As the conference realignment carousel continues to spin, expect a couple more official moves to be announced maybe as early as Friday.
Conference USA was ravaged when the Big East announced they would be adding Houston, UCF, SMU, and eventually Memphis. C-USA has become the kid who got bullied, had his lunch money stolen, and now has to beat up even wimpier kids and get their lunch money.
On Monday CBSSports.com’s Brett McMurphy announced that C-USA would be adding six new schools: Charlotte (A-10), Old Dominion (Colonial), FIU (Sun Belt), North Texas (Sun Belt), La Tech (WAC), and UTSA (currently FCS but was scheduled to join the WAC).
Meanwhile, the Mountain West Conference has to fill some holes as well since the Big East robbed them of Boise State and San Diego State. They’re expected to add current WAC teams Utah State (gets the MWC back in the Utah TV market after losing BYU and Utah) and San Jose State (access to the Bay Area market). After losing Fresno State, Hawaii, and Nevada to the MWC last year these next moves would leave the WAC with only two football programs. Those would be the power houses of New Mexico State and Idaho.
So what happens to the WAC? The current forecast looks very bleak. When the FCS schools that are moving up are forsaking your conference for greener pastures you don’t have much of a chance of attracting legitimate programs. Most likely the WAC would dissolve. (Hey, they had a good run…) NMSU would be welcomed back to the Sun Belt and Idaho would be…well, screwed.
What was originally supposed to be a 20-plus team super conference union between the MWC and C-USA has instead become a Cold War-era arms race as each conference tries to scoop up as many viable schools as possible. ..Alright, so maybe there’s still a revenue sharing/alliance plan in the works but you know you like the Cold War analogy better.