The prospect of a Mountain West-Conference USA superconference is now on hold

Graham Watson
March 26, 2012

The status of Conference USA and the Mountain West has gone from "in a relationship" to "it's complicated."

After announcing the likely dissolution of both leagues into a one unnamed superconference back in February, C-USA and the MWC might consider merging or staying separate and sharing television, marketing and scheduling resources, according to

The original reason for dissolving was to do away with each conference's television deal. However, an industry source told Brett McMurphy that if the conferences dissolve they would, "lose their NCAA tournament units -- teams earn about $250,000 for their conference for each round they advance in the NCAA tournament and that money is distributed to the conferences after a rolling six-year period. Dissolving the leagues would forfeit C-USA and the Mountain West millions of dollars."

The potential superconference also would only receive one BCS bid (which as many as 24 teams could be fighting over) and, according to Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News, exit fees owed to those conferences by members leaving for the Big East would become void, which would be big hits to both Conference USA and the Mountain West's bottom line.

Now it's a matter of which option is the most beneficial for both conferences. If they stay separate, it's likely that both conferences will try to expand on their own to fill the voids left by Boise State, San Diego State, UCF, SMU, Houston and Memphis all leaving for the Big East next year. When the two conferences announced the formation of a superleague, they also noted a plan to expand beyond their current 16-team membership to as many as 24 schools. reported schools that were under consideration included, Idaho, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, San Jose State, Texas State, Texas-San Antonio and Utah State from the WAC; Florida Atlantic, Florida International and North Texas from the Sun Belt; and Charlotte from the Atlantic 10.

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