I think the Big East screwed up by not inviting these 3 schools.
UMass is a large state school, they’re decent-good in basketball, they’re FCS football program is very respectable and they will be in the FBS starting this year. Not to mention it makes geographical sense.
Ohio is a state with a large population and loaded with football talent. The U of Ohio has actually had some good seasons lately under HC Frank Solich. I think they could maintain that even if he retired.
If there was a way of sticking it to the ACC, it would have been by inviting ECU and giving them equal footing when they recruit against the rest of the NC schools. Their basketball sucks, but so what, it would have improved over time.
My guess is that Boise State demanded some California schools as travel partners, plus Boise heavily recruits from that state. I think the Big East should have kept their “east” identity. The Big East could have looked like this:
Louisville (they might stay)
The conference looks ugly now, but it could regain it’s respectability in 5 years or so. A couple of teams like Rutgers, UCF, USF and Ohio are located in states loaded with talent, just by getting everyone else’s dingle berries they could have a nice run now and then.