After the Big Ten shook up the conference realignment landscape this week by adding Maryland and Rutgers, Boise State and San Diego State reaffirmed their commitments this week to join the Big East.
Rutgers announced Tuesday that it would move to the Big Ten after the 2014 season, leaving behind a conference that it had been part of since the Big East was founded in 1991.
Boise State and San Diego State had previously agreed to join the Big East starting July 1, 2013. Both schools are currently members of the Mountain West Conference.
"As previously stated, we are committed to the Big East Conference and intend to strengthen our conference with members who can contribute to a strong league," Boise State president Bob Kustra told the Idaho Statesman.
San Diego State athletic director Jim Sterk also said the Aztecs remain on board with the conference change.
"I can say the Big East took a hit," San Diego State Athletic Director Jim Sterk said. "It may take some others, but I can tell you the league will continue to be strong."
Reports indicated that both schools might be reconsidering after the Big Ten's announcement. Kustra and Sterk disputed those reports.
Sterk told the Statesman that the Big East makes economic sense because of increased exposure and television revenue.
"It's significantly stronger than what we have right now," Sterk said. "We are part of and moving forward with a national football conference. We made a strategic decision to do that last December and nothing has changed. ... It's more important for our program to grow and move forward and not go backward."
---Duke has extended the contract of coach David Cutcliffe after the Blue Devils achieved bowl eligibility for the first time since 1994, the school announced Wednesday.
The agreement runs through June 2019. Terms were not disclosed, but according to USA Today, Cutcliffe made $1.8 million this year.
"Without question, we have already made great discernible progress since David's arrival," athletic director David White said in a statement. "However, as we assess our future -- based on prospect evaluations, ongoing recruitment activity and player development -- we are extremely excited, if not euphoric. To be sure, 'Coach Cut' represents just a great fit at Duke."
Cutcliffe's record at Duke is 21-39 in five seasons. Some reports had named him as a potential candidate for the Tennessee opening.
"We've accomplished some of the goals we laid out five years ago, but are nowhere close to where we want to be," Cutcliffe said.
---ESPN announced Wednesday that it had reached agreement on a 12-year contract for the rights to the college football playoff starting after the 2014 season through 2026.
The deal includes the national championship game, semifinals and bowl games that will be part of the semifinal rotation. The network previously announced multiyears deals with the Rose, Sugar and Orange bowls.
As part of the agreement with the college football playoff, ESPN will have the rights to TV, radio, mobile TV, 3D, its Spanish channel and internationally.
"Because of college football's widespread popularity and the incredible passion of its fans, few events are more meaningful than these games," ESPN president John Skipper said. "We are ecstatic at the opportunity to continue to crown a college football champion on ESPN's outlets for years to come, the perfect finale to our year-round commitment to the sport."
ESPN will televise this season's BCS Championship Game on Jan. 7 and the the title game after the following season before the new playoff system begins.
"We are delighted to continue our relationship with ESPN for 12 more years," BcS executive director Bill Hancock said. "ESPN's outlets provide numerous opportunities to bring this iconic event to the fans. Folks are going to love this playoff and the attention ESPN will give to it."
---The NCAA is investigating Auburn for potential violations by its football program, according to a report.
The possible infractions include "recruits, players, coaches, representatives of the school's athletic interests and third parties," Yahoo Sports reported.
At the heart of the NCAA's problem is Auburn wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor and running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Curtis Luper. The reported indicated that both assistants were no longer involved in recruiting as of several weeks ago.
The report comes during a troubled year for Auburn on the field. Coach Gene Chizik appears to be on the hot seat going into the Tigers' season-ending game Saturday with rival Alabama in the Iron Bowl.