Details Emerge For Conference USA, Mountain West Mega Conference
TULSA, Oklahoma – It's no secret that Conference USA and the Mountain West Conference had been in talks to combine their conferences for some time now.
But some of the details of that conference have begun to be released after a meeting among the presidents of the 16 schools involved in the two conferences.
The presidents of UNLV and Tulane University released a joint statement saying that the merger will "stabilize the current conferences and create the first truly national conference with members in five time zones and viewership from coast to coast."
Things will remain the same for Tulsa and the other affected schools for next season before the new conference changes take place starting in the 2013-14 academic year, and the new league will have anywhere from 18-24 members.
Tulsa athletic director Ross Parmley said that the large numbers that affected Tulsa's former conference, the Western Athletic Conference, negatively will not have the same effect on this new conference.
"I think there is strength in numbers and I think the excitement of a mega conference merger will be a challenge to all of us but it's a challenge that presents incredible opportunities for the schools that are involved."
CBSSports.com had reported that the teams expected to join the new league from C-USA are Tulsa, Southern Miss, Marshall, East Carolina, UAB, Rice, UTEP and Tulane.
The schools expected to join from the Mountain West are Air Force, Colorado State, UNLV, New Mexico, Fresno State, Nevada, Wyoming and Hawaii.
The conference will still have divisions and hold championship games for football and basketball.
In late 2011, C-USA lost four schools (Houston, Memphis, Central Florida and SMU) to the Big East. The Mountain West lost Boise State and San Diego State to the Big East as well as losing TCU to the Big 12.
Presidents of the remaining schools expected to join the mega conference have said the merger will bring stability to two conferences that might not have it otherwise.