Conference USA and the Mountain West Conference plan to dissolve and form a new conference, the MWC announced today.
Last October, the two conferences announced that they were combining into one football association. But for legal reasons, both conferences will dissolve and form “…a new intercollegiate athletic association that would begin competition in the 2013-14 academic year.”
This new conference will consist of 18 to 24 universities that span from the East Coast to Hawaii. Furthermore, the conference will have a championship football game that will include two semifinal match-ups.
“This is an exciting development that will stabilize the current conferences and create the first truly national conference with members in five time zones and television viewership from coast to coast. This partnership brings together like-minded institutions to improve the integrity and stability of intercollegiate athletics,” said UNLV President Neal Smatresk. “We are moving our plans forward rapidly and expect to complete our conversations in the near future. Look for further announcements soon as we work together on this exciting new venture.”
The new conference, which has not been named, is expected to initially consist of C-USA teams East Carolina, Marshall, Rice, Southern Miss, Tulane, Tulsa, UAB and UTEP and MWC members Air Force, Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, UNLV and Wyoming. Each school would join the conference in all sports except Hawaii, which would be a football-only member.
CBSSports.com reports that the Temple Owls are a possibility for the 17th member.