Blog Entry

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, 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 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.’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.  


Since: Oct 29, 2009
Posted on: January 12, 2012 7:52 pm

MWC, CUSA talk forming new league

The could create a mondo conference and rename it- "The practice squad"  without any big names, this is all this conference will ever be.

Since: May 1, 2011
Posted on: January 12, 2012 7:47 pm

MWC, CUSA talk forming new league

The Big East finished ahead of CUSA and the MWC in each of the six computer polls. The Big East finished ahead of the ACC in five of those six polls. The five teams being added to the Big East average higher than the three leaving in everyone of those polls. Now you can do the math,I hope.

Since: Sep 22, 2011
Posted on: January 12, 2012 7:39 pm

MWC, CUSA talk forming new league

"Big East will never be ahead of the MWC not even a chance."

You're kidding me, right?  You want to argue that the Big East is one of the weakest BCS leagues then I agree with you 100%, but with all of the best teams leaving the MWC (TCU, BSU, Utah, BYU and even to an extent SDSU) then the MWC has NOTHING going for it.  This year's bowl season was proof of that.  The only two wins they had were from a team that is gone to the Big 12 this year and a team that is gone to the Big East after the 2012 season.  Wyoming got manhandled by a Temple team that didn't even win the MAC, and Air Force fell short by 1 to another team that didn't win the MAC.  I will take Boise State, Louisville, and Cincy over Nevada, Wyoming and Fresno State anytime.

Since: Dec 13, 2006
Posted on: January 12, 2012 7:09 pm

MWC, CUSA talk forming new league

Boise State is only doing the move for the AQ bid, and more importantly, the AQ money.  Moving a Western team to a conference with its headquarters in Connecticut is otherwise stupid.  No one in Boise believes this to be a either a permanent or a long term solution.  It is basically a poker or chess move, forcing the other players to make a move as well.

We Boise fans are tired of being patronized, snubbed, and called "nobodies."  The university produced the finest football team in its history but never had a chance, never, to prove just how good they are, or are not.  So if one doesn't like one's situation, one attempts to change it.
If the MWC can get off of dead center and get a BCS bid or a decent TV/media deal, then Boise would be happy to come, I suspect.  But for ten years, Craig "Hair" Thompson has been talking about all the wonderful things he plans to do.  His record, not so good.  He has failed, time after time to convince the BCS to open up to them.  He saddled the conference with a miserable media deal that doesn't allow national fans to watch MWC games without purchasing an expensive satellite plan.  Heck, the Dish Network doesn't carry the MWC channel at all, for any price.

Boise really had no choice.  I hate the move to the Big East, but if it forces the MWC to get serious, I'm all for it.  This article is maybe evidence that Hair Thompson is finally starting to get it.

Since: May 1, 2011
Posted on: January 12, 2012 6:34 pm

MWC, CUSA talk forming new league

TCU left for a stronger conference with more money. If you are going to call the Big East Ka then why don't you call out the ACC who has the worst BcS bowl record by far. Even with WV leaving the new Big East has more BCS bowl wins than the acc

Since: Apr 6, 2008
Posted on: January 12, 2012 6:03 pm

MWC, CUSA talk forming new league

March Madness is what's stopping Conferences from leaving the NCAA behind altogether.  The NCAA is in complete control of basketball's ultimate college tournament, and March Madness is very lucrative for all that are involved.  For some reason when it comes to the FBS and college football, they take a hands-off approach and allow the ultimate money grab to occur.  Don't be surprised in a few years when the Pac-12 and B1G merge to form their very own football conference complete with an end of the year playoff.  They could even go so far as to have 'pre-season' type games against out of conference rivals such as Notre Dame because it would still bring in the money, and that is what this is all about.  I mean, money is why there are 35 bowl games scheduled and about 10 worth watching.

Since: Oct 23, 2011
Posted on: January 12, 2012 5:54 pm

MWC, CUSA talk forming new league

For all the belly aching about the BCS, the AQ and the amount of bowls one needs to remember that before these inventions no team outside the SEC, Big 10, Pac 12 were ever given a real chance to be ranked well and rewarded at the end of the year with a high visible bowl experience, or for that matter any bowl experience.( I actually enjoyed the Potato Bowl and the Poinsettia Bowl more than the Sugar or the BCS game).  However, before jumping on the plus one or the 16 team playoff, if restrictions are not maintained about numbers from each conference and at least one team from each of the AQ conferences (which could include the proposed merger of CUSA and Mountain West Conference) we will have the human polls with the love for who they know (SEC, Big 12, Pac 12 and Big 10) filling all the slots.  And if the BCS AQ format is maintained without a playoff, there needs to be a restriction that two teams from the same conference cannot play against each other in any of the BCS bowls and that the selection pool for at large bids should be the highest ranked teams available.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: January 12, 2012 5:51 pm

MWC, CUSA talk forming new league

As far as markets; just because teams are in certain cities, doesn't mean they actually have TV's.    SMU and TCU are good and great teams and in #7 DFW SMSA; Houston is in #4 Houston SMSA - BUT - those are Pro-Cities.  The Big12 and SEC are big because they don't compete in Pro-Cities.    Austin, Norman, Tuscaloosa, Baton Rouge, Auburn, Athens, Lincoln, etc are all in medium cities mostly focused on the University.  And they are in States so large that there is a split between college and pro (Texas); is the dominant sport franchise (Nebraska, Alabama, Oklahoma), or has never been un-seeded by the Pro Market (Georgia, Louisianna, Florida).

and then there's California, but that's a whole other dissertation...  Sealed

Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: January 12, 2012 5:49 pm

MWC, CUSA talk forming new league

Could this be the domino that leads us to Super Conferences? This move to me is two-fold:
1) Gives the MWC/C-USA a fighting chance to be included in the Super Conference mix based on projected size
2) If the current or simialr BCS continues past 2014, this gives them an outside chance of getting one of the automatic bids.

Not saying anything there that hasn't been said . . .

Have to agree with those who say that losing Air Force, Boise St, Houston, etc before this merger takes place is a killer from a TV/National standpoint, but maybe it forces other small conferences (MAC, WAC for example) to maybe form their own Mini Super Conferences and seperate from the NCAA. Trust me, the Big 10(12), Big 12 (10), Pac-12, SEC, ACC and Big East (plus ND) will more than likely make a huge move towards this come 2014 or sooner . . .

Let the craziness commence!!!!

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: January 12, 2012 5:43 pm

MWC, CUSA talk forming new league

Folks - with the expiration of the BCS contract in 2013, that opens a wiiiiiiiiiiiide door for a lot of things, mostly a bowl system like what we had before and cronyism gone awry.    I bet that if an agreement isn't struck, we'll have the Sugar take the SEC Champ; the Cotton take the B12; the Rose take the Pac10/B10 Champs; and just a big ol' pissing match on paper at the end; like the old days!  

Those bowls would hype away but hoping for a truly worthy opponent from the remaining pool would be tough with *probably* the best 4 candidates most years already dedicated.    You'd be searching for the champion of the ACC or Big East or MWC/CUSA mash to represent or rely on the 2nd Best team out of the Pac / B10 / B12 / SEC to add validity.    

But - then the SEC honks could rightfully do what they did this year and want to do every year; invite 2 teams from their conference and call it the National Championship in the Sugar Bowl!  And we'd probably never see an SEC team play another worthy opponent out of the conference or outside an SEC stadium again! 

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