For a while now the Big East has been the top story in expansion talks with side stories of the Mountain West and Conference USA trying to join forces in an attempt to gain favor from the BCS committee, but no major players were involved because the four major conferences with automatic qualifiers were quiet until now. It appears that Missouri intends to apply to the SEC once again throwing the world of collegiate athletics into a tailspin of conference realignment.
The SEC will grow to 14 while the Big 12 shrinks back down to 9, which in turn will cause the Big 12 to try and expand again to grow back to the number they had before Colorado and Nebraska left for the Pac 12 by grabbing Arkansas from the SEC if they can and West Virginia and Louisville from the Big East. The Big East's response to expansion is to raise their exit fee to ten million and try to recruit the only big name left out of an AQ to date, Boise State.
Immediately Boise State doubles the number of teams the Big East in the BCS rankings, and one in the top five. Houston is a hot team right now and adds a third member to the conference in the BCS rankings but they don't have the prestige that Boise does. I'm all for Big East expansion in the face of this mess, but it doesn't seem to fit to me to extend all sport invitations to some teams out west but not others.
Unfortunately for the Big East none of this solves the stability problem should the Big 12 come calling for Louisville and West Virginia because even with the higher exit fee because of the new revenue sharing plan and the television deal that the Big 12 has it is still more profitable to pay the fee and make the move. If I were the proposed teams on the Big East's expansion plan I would still join for the automatic status of the next two years with the hope the new and revamped Big East is enough to hold on and if not you have the AQ before going back to what you had before. It stands to reason that in this conference Boise would easily make the BCS game.
Who knows how this will all shake out, but if and when the Missouri Tigers make a move to the SEC there will be more chips to fall. The Big 12 won't stay at nine, the only question is whether they will go back to ten or move to twelve and whether or not the Big East can withstand another attempted raid.