The Big East is hoping back on the expansion train by trying to get their football league up to 14, or even 16 teams. ESPN's Brett McMurphy is reporting that the Big East has interest in adding the BYU Cougars, Air Force Falcons and Army Black Knights.
It all depends on what the Big East wants, if they go to 14 teams then the choice is to BYU and Air Force, but if they want 16 then all three are under consideration. These additions in all likelihood be a football-only agreement.
This has been hashed and rehashed about the Big East wanting those three team. BYU has to be the top priority since they are the most national brand, followed by Air Force and then Army. Only BYU really would add value to the league in terms of television money.
In that same report by McMurphy a Big East source truly believes that the money will be flowing into the league:
"They'll crawl back once the TV deal is done," the source said.
Who knows how true that is since the reports have varied from very little to a lot, and they could just be speculating. ESPN gets an exclusive 60-day window to negotiate with ESPN, and since the Big East turned down their offer last time it is likely that the Big East will let that time frame pass. After that other networks can place a bid.
NBC/Comcast are going to be in the running, but with Notre Dame heading to the ACC it is possible that they may not be as high on the league; that is just my speculation.
Air Force is still committed to the Mountain West and head coach Troy Calhoun reaffirmed loyalty many times:
"You feel an affiliation, not just in terms of proximity but in terms of mutual respect among the institutions that are part of this league," Calhoun told the Colorado Springs (Colo.) Gazette in July. "You take guys out of school, leave on Thursday and miss all day Thursday and Friday -- sure, the revenue part of it, you might say maybe or maybe not -- I just think there's more to it."
Another thing to consider for Air Force is where will they place their other sports. The West Coast Conference is not likely, and neither is the Big West. The Mountain West for sure will not keep a non-football members, but there was a report last October saying that the Missouri Valley Conference was a consideration.
As for BYU, they already made a move by saying that they want to retain television rights for all home games, and that was shot down.
For more Mountain West Connection Follow @JeremyMauss