The Big East made an expected expansion announcement Wednesday - adding five new schools, going coast-to-coast in its new football alignment - but the news that could turn out to be more important locally was made by a service academy, which announced it wasn't joining the conference.

Air Force announced it was staying in the Mountain West instead of joining the Big East. That could provide an opportunity for Temple as a football-only addition.

Of course, there are no givens when it comes to Big East expansion. The conference could decide to stay put with the current group or go in unexpected directions. Nobody predicted that San Diego State would join the league as a football member.

Navy is expected to join, but it will be interesting to see whether the service academy still decides to join the Big East without Air Force or Army.

Earlier Wednesday, the Big East introduced Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, Southern Methodist, and Central Florida as its new members, effective 2013. Boise State and San Diego State will join for football only, while the others will join for all sports.

"The Big East Conference is the first truly national college football conference," commissioner John Marinatto said Wednesday during a teleconference with the university leaders from the new members.

If the league decides to add more football-only members, Temple remains in consideration, although the western expansion made the Owls a backup option.

The key to the Western expansion was adding Boise State. That school's president, Bob Kustra, said his school was "proud to be aboard."

Few within the league are convinced the Big East is done expanding or contracting, as other conferences could look to take Big East members such as Louisville and Connecticut as soon as next year.

The Big East, depleted by the planned departures of Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and West Virginia, is trying to rebuild as a 12-team football conference with a Western division.