The Air Force Falcons are nor leaving the Mountain West Conference for the Big East. And, the reasoning behind the decision is so reasonable that it flies in the face of all we've learned about conference affiliation in the last few years. Air Force is staying because of loyalty and a belief that their student athletes will be better off playing regional rivalries as opposed to traveling to Rutgers or UCF to play a football game.
Lt. General Mike Gould officially released this statement earlier today. Read this paragraph.
"The Air Force Academy will remain in the Mountain West Conference, where we have been since 1998-99 when we were a co-founding member of the conference. I made this decision based on what’s best for our cadet-athletes and the institution as a whole. This decision was made based on things like regional rivalries (like just playing our 50th football game against Colorado State Univ.), loyalties to the conference, travel time for our cadet athletes and fans, school time missed, and travel costs. I feel the Academy is a key and pivotal member of the Mountain West, and think we can do a lot to help this conference continue its tradition of excellence. We of course continue to watch the changes happening not only in the Mountain West, but within NCAA sports around the country. As for now, ‘We’re ALL IN’ the Mountain West Conference."
How refreshing is it to read that?
Now that Air Force is out, you'd have to assume that the Big East will target Temple as their 12th member. Navy is largely expected to become the league's 11th football playing school in the coming days or weeks. This news is obviously good for the MWC and C-USA as the leagues are inching closer and closer to a potential all sports merger. Air Force was mentioned as a possible Big 12 candidate just a few months ago.