CBSSports.com is reporting that the Boise St. Broncos, Central Florida Knights, Houston Cougars, SMU Mustangs, and San Diego State Aztecs are leaving the C-USA and MWC to join the Big East in 2013. According to the report, Boise State and San Diego will join the Big East in football only. That would likely send their other sports, including SDSU's blossoming hoops program, to the WAC or Big West. With those five schools on board, Navy is expected to join as a football-only member - possibly as soon as next week - to boost the football membership to 11 schools.
Also, it looks like Air Force is being targeted to become the leagues 12th football school. Air Force would only join as football member.
The Big East hopes to add Air Force as its 12th football school - as a football-only member - but the Falcons still remain undecided.
This move has been expected for a while now. UTEP AD Bob Stull, last week, revealed that the C-USA and MWC, in response to these moves, are moving forward with a plan to merge their leagues. The merger, according to Stull, will likely be in all sports and not just in football as has been previously discussed. Previously, the leagues hoped to form a super conference, possibly including the remaining 5 Big East football schools, to snag an automatic selection into the BCS. Today's report suggests the MWC and C-USA expected these schools to depart and are now moving closer to a 16 team merger, as laid out by Stull.
While we don't know exactly how a "MWCUSA" would look, Stull hinted that UTEP would be in the western division,along with UNLV and old WAC-rival New Mexico. That clue makes it pretty easy to assemble potential divisions. The C-USA East would add Tulane, Tulsa, and Rice. UTEP would join what's left of the MWC and the WAC add-ons that are scheduled to join.
2. UTEP Miners
6. UNLV Rebels
3. Rice Owls
4. UAB Blazers
7. Southern Miss. Golden Eagles
Obviously many questions remain. What if Air Force decides to stay? Would that require making it an 18 team league with 2 round robin schedules and a football championship? What becomes of the MTN? Would the league offices be consolidated? Can this new league get any new TV money?
The realignment story is constantly updating, please post any new links you guys come across in the comments or "FanShot" them.