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MWC, CUSA talk forming new league

Posted on: January 12, 2012 2:10 pm
 

Presidents from the Mountain West and Conference USA will meet Sunday in Dallas to discuss forming a new league, CBSSports.com has learned.

The move was not described as a full-on merger and talks are still in the early stages. According to a source, the new league could be football only, all sports or some other consolidation. Two sources said not all of the two conferences’ presidents will attend the meeting.

But there is urgency on both sides.  Raiding by the Big East has caused each conference to reconsider its future.  Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson told CBSSports.com last week that he is concerned about membership issues in light of recent defections. The NCAA requires a league to have at least six members that sponsor, at a minimum, eight men’s sports and six women’s sports.

The leagues announced in October that they were forming a football “association” for scheduling purposes. Back then, the idea was for the champions of the two leagues to play with the winner getting an automatic BCS berth. That was before the Big East moved aggressively to invite a combined five schools from both conferences.

A 90-day memorandum of understanding that came out of the October announcement expires on Sunday, the same day as the meeting.

Also in October, the Mountain West and Conference USA proposed a consortium with the Big East that would include more than a quarter of the 120 FBS schools.

CBSSports.com’s Brett McMurphy reported in December that the two leagues were looking at an all-sports merger. Boise State and San Diego State from the Mountain West as well as SMU, Houston and Central Florida from Conference USA were formally invited to the Big East in early December.

Crippling the leagues further: According to an industry source, Boise, SMU and Houston comprise three of the four most TV-attractive schools from the current Mountain West and Conference USA. Air Force is the other.

The earliest the new league being reported today could begin play is 2013, but that start date may have to be pushed back.

With the apparent end of automatic qualifying conferences (beginning in 2014), the two leagues would be fortifying themselves are strongly as possible. One Conference USA school source speculated how different a new league would be from the new Big East in terms of football strength and television viability. The answer as of now: Not much.  

Comments

Since: Jan 16, 2010
Posted on: January 14, 2012 7:59 am
 

MWC, CUSA talk forming new league

This move is about survival. The restocking of the Big East Makes no sense other than with the exception of Boise lets try to reload with programs from large TV markets.in hopes of landing a big TV deal. The issue I have with Big markets is that you are competing with the NFL and its rare that you have a college program that draws well against an NFL franchise.

I live just outside of DC where the Redskins draw over 90K per game and less than 25 miles away the Ravens have no trouble selling out their stadium. Maryland and Navy are both within 20 miles of these teams and struggle to sell 40,000 seats on a Saturday. If you look at the new additions to the Big East SD State draws 40,000 fans but must compete against the Chargers. UCF draws 34,000 with an enrollment of 54,000, Cincy draws 32,000, Houston draws 31,000, going up against the Texans, and SMU draws a pathetic 21,000 going up against the Cowboys.

My point is this if nobody is going to these games to support these programs who is home watching big market or not.? Infomercials will draw bigger ratings. If you are located in Texas you have pro teams that dominate the market and if people want college football they support Texas and Texas A&M. In Florida the state supports Florida, Florida State, and Miami. The UCFs USFs, SMUs struggle to draw and if their programs have the slightest bit of success their coaches are hired away and the program will be forced to strat over. You can go down the list of coaches in both the Big East and CUSA and see that with 2 exceptions that most tenured coaches have 3 years or less at their program.

Unless the Big East can land the huge TV deal it seeks and the end of the AQ bid in 2 years both Boise and SDSU will rethink traveling across the country every week. With the CUSA MWC merger you have enough teams to have both an east and west division where travel expenses can be reduced and you can have a championship game at the end.

When its all said and done I think we might see more teams opting for independents it makes more sense.



Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: January 14, 2012 2:23 am
 

MWC, CUSA talk forming new league

Cbssports has got it wrong again. The MWC and C-USA conferences are not forming a new league with only schools from those two conferences because if that was indeed the case then their new league would resemble more of a "super conference" than anything else cbssports can come up with. A new league gives the impression that the MWC and Conference USA will expand and reach out to schools all across the country. Since when have any of you seen a sports league where the teams consisted of on only a few teams from the same region? I haven't and I bet my bottom dollar that you haven't either. 



Since: May 1, 2011
Posted on: January 13, 2012 4:24 pm
 

MWC, CUSA talk forming new league

Only in you imagination five of the six computer polls used by the BCS ranked the Big East ahead of the ACC this year. How many BCS bowls has the ACC won sinnce Mami joined?



Since: Sep 22, 2011
Posted on: January 13, 2012 1:25 pm
 

MWC, CUSA talk forming new league

"The BE will actually have worse travel issues then MWCUSA, because MWCUSA will have the numbers to create two separate divisions that only play each other for championships.  Because of the shrinking of number of conferences, MWCUSA will have more credibility in the marketplace then if it was two separate conferences fighting against each other."


They could potentially do this, but I still see them having to play a couple of teams in the other division, which would be worse travel.  Hawaii traveling to the west coast or vice-versa is still the same as traveling from the west coast to the east coast. So traveling to Wyoming or either team in Colorado (or vice-versa) still represents quite the travel. 



Since: Mar 19, 2007
Posted on: January 13, 2012 10:51 am
 

MWC, CUSA talk forming new league

The focus here isnt really on the Big East...its really on how the MWC and CUSA deal with what the Big East has done to them (again, in terms of CUSA).  Merging is absolutely the best idea because it has strength in numbers as well as a number of other reasons.  After the merger, potential adds would be discussed.  The BE will actually have worse travel issues then MWCUSA, because MWCUSA will have the numbers to create two separate divisions that only play each other for championships.  Because of the shrinking of number of conferences, MWCUSA will have more credibility in the marketplace then if it was two separate conferences fighting against each other. 

In terms of the Big East, their standing in the marketplace continues to dwindle.  Marinnatto has had to resort to being a cheerleader for his conference, looking like the Iraqui Defense Minister in the process.  Marinnatto looks like this guy...






Since: Sep 22, 2011
Posted on: January 13, 2012 12:31 am
 

MWC, CUSA talk forming new league

"OMG, big east lovers...stop stop stop.  Your conference is just terrible in football.  You have ZERO national champs in your league once Miami took their titles and left.  Funny how Big East lovers love to hate on MWC and Conference USA but then get mad when ALL the big leagues make fun of their league.  Yes, the ACC has been down but overall top to bottom the ACC is a much better quality league.  WVU is gone soon and Boise State will only last a couple of years until they realize how stupid this move to the big east was.  Now the ACC is best in basketball, so Big East fans cannot even brag they are the best bball league once Syracuse, WVU and Pitt leave."

Hmm let's look at a few facts shall we:

1) Miami has never had a title under the ACC (and isn't likely to for a few seasons given the sanctions).  No matter how you try to claim they took their titles with them, they were a Big East team when they earned them. 

2) The Big East is 7-7 in BCS Bowls, the ACC is 2-13.  Sure, we can sit there and argue departing teams, etc. but even then the Big East still has more.  Furthermore if you do decide to play the departing teams taking their records with them then the Big East still wins.  Boise State has 2 BCS Bowl wins (out of 2 appearances) that they are taking with them (according to your logic), despite not being guaranteed a bid (unlike the ACC).

3) You need to do some research into Boise State's moves over the last several seasons to understand why your statement about them making a mistake is ridiculous.  BSU had been trying for a couple of seasons to get into the MWC to attempt to form a BCS league with Utah, BYU, TCU and have Air Force and SDSU shore up the middle.  Boise finally gets in to the MWC only to discover one week later that Utah had agreed to go to the PAC12, then BYU followed and TCU followed after the 2011 season.  With those 3 teams gone any chance of Boise trying to get a regional BCS conference were gone.  Boise State was also told that they couldn't wear their uniforms of choice for their home conference games. Still Boise State got slightly more revenue with the MWC than the WAC, and then found out that their old WAC counterparts Hawaii, Fresno State and Nevada were joining.  They went ahead and forged ahead with the crappy hand that they were dealt in the MWC and started with their first season as an MWC team.  Once the non-conference ESPN games ended Boise State dropped off the face of the earth despite producing the same record and being a top 10 ranked team, due to the crappy media exposure/deal that the conference has which requires fans to have a combo of ESPN, CBS Sports, Versus and the Mountain Network, which isn't even available on some providers/media markets.  I honestly couldn't believe the difference but it was horrible, the WAC gave them more media exposure and even in the Boise area WAC teams still get more media coverage than BSU did.  This became glaringly obvious during the Boise State vs Air Force game.  I could pick up the Nevada vs Fresno State (in Reno Nevada) game on Rabbit Ears for free, on the other hand I had to pay for a $60 a month cable/sat package to watch a BSU game taking place not 20 miles from my house on the crappy versus channel.  The bottom line is that Boise State quickly realized that the lack of media exposure and revenue compared to even a crippled Big East left no opportunities for the program to continue to grow and develop in the MWC or MWC/C-USA merger sans the teams that are leaving.  Boise State WILL not even consider the MWC or MWC/C-USA until the following happens:

1) They negotiate a major media deal that doesn't relegate it's games to mickey mouse networks that no one watches AND can produce at least $5-$6 million a year in TV revenue per school. 

2) Negotiates better bowl tie ins (When your premier game is the MACCO Bowl, it's hard for anyone to take you seriously)

3) Removes the lame uniform stipulation, which has PO'ed the team and it's fans


The bottom line is that this move is about revenue for the school. A school that is in a conference that limits media exposure and can only offer a whopping $1.9 mil a year max for all sports offers very little opportunity for future growth and development and all the teams that could've given them additional credibility in SOS are gone.  The Big East is the better choice for them.

   




Since: Nov 13, 2006
Posted on: January 12, 2012 10:42 pm
 

MWC, CUSA talk forming new league

If I'm not mistaken, the new C-USA/MWC would have 17 members (C-USA: Marshall, ECU, Memphis, UAB, So Miss, Tulane, Rice, Tulsa, & UTEP; MWC: Air Force, Colorado State, Wyoming, New Mexico, UNLV, Nevada, Fresno State, & Hawaii).  How are they going to split that up into even schedules?  Are they going to have to bring in some other teams from the WAC, such as Utah State (which the MWC was rumored to be going after a while back), or just play things somewhat uneven?  It just don't make no sense.  If I were the two conferences, I would raid others and get back to 12 individually.  The MWC could raid the WAC and bring in New Mexico State, Utah State, San Jose State, and Idaho to even out at 12, and C-USA could go after either Sun Belt teams (North Texas, Troy, FAU, or FIU) or MAC (Temple, NIU, CMU) for 12, or go after some FCS schools looking to move up, such as Appalachian State and Georgia Southen.  I don't know, the whole thing just doesn't seem like its going to work out very well for anyone though.



Since: May 14, 2008
Posted on: January 12, 2012 9:13 pm
 

MWC, CUSA talk forming new league

OMG, big east lovers...stop stop stop.  Your conference is just terrible in football.  You have ZERO national champs in your league once Miami took their titles and left.  Funny how Big East lovers love to hate on MWC and Conference USA but then get mad when ALL the big leagues make fun of their league.  Yes, the ACC has been down but overall top to bottom the ACC is a much better quality league.  WVU is gone soon and Boise State will only last a couple of years until they realize how stupid this move to the big east was.  Now the ACC is best in basketball, so Big East fans cannot even brag they are the best bball league once Syracuse, WVU and Pitt leave.



Since: Sep 1, 2008
Posted on: January 12, 2012 8:18 pm
 

MWC, CUSA talk forming new league

And the difference between the proposed alliance and the Big East is dead weight. Most of the alliance is going to be plain terrible and they won't have a large TV deal.



Since: Sep 1, 2008
Posted on: January 12, 2012 8:15 pm
 

MWC, CUSA talk forming new league

And the insane MWC and C-USA fans continue their pathetic attempts to hate the Big East down. This merger is going to be one of the most laughable events to ever happen in conference USA. After Boise is gone the MWC is no stronger and probably weaker than the Sun Belt. The new Big East TV deal with the additions of Orlando, Dallas, Houston, San Diego, and a reasonable national following in Boise will more than make up for losing Pitt, WV, and Syracuse. Heck these new teams have much more upside than those boring old teams like Pitt and Syracuse I could totally see Houston becoming a power again with their rich recruiting ground and new stadium that's being built.

The alliance is going to last three years at the most until the MWC gets enough leverage to add Rice, UTEP, Tulane, Tulsa, and join them with the Western teams they have. Heck a Mountain West that has Fresno St, Hawaii, Nevada, UNLV, San Jose St, Air Force, New Mexico, Wyoming, Tulsa, UTEP, Tulane, and Colorada St makes sense and sounds much better then that insane alliance. That has a team in East Carolina.


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