The Big East is doing the best they can to survive as a strong football conference. With the Big 12 television schedule already released to its television partners which includes the West Virginia Mountaineers the Big East had to react. The latest comes from Jon Wilner who is saying that the Big East wants the Boise St. Broncos to join in 2012 and that the Air Force Falcons could follow the Navy Midshipmen to the Big East.
Source: Boise State under pressure from Big East to join in '12 to offset WVU departure. AF likely to join Navy in BE; question is when.— Jon Wilner (@wilnerhotline) February 2, 2012
With the Big East losing West Virginia they would be down to seven teams and would have to follow what the WAC did which was to be granted the exemption to allow the league to keep functioning until they get back to eight teams, which should not be problem.
If Boise State is to change leagues and are giving less than one years notice then the buyout is $5 million plus the final year revenue or the amount of the final year's revenue, whichever is greater. With Boise State not making a BCS bowl game their total revenue is not as large as it could have been with the $20-plus million payout. The likely amount Boise State would have to pay is the $5 million plus the 2010-11 revenue which should be between $7 to $9 million range. If Boise State were to leave a year early then they would try to get the Big East to pay that fee, and I could see Boise State saying no if the Big East is not going to help with that cost. Boise State would also have to see if they could move all of their other sports to the WAC one year earlier and who knows if that is feasible.
As for Air Force, it seems likely that they would eventually make their way to the Big East especially with Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo's comments about dropping the Air Force game.
Hat tip: Big East Coast Bias.