The silence coming from Montezuma Mesa is deafening but reading the tea leaves (or blogs in the case) is giving an indication of what will happen with the current intrigue surrounding the San Diego St. Aztecs and their choice between the Mountain West Conference and the Big East Conference.
A lot of what's out there today and overnight is pure opinion, but the always reliable Mark Blaudschun has interesting info over at his blog AJerseyGuy.com.
Blaudschun gets right to the point in this morning's blog entry:
With Boise State’s decision to back out on a deal to join the Big East and remain in the Mountain West, the general assumption has been that San Diego State, which was also scheduled to jump from the MWC to the Big East on July 1, would follow the Broncos’ lead and also back out of the Big East arrangement.
"The Big East hasn’t heard anything officially, but they (San Diego State) want to stay (with the Big East)," said one source familiar with the discussions that are being conducted between the Big East and SD State.
Whether that is wishful thinking from Big East officials or a realistic option remains to be seen.
Blaudshun goes on to point out that SDSU had a get-out-of-
jail-Big East card written in to their agreement to join the BE along with Boise State. Obviously that can be activated now that Boise State has decided to stick with the MWC. But he reports that the Aztec administration has been less than enthusiastic about returning to the Mountain West.
Blaudshun writes that despite losing its western anchor, thought to be the Broncos, that Big East commissioner Mike Aresco is still looking to set up a western division for the beleaguered league.
...(Aresco) has maintained that the next move for the Big East would be to focus on a West coast partner for both San Diego State and Boise State. If Aresco can keep San Diego State, he is expected to target schools such as Fresno State, Nevada, BYU or UNLV. Aresco has lobbied SD State officials consistently over the past few weeks, emphasizing their importance in the overall expansion plan the Big East has put together.
The Sporting News' Matt Hayes asserts that "The Mountain West is playing chess. The Big East is playing Parcheesi." It appears that Aersco did not get that memo.
Or else, he's gone rogue. Stay tuned...
Over at ESPN's Big East Blog, Andrea Adelson recapts yesterday's event and reiterates what we here at MW Conn said earlier in the week - SDSU is "on the clock."
Adelson does point one thing out though:
San Diego State does not have nearly as much leverage, and therefore may not stand to gain as much financially as the Broncos should they stay put.
There's also this:
In an interview with The Associated Press, commissioner Mike Aresco said he just wants an answer from San Diego State so the Big East can try and move forward. But even then, there are no sure answers about a new television partner, or the future, for a league that cannot hold itself together.
Meanwhile over at the Deseret News, Layton Shumway noticed something in yesterday's ESPN report that I missed (it's bolded for your ease of reading):
"A league source told ESPN Wednesday afternoon 'right now the votes are not there for San Diego State.' The source said the Mountain West would prefer Brigham Young."
Shumaway follows that with this:
BYU hasn't made any comments yet about Boise State's decision to stay. But Deseret News columnist Dick Harmon observed Wednesday that a clause in Boise State's return agreement gives the Broncos the ability to sell TV rights to their home games separately from the conference TV package.
That's something BYU had requested from both the Mountain West and the Big East before becoming a football independent in 2011.
Would that entice the BYU Cougars out of independence?
Probably not. ESPN has given BYU $4 million reasons to stay out of a conference... for now.
Lastly, the San Diego Union-Tribune's Matt Culken makes the argument that San Diego State should not be making decision based on football - an almost heretical thought these days. But his column, titled "As much as it wants to be, San Diego State isn't a football school", makes sense in a lot of ways:
Before making any decisions going forward, the university needs to recognize its true athletic identity...
The sport that has given Montezuma Mesa national exposure is basketball. The game that has morphed a commuter school into the most ardent fan base on the West Coast is basketball. And the reason the Aztecs football team needs to get back into the Mountain West is basketball.
The comment section of the column is surprisingly civil... somewhat.
Lastly Athletic director Chet Gladchuk of the Navy Midshipmen apparently disagrees with Big East commish Aresco on Boise State's worth out on the East Coast, or so he says in an interview with the Capital Gazette:
"What Boise State wanted was outrageous and unprecedented. It was not palatable to any of the other Big East institutions," Gladchuk said. "In the final analysis, Boise wasn’t worth it. There is zero television interest in Boise along the Eastern seaboard. What it tells me is the Mountain West was desperate. Clearly, the Mountain West was willing to make whatever concessions necessary to keep Boise in the fold."
Desperate? In the current world of college football, being desperate is not necessarily a bad thing.
Especially when your school isn't subsidized directly by the Federal Government.