Louisville and BYU to join West Virginia.
So that could be why this crazy is being floated.
With all of these mergers happening and being discussed it just seems that a playoff is around the corner since these leagues are attempting to have an extra playoff type game. Actually since these playoff ideas are coming from the lesser FBS leagues it would not force any change as long as the other five BCS leagues are happy with the bowl arrangement and there is no indication by them for change.
However with a playoff format to determine a conference title or BCS bid from these lesser leagues, it seems that a break off from the FBS level is more likely and create a I-A, I-AA and a I-AAA divisions of college football. This 32-team proposal is basically a new league not a conference. Hey, why not add the top handful of teams from the MAC and Sun Belt and make it an even 40 and have 10-team leagues and the winners have a playoff for some national title on a new FBS division.
This all comes back to a money grab and not being left behind in regards to the BCS, because in reality this conglomerate is a joke and the Big East is looking in some way to retain their major college football status. However, with the Big East aligning themselves with the Mountain West and C-USA they are already taking a step down.
Going back to West Virginia not being in the mix it seems that the Big East is in real danger of losing their BCS status and that Boise State and Air Force are going to not move to the Big East, because if they were to land Boise State to replace West Virginia the Big East's numbers would actually go up.
If I am correct on the last paragraph and that the Big East is going to lose their BCS status and that the Mountain West will go forward with 10 teams then why help the Big East, because there could be a real fight for that last BCS spot with a Big East without West Virginia going up against a Mountain West that still has Boise State.
Hat tip: Bluesyourdaddy