My guess is that they will form an all sports, excluding football, conference with some of the eastern Atlantic 10 teams. They will probably retain the Big East name. I figure, too, that the western Atlantic 10 teams may pair up with the non-football Conference USA members to form a new all sports, excluding football, conference in the Midwest/Mississippi River region. I do not know what they would call themselves. This now has ended the Atlantic 10 Conference.
This probably makes more sense than some of the posts (including some of mine) that have the 3 Catholic C-USA teams joining the BB BigEast teams since it retains more geographical sense - though it would make even more if NotreDame went with the western group (which they won't). Let me add a few teams to the list: Creighton (MVC), Detroit-Mercy (Horizon) and Loyola-Chicago (Horizon). While La-Salle fits better with the eastern group, they are a 2nd team in a single market (Philadelphia) and probably don't get an invite because of that.
BigEast (6): Providence, SetonHall, St.John's, Georgetown, NotreDame, Villanova
A-10 east(3): Fordham, St. Bonaventure, St. Joseph's
C-USA BB (3): St.Louis, DePaul, Marquette
A-10-west (4): Xavier, Dayton, Duquense, LaSalle
Horizon (2): Detroit-Mercy, Loyola-Chacago
MVC (1): Creighton
That leaves 5 teams in the A-10: Temple, Rhode Island, UMass, Richmond, GeorgeWashington - and they pick up Charlotte from C-USA non-FB, and a few (4) other teams to re-form the A-10 (maybe with 10 teams this time! - or is that too much to hope for?)
1) The five Big East football schools add four to make a nine team ALL SPORTS conference. The four that I would select are Louisville, Cincinnati, Memphis, and East Carolina. The first three bring excellent basketball, and both Louisville and East Carolina bring competitive football programs and excellent fan bases. This also keeps some sense of geographical continuity and compactness. Since there are no “special” teams, there are no “special deals.” I would take a page from the ACC and implement an equity revenue sharing program. This provides a nice nine-team conference that I believe can maintain a BCS bid. Depending on how things go, perhaps growth to twelve with the addition of Southern Mississippi, Central Florida, and possibly Tulane could be likely.
I agree with your 4 choices if you want to establish a 9-team conference, but don't think it comes anywhere near retaining a BCS automatic bid - perhaps the play-in described here is more likely. I don't see the additions of SoMiss, UCF or Tulane because that does mess with the geographic integrity.
2) The idea of an East-West conference is not bad and may have a better chance at retaining a BCS bid. If the five Big East football schools including Louisville form the east, while six schools (Colorado State, Brigham Young, Texas Christian, Utah, New Mexico, and Wyoming) form the west.
I think it would not be a conference - but a compromise with the BCS to allow a play-in to get one spot automatically in the BCS bowls. You could make a lot better 6-team conference than that out west. These 5 are the obvious first five choices: BYU, Utah, ColState, TCU and AirForce. Then the last spot is a choice of BoiseSt, UNLV, UtahSt, FresnoSt or Hawaii. Neither Wyoming or NewMex offers anthing in FB and only NewMex offers any BB quality. Both are overshadowed by every one of the schools on my list of 5 - in FB, or in both revenue sports, or support across the board.
St. Louis would be a prime place to play the conference championship game and basketball tournament. Or, perhaps rotate yearly between east and west, utilizing locations such as Denver and Washington D.C.
You can't have a FB game in-between where neither conference has any support. The alternating idea works a lot better. In fact a play-in against the C-USA champ probably could materialize too - perhaps a C-USA/MAC play-in.