After the departure of four of its charter schools to the Big East Conference, Conference USA was forced to go on the recruiting trail to reload and get back to 12 member schools to maintain a conference football championship and a relatively high profile among the country’s collegiate athletic conferences.
C-USA has done just that.
According to reports, six new schools including Florida International University, Louisiana Tech University, the University of North Texas, the University of Texas at San Antonio, the University of Charlotte, and Old Dominion University will play football in the conference beginning with the 2013-2014 season.
C-USA’s decision to add these new member schools came on the heels of the dissolution of talks with the Mountain West Conference to merge into one “mega-conference” as a reaction to the recent growth of both the SEC and PAC-12.
Evidently, too many legal roadblocks stood in the way of the two conferences, preventing a full merger, but not the opportunity to share marketing and television resources going forward.
For Louisiana Tech, North Texas and UTSA in particular, the move to C-USA is a very positive and profitable one. Louisiana Tech and North Texas have been mired in the Sun Belt for some time now, a conference which is largely forgotten about and doesn’t have much pull from a recruiting standpoint when trying to sell the region’s talent.
In only it’s second-year as a Division I football program, UTSA has caught the eye of many in Texas and the Southwest due to it’s strong attendance and solid recruiting under former University of Miami head coach, Larry Coker.
It’s anticipated the new look C-USA will be broken into East and West divisions as follows:
Louisiana Tech Tulane
North Texas Tulsa
East Carolina UAB
Florida International Old Dominion
As an aside, the conference could also be much stronger in basketball as well, as North Texas, Tulsa, Marshall, UAB, and Charlotte have all made NCAA Basketball Tournament appearances in recent years.
More news on the new-look Conference USA:
Conference USA reloads by adding 6 schools: http://cbsprt.co/IFbfp6