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Big East and San Diego State preparing to announce separation

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer
San Diego State becomes third school to leave the Big East without playing a Big East game. (US Presswire)

It appears the Big East is about to get smaller. Again.

A source confirmed to CBSSports.com's Jeremy Fowler that the Big East and San Diego State are preparing to announce that San Diego State will be leaving the conference before it ever officially joined. The source told Fowler the deal is "close" but there's no timetable because lawyers are involved.

And as was the case when Boise State left the Big East in late December, San Diego State will be leaving the Big East in order to remain with the Mountain West. However, unlike Boise State, San Diego State will not have to pay the Big East an exit fee. The school negotiated a clause in its deal with the conference that if Boise State backed out it would be able to do so as well at no cost.

San Diego State's return to the Mountain West now gives the MWC 12 schools for the 2013 season. Meanwhile, the Big East is still expanding from eight to 10 schools in 2013 despite the losses of Boise State and San Diego State. Their departures don't mean the movement in the conference has stopped.

Louisville and Rutgers will remain in the Big East in 2013 but will leave for the ACC and Big Ten respectively in 2014. They'll be replaced by Tulane and East Carolina. Navy is also scheduled to join the Big East in 2015.

Confused? Good, you should be.

For more college football news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnCFB on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed, college football newsletter, and get the Eye On College Football Podcast from iTunes. You can follow Tom Fornelli on Twitter here: @TomFornelli.

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