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College Football Insider

Big East could be looking West for next team

The Big East is looking to add one more football member after its poaching of Tulane and East Carolina from Conference USA this week. I'm told they aren't revisiting the C-USA for that team at this point.

They could be looking West in efforts to pair Boise State and San Diego State with a friend and stabilze their coast-to-coast blueprint. Who's the Best of the Rest at this point? Could be talking about Fresno State, which is sort of a West Coast version of East Carolina. This would weaken the Mountain West, which has been working to lure Boise State and SDSU back into the fold. Fresno State is coming off a 9-3 season with first-year coach Tim DeRuyter.

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The Big East would love BYU, which remains independent. The Big East doesn't know where BYU stands after talks recently stalled in light of Rutgers' defection.

Perhaps UNLV, despite its football struggles, could slide into the Big East's basketball tradition, though the conference might only be looking for a football addition. After all, the primary reason it added East Carolina is because the football program draws well (around 50,000 home-game attendance).

The Big East and Mountain West are in interesting spots because of their television negotiations. Big East commissioner Mike Aresco is working toward a long-term media rights deal, which must be difficult considering all the movement. And the Mountain West has been in talks to extend its deal with CBS. If the MWC could somehow get stronger in the next few weeks, that would bode well for negotiations.

Also, check out colleague Dennis Dodd's blog on Idaho, New Mexico State and Georgia Southern in line for the recently poached Sun Belt. I'm told Sun Belt membership wants to move quickly but also wants to see what else C-USA does first.

There's buzz about C-USA adding Western Kentucky and possibly New Mexico State. Either way, NMSU is well-positioned to escape independence. Great time for the Aggies.

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