Blog Entry

C-USA contacts Temple; MWC merger changes weekly

Posted on: February 8, 2012 10:50 am

After Memphis’ decision to leave for the Big East on Tuesday, Conference USA officials immediately contacted Temple to gauge the Owls’ interest in moving from the Mid-American Conference to C-USA, college football industry sources told

Temple thought it would receive the Big East’s invitation and was stunned the Big East invited Memphis. The Owls were former Big East members before getting dismissed from the league in 2004. Temple has been a member of the MAC since 2007 and in the past three seasons has a 26-12 record under former coach Al Golden and current coach Steve Addazio.

It’s unknown if the Owls would welcome a move to C-USA since there’s still the possibility the Big East could have more future openings if the Big 12 expands to 11 and takes Louisville. If that happens, Temple would be back on the Big East’s radar.

The future of Conference USA is also unknown. C-USA and the Mountain West are considering a merger or will dissolve the two leagues into one. With Memphis gone, will the leagues still combine or decide its better to go at it alone? One source said the possibility of the C-USA/MWC merger “changes weekly.”

If C-USA and the MWC did combine as an all-sports league it would consist of: Southern Miss, Marshall, East Carolina, UAB, Tulsa, Rice, UTEP and Tulane from C-USA and Wyoming, Air Force, Colorado State, UNLV, New Mexico, Fresno State, Nevada and Hawaii from the MWC. Hawaii would be a football-only member, making a 15-team all-sports conference and a 16-team football conference, not including Temple.

The benefits of the combined league, sources say, would be stability, increased potential television revenue and the additional exposure across the country in new markets. They also would be able to conduct a conference championship game in football. C-USA currently has a championship game, the Mountain West doesn’t.

If the leagues decide to remain as they are could they survive with all of the defections? The Mountain West will be losing TCU, Boise State and San Diego State, while C-USA will lose Houston, UCF, SMU and Memphis. The television revenue for each league would not be as substantial.

As unwieldy as a 15- or 16-team all-sports league stretched across the country may seem, it still likely would provide more long-term stability – at least until one of the current BCS AQ conferences decides to expand again and the dominoes continue to trickle down to the MWC and C-USA.

So does Temple join forces with C-USA or hold out hope for a Big East invite? Does C-USA combine with the Mountain West? We’ll have to wait and see, but the fact that in 2013 seven of the Big East’s 11 football members are former C-USA members (Louisville, Cincinnati, South Florida, Houston, Memphis, UCF and SMU) was not lost on one college football industry source.

“Perhaps the Big East can save time and take the rest of Conference USA’s teams,” quipped the source. “Then take C-USA’s name and divide the league into Red, White and Blue Divisions (as the league once had in the 1990s).”

Since: Oct 4, 2010
Posted on: February 8, 2012 2:53 pm

C-USA contacts Temple; MWC merger changes weekly

The BigEast should get Temple for the TV market but as usual they let a hoops only school ( Nova) keep them from doing something that could help the conference. Syracuse/Georgtown gone, sPitt/WVU gone, SU/UConn gone in hoops and a chance to get another good rivalry game plus a football team in another good market lost from lack of leadership. Temple/ Nova would be good for the BE ,football would have a decent crowd too for a game should they play even with Nova still playing in the lower level.

Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: February 8, 2012 2:22 pm

C-USA contacts Temple; MWC merger changes weekly

Southern Miss is going to dominate the New CUSA

Since: Feb 15, 2010
Posted on: February 8, 2012 1:58 pm

C-USA contacts Temple; MWC merger changes weekly

Instead of merging, how about adding FIU, Middle Tennessee, Arkansas St and either Western Kentucky or Louisiana-Lafayette?  FIU gives an entry into Florida recruiting and the othes help plug geographic holes in the conference footprint.

Since: Feb 8, 2012
Posted on: February 8, 2012 1:58 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Feb 6, 2012
Posted on: February 8, 2012 1:49 pm

C-USA contacts Temple; MWC merger changes weekly

IMO it would be a mistake if C-USA merges with the MWC. It sould send invites to FIU and Florida Atlantic. This way it would have 10 teams and would replace UCF, which is out of the state of Florida.

Since: Jan 26, 2012
Posted on: February 8, 2012 1:46 pm

C-USA contacts Temple; MWC merger changes weekly

Temple would have been a better choice to fit into the Big East originally. But this probably did more to make sure US and Louiville dont leave for the Big12. Plus it balances out the East-West divisions easier than Temple would have

Since: Sep 8, 2009
Posted on: February 8, 2012 1:14 pm

C-USA contacts Temple; MWC merger changes weekly

Your information is out of date, Temple did beat a MAC team wtih a winning recrod and they averaged more fans than any other MAC team.  Now that may just be big fish in a small pond, but those are the types of fish that the BCS conferences end up hooking.  

You ask me Temple should wait for the ACC or Big East,  

Since: Aug 11, 2010
Posted on: February 8, 2012 1:08 pm

C-USA contacts Temple; MWC merger changes weekly

I don't see this being a good fit for Temple.  There biggest problem is and always has been selling tickets.  I don't see how Marshall, Southern Miss, or Tulsa is going to get people from Philadelphia to go to the games.  Their best bet is to wait for the Big East. 

Since: Nov 24, 2008
Posted on: February 8, 2012 12:10 pm

C-USA contacts Temple; MWC merger changes weekly

I don't really see what Temple would add to C-USA.  Are they supposed to be a travel partner with Marshall?  (its probably around 400 miles between Huntington and Philly)

I think Temple's best bet is to wait for an invite to the BE or ACC (an invite that may never come), until then...stay in the A10 and play football in the MAC.

Since: Feb 8, 2012
Posted on: February 8, 2012 11:59 am

C-USA contacts Temple; MWC merger changes weekly

Cut to the chase, CUSA and MWC merger makes zero sense.  All five non-BCS conferences should merge together creating 9 total conferences:

Big 6
MAC (16)
Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, CMU, EMU, Kent State, Northern Ill., Miami (OH), Ohio, Temple, Toledo, WMU and Ark State, Middle Tennesse & Western Kentucky (from Sun Belt)

CUSA & Sun Belt in Football (16)
SoMiss, Marshall (was in the MAC so would they go back for regional rivalries or could stay in the new CUSA Sun league?), ECU, UAB, Tulsa, Rice, Tulane, moving from the WAC would be LaTech, UTSA, Texas State, North Texas, LaLafayette, LAMonroe, FIU, FAU and Troy
MWC and WAC in Football (12)
Wyoming, CSU, Air Force, New Mexico, New Mexico State, UTEP (moving from CUSA), UNLV, Nevada, Fresno State, Hawaii, Idaho, Utah State

Basketball can remain as separate leagues to maintain non-football playing members and automatic bids or combine.

Get the egos out of the way and it makes financial, competitive and ultimately creates more regional rivalries moving forward.  It also allows for much more stability and the upward mobility that some schools covet to get to that elusive BCS conference designation. 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or