I have been reading a lot of comments about staying put because the Big East might not maintain its AQ status, so why move from one non-AQ to another just to extend our travel schedule. There are lots of reasons in my opinion to switch conferences to the Big East, but lets just tackle this one fallacy first.
The Big East is not losing their AQ status until at the earliest the end of the 2013-2014 season outright because that is the next evaluation period. It is fairly apparent that they will not qualify under the current standards because they just won't have enough top 25 teams to fulfill the 3rd requirement of the BCS AQ standards. However, even if they do not have the qualifications to be an AQ conference, there is absolutely no set of criteria set out by the BCS for what constitutes a sufficiently large drop in quality to justify removal of AQ status. Until the BCS publishes such a set of criteria, they would only be inviting hordes of litigation if they revoked AQ status. The first we would see such criteria would be next fall.
However, even if they publish criteria and the Big East does not meet the standard the Boston Globe reported that there is a clause which extends a two-year grace period after removal of the AQ status. Therefore, the Big East effectively has a guaranteed status as an AQ until after the 2015-2016 season. Four years of guaranteed AQ money and the additional revenue from their TV money is much greater than we can expect from the MWC, and in the end this all boils down to money anyway.
Finally, Bill Hancock mentioned recently that the BCS model works best with no less than 6 AQ conferences, and if the Big East poaches BSU and Air Force from the MWC and Houston and SMU from Conference USA, they will be far and away the sixth best conference in the nation, and will most likely keep their AQ status.
In other words, stop worrying about whether or not the Big East will be an AQ in four years, the BCS might not even exist at the end of the 2015-2016 season. We should base the decision of whether we join the Big East right now off of the information that is available to us right now. And that information says the revenues are much higher, the perception of our competition will be much better, and we'll be able to pay for stadium upgrades and to keep Coach Pete. That's what I think anyway. You can share your thoughts in the comments below.