UTSA On The Verge Of Conference USA Membership

By Chris Hengst

Conference realignment revolved around the Big 12 in the previous two years so it only makes sense that a university in Texas keeps the intrigue alive.

An infant with just one season of college football play completed, the University of Texas at San Antonio will join Conference USA in 2013, pending approval of a Wednesday vote from the University of Texas System Board of Regents.

According to CBS Sports, the Roadrunners aren’t alone in the move. North Texas, Florida International and Louisiana Tech appear likely additions for a conference losing the University of Houston, SMU, Memphis and Central Florida to the Big East. By poaching from their neighbors, Conference USA accumulates 12 teams again and exhibits an air of stability. That air is as believable as the notion that Oklahoma prefers the Big 12 to the Pac 12.

4-6 in their debut season, UTSA is helmed by former Miami head coach Larry Coker. They’re a burgeoning program playing in a large facility (Alamo Dome) with a veritable Mega Millions jackpot in recruits living hours from the campus. Slated to join the WAC this season, UTSA slow-played their official entrance to that conference while batting an eye toward better opportunity. This is not unlike your girlfriend’s psychological warfare when you refuse to work out.

What the Roadrunners provide Conference USA beyond a school to fulfill by-law requirements is potential. The campus resides in a major southern metropolis. Talent, as documented by the 2012 NFL Draft where 32 native Texans were selected, exists for the taking. And should UTSA ever carve a niche out for recruits who are overlooked by the Big 12, SEC and Pac 12, the conference might have added a powerhouse.

Exiting for a bigger chunk of television revenue, the Houston Cougars were a Texas A&M job opening away from a Sugar Bowl appearance. Without Kevin Sumlin‘s eyes wandering toward College Station, Southern Miss probably doesn’t barrel through the Cougars and with a conference title in hand, UH could have earned a trip to a BCS bowl.

That’s the allure of Texas-San Antonio.

Whether the Sun Belt or WAC survive conference realignment is irrelevant for a school with the opportunity to better itself substantially in Year Two of the football program.

No one expects Larry Coker to inherit Andre Johnson and a slew of first round picks in the Alamo City but if he manages to cull a few surprises from a state teeming with NFL stock, Conference USA might not miss their Lone Star State departures.

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