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Blog Entry

CUSA, MWC consolidate into one for football

Posted on: October 14, 2011 5:49 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2011 7:51 pm
 

Conference USA and the Mountain West announced Friday a football consolidation of their combined 22 schools "in one large association."

The plan is for the champion of each conference to then play in a championship game perhaps as soon as 2012. The unique, first-of-its kind arrangement will span five time zones and reach from the East Coast to Hawaii. The arrangement had been discussed by the two leagues for more than a year and even had its own new conference name, at least in this blog.

There are no assurances that the champion of the new consolidation will get a BCS bid moving forward, a high-ranking BCS source said.

The current BCS deal with ESPN extends through the 2013 regular season and 2014 bowls.

"Who knows whether there will even be a BCS [beyond 2013]," said Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky. "There are some folks who believe if you play at the highest level you deserve it, regardless if you're champion of a particular conference. We will stand up as one champion and speak with one voice and expect our champion to be recognized at the highest level. "

How long the association stays at 22 schools is up for debate. CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy reported Friday that the Big East is poised to invite four schools, three of them from Conference USA and the Mountain West -- Boise State and Air Force from the Mountain West, Central Florida from Conference USA and Navy, an independent. 

"I believe Boise and Air Force are gone [to the Big East]," said one source familiar with the Mountain West.

If that's the case, there are plenty of schools left over for the "Big Country". The Mountain West has been around since 1999. The league is currently at eight members, but is losing TCU after this season to the Big 12. It will grow to 10 in 2012 after gaining Hawaii (football only), Nevada and Fresno State from the WAC. The 12-team Conference USA has been in existence since 1995.

The new consolidation could grow and shrink with ease because of its size. The consolidation most likely will debut in 2013, even though 2012 remains possible. There will need to be a change in NCAA legislation allowing the two CUSA championship game participants to play 14 games. CUSA will continue to have its own conference championship game before that champion meets the Mountain West champion.

The current NCAA limit is 13 for regular-season games.

"I don't think it's nutty at all," Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson said of the new arrangement. "It's proactive. It's bold in some way. We're trying to position our members in the best light possible."

On its face, the move seems to be part of a gold rush for an automatic BCS bid that could be up for grabs. The Big East holds one of those six automatic bids through the 2013 season. However, that bid is in danger with the Big East down to six members after the loss of TCU, Syracuse and Pittsburgh.

It is trying to rebuild with the addition of Central Florida, Air Force Navy and Boise State.

"We've got 22, and they're at 6," Banowksy said. "I will tell you there is room for everybody in this college football world."

One industry source said there are only four schools with television appeal among the 22 in the new consolidation. The Big East would be taking two of them, Air Force and Boise. SMU and Houston are the others.

The same source that the Big East's addition of Air Force, Navy, Central Florida and Boise would make up for the loss of Syracuse, Pittsburgh and TCU in terms of football, markets and television appeal.

Thompson said the Air Force and Boise presidents participated in the vote to form the new consolidation.

"They both mentioned they were in contact with the Big East, but did not elaborate," Thompson said.

Banowsky said he does not expect to lose Central Florida, one of the largest universities in the country.

It the modern world of cutthroat college athletics, the Big East's move could essentially keep Conference USA and Mountain West out of the BCS until at least the 2018 season.

"They [Mountain West/Conference USA] could still merge but the value is gone," one source said before Friday's announcement.

"It's all about inventory and it's all about programming" Thompson said. ""Better is better and more is better in the television industry."



















Comments

Since: Aug 26, 2008
Posted on: February 17, 2012 12:38 pm
 

CUSA, MWC consolidate into one for football

"One industry source said there are only four schools with television appeal among the 22 in the new consolidation. The Big East would be taking two of them, Air Force and Boise. SMU and Houston are the others."

As it turned out the Big East didn't take the Air Force Academy but it did end up taking the other two, meaning that three out of the four schools identified as having television appeal (value) have been pilfered.

So what would have been a 22-member league with two "television valued" teams is instead a 16-team league with one "television valued" team. And there are rumors/reports that the Big East is still targeting Air Force if it ever wanted/needed to expand again in the near future.

From the article above, "Better is better and more is better in the television industry."

So since "better" is not a viable option, the obvious response will be to increase the "more" and just add teams for the sake of having available inventory.





Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: October 24, 2011 3:56 pm
 

CUSA, MWC consolidate into one for football

What is USM?
University of Southern Mississippi is USM.  They play football in the NCAA top division.  I was wondering how you didn't know that then I saw you are an Indiana fan and rememberd that you guys don't have a football team, like the city of Indianapolis lacks a pro team, so you are forgiven.  At minimum, a football fan would have known that a guy named Brett Favre, who you also probably have never heard of since it is foootball, played at Southern Mississippi.  I'm sure of this was ice skating you would have known.



Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: October 24, 2011 3:49 pm
 

CUSA, MWC consolidate into one for football

How USM is not invited to the Big East is beyond me. They would smash every time that may get invited with the exception of maybe Boise.

You just answered your own question.



Since: Jan 23, 2007
Posted on: October 23, 2011 11:50 am
 

CUSA, MWC consolidate into one for football

What is USM?



Since: Oct 16, 2011
Posted on: October 16, 2011 10:46 pm
 

CUSA, MWC consolidate into one for football

How USM is not invited to the Big East is beyond me. They would smash every time that may get invited with the exception of maybe Boise. 



Since: Sep 30, 2006
Posted on: October 15, 2011 4:33 pm
 

CUSA, MWC consolidate into one for football

Is Tulane in the plans for this super conference of crap



Since: Dec 7, 2009
Posted on: October 15, 2011 3:16 pm
 

CUSA, MWC consolidate into one for football

What makes this even worse than it already is, is the fact that nothing is going to change regarding tv contracts.  That horrible "Mountain" networks has done absolutely nothing for the conference since it's institution (ZERO profit), so it's nice to know that it's still going to be there.  People are ABSOLUTELY retarded if they believe joing two horrible conferences is gong to magically give them the 7th AQ bid.  One can't get it on it's own, why would adding more crappy teams give it to them?  The MWC conference commisioner is desperate to get the AQ bid that he's failing desperately at trying to be like everyone else.  The is the dumbest idea I have ever heard to reach AQ status and SMU, Houston, AF, and Boise would be stupid to pass on the BIG EAST. 

The BE is not going to lose it's AQ status people.  It's been stated many times (do a little research) that there is nothing in place to strip a conference of it's status, only to award or deny a conference.  This of course could change in 2014 if a new rule is put into place (very unlikely), but even if there was why would you give it to the MWC that now mirrors the WAC with TCU, Utah, and BYU gone, and CUSA with only 3 decent teams in Houston, UCF, and SMU (this year)? 

If the Pac or BIG12 was going to invite Boise they would have already.      



Since: Jan 9, 2010
Posted on: October 15, 2011 2:55 pm
 

CUSA, MWC consolidate into one for football

College football is cyclical.  The SEC is strong right now, but who knows where they will be 10 years from now.  From 1990-1998 the SEC won exactly one National Championship.  Thats exactly as many as the ACC and Big East.  Back then it was Nebraska dominating out of the Big 8/12. Who knows where we will be 10 years from now, but there is absolutely no guarantee that it will still be all SEC all the time.  
Which one are you thinking of?  The one Alabama won in 92, the one Florida won in 96, or the one Tennessee won in 98? 



Since: Aug 9, 2010
Posted on: October 15, 2011 1:59 pm
 

CUSA, MWC create association not consolidation

Once agian Dodd and this article title is misleading.  The MWC and CUSA are not forming one conference.  They will continue to operate independently, and their individual conference champs will meet for an overall championship in an attempt to secure an AQ invitation.  Maybe more non-conference games between the two, but again, independent.  They could even agree to balance the conferences, seeing a UTEP join the MWC, as an example. 

Depending on who may leave for the Big East (mistake), Conf USA can always invite Troy and/FIU to join in order to maintain their divisions if they choose to. 



Since: Aug 9, 2010
Posted on: October 15, 2011 1:50 pm
 

CUSA, MWC consolidate into one for football

Army had already told the Big East that they were not interested in joining.  Air Force is concerned about the BE uncertainty and Navy's uncertainty.  Air Force won't join without Navy.

Boise State probably won't join without Houston/SMU schools.  Big East is going to lose their AQ status after 2013 regardless of who joins.    


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