Oops. Thanks for the addition of three schools coming from the WAC first poster.
Here's my take on talked-about new football-only conference setups that involve UTEP or their present Conference USA mates. And if this is to be, UTEP will be better off.
First, though, two notes:
1. What will conferences say if a member wants to leave in football only? Will that member still be welcome as a basketball player?
2. The Big East football alignment would have some geography problems if splitting into two divisions in order to have a football championship game.
x Now in Mountain West
y Now in Conference USA
z Now independent
Potential new members
MOUNTAIN WEST/CONFERENCE USA MERGE
Mountain West holdovers
San Diego State
Coming in from WAC
* Good geographical fit in the Mountain West holdover division
Also, three more observations:
1) The Big East, having lost Syracuse and Pitt to the ACC, and having TCU back out on joining, would not be a strong football conference anymore. It might lose its BCS status. And note that Louisville is making a strong bid to be accepted into the Big 12.
2) UTEP would be much better off playing its Mountain Time Zone mates, especially since Houson and SMU would be going to the Big East.
3) Boise State going to the Big East, so very far away from Idaho, would be a geographical farce. Yes, their program would bring money to the conference, at least now while the Broncos are a national power. But the football team would have to make so many long road-game trips. It would be like UTEP having to go play at Hawaii three or four times a year.