With the news that the Atlantic 10 signed a new media rights deal, that is on the order of $5 million dollars per year, there has been some discussion that the Big East's non-football schools might bolt to greener pa$ture$ to get away from what looks like a sinking (and generally less than geographically correct) ship.
As it turns out, there is a lot more money on the table for those schools who choose to remain in the conference. This isn't just talking about not having to pay the extravagant exit fees that the Big East is going to charge. This is about the new media rights deal that the Big East might itself gain, one that would pay basketball-only schools $4 million each.
That is a lot more green than any of the Big East schools would get from a move to the Atlantic 10, or elsewhere.
Plus, where else are they going to be able to play at the level of basketball that exists in the Big East? There are no homes for schools like Marquette and DePaul, the midwestern branch of "East". Nick Fasulo talked about kicking out the football schools and going to an all-Catholic League (and absorbing some A-10 members in the process), but that still might not get the schools all the money they can get in the current format.
Even going back to a version of the old Metro Conference, or Conference USA wouldn't work at this point.
These schools are stuck, meaning the more likely moves will be mid-major schools stretching their talents into the Big East to gain a share of that more impressive ca$h prize.
While we wait for that to happen, go read the very smart analysis over at BECB.