SMU has been trying to upgrade the stature and profile of its athletic department in anticipation of its move to the Big East, but the conference they are moving to is no longer what it once was.
The latest blow to the Big East comes from the Orange Bowl, which is talking to Notre Dame about a more formal alignment between the school and the bowl, which has already agreed to a long-term commitment with the ACC.
With the SEC/Big 12 and Pac-12/Big 10 locked into agreements, the ACC and the Orange Bowl have been looking for a dance partner of their own. The Big East, which has been decimated by defections by most of its strongest members, is now the one standing as the latest round of musical chairs/conference re-alignment comes to a close.
It's still a step up from Conference USA, but it looks like SMU is still far, far away from the top of the college football food chain, which makes TCU's ascension to the Big 12 all the more painful on the Hilltop.