Blog Entry

C-USA, Mountain West all-sports merger on horizon

Posted on: December 7, 2011 4:41 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2011 6:03 pm
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NEW YORK – With the Mountain West and Conference USA losing at least five members to the Big East, those two leagues are now looking at an all-sports merger instead of a full-scale football expansion as originally planned, sources told CBSSports.com.

Conference USA and the Mountain West initially planned to combine into a separate football-only league with between 20 and 24 members and conducted an Oct. 15 press conference to announce the news. The winners from C-USA and the Mountain West would meet in a playoff with, they hoped, the winner earning a BCS bowl berth.

A BCS bowl berth, however, would have had to be approved by the BCS.

However, that plan has lost steam by the loss of Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, SMU and UCF to the Big East. Instead, C-USA and the Mountain West are considering a merger in all sports. Sources have indicated that Craig Thompson, the current commissioner of the Mountain West, would become the commissioner of the new merged league, while Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky would step down.

A vote on the merger could come by next month, sources said.

The merged league would consist of: East Carolina, Marshall, Memphis, Rice, Southern Miss, Tulane, Tulsa, UAB and UTEP from C-USA and Air Force, Colorado State, New Mexico, UNLV and Wyoming from the Mountain West along with new members Fresno State, Hawaii and Nevada for a 17-team conference. Air Force was being sought after by the Big East, but the Gazette reported Tuesday evening that the Falcons would remain in the Mountain West.

After the initial merger announcement to as many as 24 schools on Oct. 15, Banowsky e-mailed officials at Conference USA and the Mountain West a week later about a proposed new conference, entitled “BCS and The Big East Expansion (An Alternative Plan).”

“Attached is a document that might find of interest regarding conference realignment,” Banowsky wrote on the e-mail, obtained by CBSSports.com.

That eight-page document presented two possible conferences mergers: one with 28 teams and another with 32 teams. They included all the Big East, Conference USA and Mountain West teams, plus a few other teams from other leagues. The plan was never endorsed by the Big East and didn’t get much further than being reported by various media outlets.

To combat the departures of the five schools, the Mountain West had decided to add San Jose State and Utah State. But adding those schools has now been put on hold, sources said.

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Comments

Since: Aug 22, 2007
Posted on: December 7, 2011 6:00 pm
 

C-USA, Mountain West all-sports merger on horizon

its funny how eveyone is ripping on the big east, when all they're doing is trying to survive. just like the mountain west and conference usa trying to survive by merging together. now c-usa and mw is going to be a conference that includes east carolina, fresno state, and hawaii. those distances are just as long if not longer than uconn, central floride, sandiego st. and boise st in the big east.



Since: Sep 1, 2008
Posted on: December 7, 2011 5:49 pm
 

C-USA, Mountain West all-sports merger on horizon

Yawn, Conference USA is nothing more than a collection of the has been.  All their fans do is hate on what their teams did not get and quite frankly it's hilarious. I'm happy for the Big East as it has great potential as a conference, especially in the case of Boise.



Since: May 13, 2010
Posted on: December 7, 2011 5:42 pm
 

C-USA, Mountain West all-sports merger on horizon

All you top 1K jokers.  The OP has the right answer. 



Since: Jul 12, 2008
Posted on: December 7, 2011 5:41 pm
 

C-USA, Mountain West all-sports merger on horizon

So Conference USA and the Mountain West are merging, huh?  I've got a perfect new name:  Conference WTF.



Since: Mar 19, 2007
Posted on: December 7, 2011 5:34 pm
 

MWCUSA

Once the rest of the significant members of the Big East get out as they want (Louisville, UConn, Rutgers, even Villanova).  This MWCUSA conference will be more of a national player then the Big East.  They may add a few non football members as well as football members to shore up their East/West Division geographics.  And by combining the leagues and with 5 time zones covered, they create more leverage for significantly larger TV contracts.



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: December 7, 2011 5:13 pm
 

C-USA, Mountain West all-sports merger on horizon

SportsDevil I could not agree with you more the big least has shown just how greedy folks can be. The Big least Comm. is nothing but devious if nothing else. Trying to invite as many as 24 schools then selecting the few who most suits the big least greed.



Since: Nov 5, 2007
Posted on: December 7, 2011 5:04 pm
 

C-USA, Mountain West all-sports merger on horizon

It was actually a very profitable decision.  Boise and SDSU go from 1 million in TV money to a projected 6.4 million.  The also join a basketball conference with an ESPN deal and guaranteed games against the Big East.  MW is the new WAC and has no $$.  Best to get something, rather than be the one without a chair when the music stops.



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: December 7, 2011 5:00 pm
 

C-USA, Mountain West all-sports merger on horizon

College football has been ruined in the last year with all the conference jumping by teams.

The teams that left the MWC for the Big East are absolutely stupid.  The Big East was dead in the water and with automatic qualifying status not going to be part of the new BCS in 2 yrs this was short-sighted on their part and they'd have been better off leaving the Big East to twist and die in the wind.

Now more than ever we have the "have's" and the "Have not's" in college football and college football is now a joke.  Boise St and San Diego St in the Big East???  What a joke!

College football is a joke now.



Since: Feb 1, 2008
Posted on: December 7, 2011 4:56 pm
 

C-USA, Mountain West all-sports merger on horizon

This would be a good merger.  Instead of having to ignore two conferences, we could just ignore one.


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