by Dave Miller
May 01, 02012
The Western Athletic Conference's demise is Conference USA's gain.
C-USA, which will lose Houston, Southern Methodist, Central Florida and Memphis to the Big East after this coming season, will add six new league members in 2013, according to Brett McMurphy of CBSSports.com.
Florida International, Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Texas-San Antonio, Charlotte and Old Dominion will join C-USA to give the league 14 members. The 49ers, however, will begin their football program in 2013, while the Monarchs are still in FCS. It is unknown how soon they will be able to compete as full-fledged football members in C-USA.
Louisiana Tech and Texas-San Antonio aren't the only schools leaving the WAC, as Utah State and San Jose State are headed to the Mountain West Conference while Texas State is bolting to the Sun Belt. The WAC, as of now, would be down to only two football members in 2013.
C-USA and the MWC were set to merge into one league, but legal obstacles will reportedly prevent that from occuring. They still want to devise a plan in order to possibly share television and marketing resources while cross-scheduling.
Meanwhile, C-USA will increase its conference membership to 14 and the MWC will add Utah State and San Jose State in 2013 to increase its membership to 10 schools. C-USA, of course, will continue to hold its football championship game.
According to the CBSSports.com report, Conference USA's new 14-team league is expected to be split into an East and a West division. The East could include East Carolina, FIU, Marshall, Southern Miss, UAB, Charlotte and ODU, while the West could comprise Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Rice, Texas-San Antonio, Tulane, Tulsa and UTEP.
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