Conference USA will add six schools to their list of members in 2013, CBSSports.com has reported. An official announcement could be made as early as Friday.
Set to join are Florida International and North Texas from the Sun Belt Conference, Louisiana Tech and UTSA from the WAC, and Charlotte and Old Dominion from the Football Championship Subdivision.
The Charlotte 49ers (University of North Carolina at Charlotte) are set to begin their football program in 2013 as an FCS Independent. It’s doubtful that they would immediately play a full Conference USA football schedule.
Old Dominion is also an FCS program and may have a transition period into C-USA. The Monarchs revived their football program in 2009 and joined the Colonial Athletic Association in 2011.
Conference USA, which is losing Houston, Memphis, SMU and UCF to the Big East in 2013, would have a total of 14 members in 2014. That will allow them to continue their conference championship game. They will also keep their East/West division alignment, which is expected to be as follows:
Charlotte, East Carolina, Florida International, Marshall, Old Dominion, Southern Miss, UAB
Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Rice, Tulane, Tulsa, UTEP, UTSA
The Sun Belt Conference is expected to add Texas State in 2013 and already has Georgia State coming up from the FCS. Those two schools will replace FIU and North Texas.
San Jose State and Utah State are expected to bolt the sinking WAC for the Mountain West Conference. With Louisiana Tech and UTSA heading to C-USA, that will leave the WAC with only Idaho and New Mexico State in football. There hasn’t been much speculation yet as to where those two schools will end up.