UMass may not commit. I think then some schools like Marshall and Temple may get a look. Marshall could be in precarious position if Big East were to invite ECU, UCF, and Memphis form the CUSA East. Geographically they would be isolated and might look back to the MAC.
I've said it many times on here before that UMass to the Big East isn't happening. UMass may be the flagship public of the state, but so is UVm and UNh but nobody is talking about putting New Hampshire in a BCS conference. UConn would block UMass every step of the way with the schools being so close together. UMass is not going to have a big stadium built for them in Springfield, Mass the same way UConn was able to do in Hartford. Simply the critical mass of funding and for support is not there for UMass on the BCS level.
Temple, the Big East just fired them. Think of them as an employee, Temple was told it had 1 year before they were fired......3 members of the company leave (Miami, VT, BC) and Temple still can't talk its way back into a job. When have you ever heard of an employee being fired and then picked up a couple years later by the same company? Temple has no buisness to be even in the game of football.
The NorthEast Corridor right now is divided between the Big Ten, ACC, and Big East. There isn't much the Big East can do about it. If Penn State and ND are going anywhere it will be to the ACC, not a conference with South Florida.
The Big East should be looking at building toward USF with a couple more southern members. The knock on Memphis is geography, but they are not much further west than DePaul and Marquette. TCU/Dallas would be too far but Memphis is okay, plus its in a contigous state to the Big East footprint. The support in basketball at Memphis would place it up near the top of the football playing conference. Football fan support at Memphis has really improved in recent years as they've started winning more ball games and Big E affilation could only help that.
One school nobody is talking about from CUSA as a possible good fit is UAB. UAB has been to a final four and has strong basketball tradition. They have a good sized market and are not as far west as say Southern Miss. Football support is not yet there for UAB, but they have shown potential to draw 35,000 at times and keep in mind UAB is still a young school. The Blazers remind me a lot of South Florida actually. Alabama is contiguous to Florida and Tennesse so between them and Memphis they could bridge the geographic gap down to USF to some degree.
UAB Football records since 2000:
Southern Miss Football records since 2000:
East Carolina Football records since 2000:
Central Florida Football records since 2000:
UAB without doubt has a better basketball program than USM, ECU, and UCF. They have a market comparable to UCF in size. Medical school and an academic reputation beyond what UCF, USM, and ECU have. UAB is a comprimise candidate for a 10th when the Big East snubs its nose at ECU and UCF lack solid basketball.