The Big East is going through another painful breakup.
San Diego State joined the list of schools leaving the conference (here’s a roundup) Wednesday, announcing its football program would remain in the Mountain West along with the rest of its sports in 2013. SDSU had committed to join the Big East as a football-only member; instead, it’ll be the third school — along with Boise State and TCU — to leave the conference without playing a conference game.
Navy’s been an interested spectator throughout this process, watching its future conference add and subtract teams before the Mids join up as football-only members in 2015. But this latest move means more for another service academy’s schedule.
By staying in the Mountain West, SDSU helps create a 12-team conference for 2013. That makes the Mountain West eligible to host a championship game, and according to the ESPN.com report linked above, that’s exactly what conference officials are planning to do this season. That’ll mean creating divisions, which could land Air Force with Boise, Colorado State, New Mexico, Utah State and Wyoming in what would amount to a “Mountain West East.”
This could affect Air Force’s conference schedule going forward, with Fresno State, Nevada and other proposed “Mountain West West” schools possibly rotating through the schedule, instead of appearing on a yearly basis. It also means the Falcons could be the first service academy to play in a conference title game, as early as this year.
Obviously, the logistics are still being sorted out. But Air Force has a guy for that.