San Diego State staying with Big East?

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 arrangment.

“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.

When San Diego and Boise State made their original decision to join the Big East last year, a clause in the agreement allowed San Diego State to back out of the deal without penalty if there was no other school west of the Rocky Mountains (Boise State) in the new 12 team configuration of the Big East.

Another “buddy system” deal in the contract involving the two schools also states that the Mountain West must ask San Diego State whether it wants to return as the MWC’s 12th team before it can invite any other school, according to a report in the Idaho Statesmen. The time frame on that deal is the end of January.

When Boise State announced it’s decision not to come to the Big East on New Year’s Eve, many San Diego State backers assumed that the Aztecs would quickly follow suit. What surprised more than a few people at San Diego State was the less than enthusiastic response from schools in the Mountain West to endorse the move.

That reluctance  of acceptance has prompted  San Diego State officials to wonder whether their best option is to stay with Boise State or venture off on their own as the Big East’s primary West Coast entry.

Big East commissioner Mike Aresco, who was in New Orleans on Wednesday night watching Big East champion Louisville upset Florida in the Sugar Bowl, 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.

Although the best the Big East can probably expect at this point is to field an 11 team conference next season–which would prevent the creation of a conference (a minimum of 12 teams is required) championship game, Aresco feels that with Louisville (ACC) and Rutgers  (Big Ten) remaining for one more year and new schools such as SMU and Central Florida on the upswing, the Big East will be very competitive in its final year with an automatic  BCS bowl bid.

Aresco has also had to deal with the defection of 7 Catholic schools–Marquette, St. John’s, Providence, Seton Hall, Villanova, Georgetown and DePaul.  The Presidents of  that group are expected to meet on Friday to discuss their exit strategy.

According to sources familiar with the process, the Catholic 7 first official act will be to negotiate a departure from the Big East a year earlier than the July 1, 2015 date previously announced.

© 2013, Mark. All rights reserved.

  18 comments for “San Diego State staying with Big East?

  1. RudyMass
    January 3, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    Just bookmarked this blog. No small thing for me. Glad it’s around and has such a vocal community.

  2. Vu97
    January 3, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Why would the catholic 7 want him?

  3. Guy
    January 3, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    SDSU is gone. There are negotiations to get done regarding exit fees, entrance fees, scheduling, etc.

    Aresco’s success has been adding ECU and Tulane.. ECU and TULANE! Heck, Meatball has a way better record than Aresco.

    Mike Aresco has totally fumbled, did not do a good job selling the conference to keep the defections from continuing and added ECU ad Tulane. ECU and TULANE.

    Time to become a consultant Mike, for TV and the Catholic 7.

    • Greg
      January 3, 2013 at 7:28 pm

      Guy, who would you have brought in? I’m curious to know what you think was a better option than a New Orleans market and a solid mid-major football team.

      • Fin
        January 26, 2013 at 6:48 pm

        I’m not Guy, but I would many would argue Tulsa appeared to have been a much stronger pick at the time. Perhaps an optimal pick. Their DMA’s are equally unimpressive. Their DMAs are relative peers. New Orleans has .562% of the nation’s TV households and Tulsa has .462%. Not a significant difference (only 115,000 households). Tulsa is pretty dominant in CUSA in football and would likely not have been seen as objectionable in BB by the BB schools.

        Still, to me it looks like the Catholic 7 were looking for an excuse to go. I think they would have found an excuse regardless of who was chosen.

        UMass looks like a school that might have statewide support in an important media state. They are solid in basketball. Football will take a while, but the same is true at Tulane.

        Villanova (on their terms) might have been a smarter add.

        Frankly Old Dominion doesn’t look all that bad if you are looking at Tulane….

        I think UNM or CSU (or both) were similarly pretty attractive.

        (Frankly UTEP might have been a decent candidate too, due to strong basketball, being a portal to Mexico, the sun bowl, and alumni in DFW and the other big Texas markets, but one gets the feeling that schools like ECU which has long complained about the occasional game at UTEP have this conference looking no further than Dallas. USM had some reasonable arguments too…strong football and surprisingly good basketball.)

        I’d think Tulane getting in was about being an academically impressive private and for local recruiting. It is a good area for talent and that may have really interested the football schools.

  4. SJGMoney
    January 3, 2013 at 11:27 am

    SD State isn’t coming to the Big East, please, not without Boise. They can cry the disrespect card all they want but they are going to stay in the MWC, to think otherwise is to be delusional or from Manilla.

  5. thebin
    January 3, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Wait…the Catholic 7 are trying to negotiate an exit in July of 2014 or July of 2013? In yesterday’s blog post Jersey Guy indicated “”The most likely option will be to negotiate a deal with the Big East which will allow the Catholic schools to leave after the 2013 college basketball season.”

    By which I assume THIS is the last basketball season for the C7 schools?

  6. Pedman
    January 3, 2013 at 2:25 am

    I can’t believe that. Why would they stay in the big east. To stay with UConn?

  7. January 3, 2013 at 1:23 am

    Aresco sounds as pathetically desperate as Marinatto did. As for SDSU, who cares what the MWC schools feel? You have to be fools not to go back there.

    • SDSUzoo
      January 3, 2013 at 1:46 am

      I disagree Greg2600. The future is bringing together a nationwide conference for the 6th power conference full of 14-16 major market teams. It’s not going to happen in the Mountain West. In a way, Boise State was always a weird placement in the new Big East model – it comes from one of the smallest markets in the country… but it was initially chosen because Big East needed to bolster its BCS qualifications. Now that’s no longer around, Boise State actually doesn’t fit the Big East goal too well.

      For SDSU, being in a league that you play second fiddle to diva Boise State is not good in the long run. Heck, it’s not good for anyone in that conference. But they had no choice in order to try and survive.

      So, San Diego State has a big decision in front of themselves… if they decide to stay, Houston and SMU are instantly secured, and they may be able to swing a couple Western teams. If they go, the opposite could be true.

      If the Big East can secure those teams and have a full western division that competes in olympic sports and decreases travel because they play 6 or 7 western allies… it will be better in long term than whatever the MWC can put together.

      My gut is if San Diego State is scheduled to make as much money as Wyoming, while Boise State gets a sweetheart deal with bonuses… then you’ll see San Diego State stay in the Big East. If the money’s comparable and Big East is unwilling to see the bigger picture and dedicate to a national conference… then San Diego State goes back to MWC.

      • mikeinmanila
        January 3, 2013 at 9:26 am


      • KQuigley3
        January 3, 2013 at 11:34 am

        The problem for SDSU is that nobody in the MWC wants them back. When the BE implodes, they will probably end up in the Big West or WCC if they are lucky.

      • Ncrdbl1
        January 3, 2013 at 3:16 pm

        I didn’t want those grapes, they most likely are sour anyway. The blog reeks of desperation both by Aresco and the blogger. There was better coordination on the deck of the titanic after it hit the iceberg.

        As for MWC not wanting SDSU back that is also a sour grapes comment. SDSU will give the MWC 12 teams and a conference title game and automatically open the current TV contract up for renegotiation.

        Aresco is working hard so he will not go down as the man who allowed the conference to die.He will fail, because he inherited a sinking ship and all he has is a bucket to try and bail out the water.

        Time to call the time of death and allow schools to try and make the besat deal they can to either go back to their former conferences or maybe else where or form a new conference.

        • Justin
          January 3, 2013 at 3:44 pm

          The idea that any one of BYU, Nevada, UNLV, or Fresno would go to the Big East AFTER Boise decided to stay in the MWC is asinine. Those schools all told Aresco “no thanks” at various points well before the BSU decision to stay, as did Air Force and I’d guess a couple others. It’s misleading to report on Aresco’s likely strategy this uncritically – you might as well report that he’s also targeting LSU and Ohio St. because those schools are roughly as likely to join the Big East at this point as any current or former MWC member outside of SDSU.

          • Mark
            January 3, 2013 at 3:50 pm

            don’t shoot the messenger. I’ve written that the big east needs to make whatever deal it can. all I have done is report what they are doing. I also pointed out that it may be wishful thinking by the big east about san Diego state.

          • Fin
            January 26, 2013 at 6:55 pm

            Yeah but members dictate strategy. You can really only definitively fault Aresco for not being able to land BYU, AFA, Fresno and UNLV. (And only a little as it appeared to be a tough sale.)

            Now commissioners lay out options and may even push for an option, but the choices are made by the schools. The poor idea to actually pursue those western options exclusively was the one the members chose to have him and his staff pursue. A fair bit of criticism can be applied to the presidents. Why could they not see what most fans could?

        • Mark
          January 3, 2013 at 3:51 pm

          I just reported what the big east is doing.

    • Josh Hobbs
      January 3, 2013 at 11:44 am

      the problem is that Jim Sterk IS a fool. SDSU has built a pretty good basketball program and they are about to ruin that for the sake of football but they can’t even tell you what their football program will be getting in terms of money or conference yet.

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