Last week, Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News reported that Conference USA and the Mountain West were close to merging into one conference — not to be confused with separately dissolving, which was reported to be the case as of last month.
Today, Brett McMurphy of CBSSports has taken that report and added an additional angle.
Representatives from the two conferences are now reportedly considering two options: merge into one league, or remain as separate conferences that share television, marketing and scheduling resources.
“Both are still viable,” the report said. “There’s really no clubhouse leader.”
Whatever the decision — presidents from both sides have reportedly been divided into five subgroups to discuss the pros and cons of each option — it will, no surprise, likely be determined based on whatever model provides the most TV revenue.
Expansion is also still on the table, with the possibility of up to 24 teams eventually joining the what would be 16-team league. Programs from both the Sun Belt and WAC have been connected to a possible C-USA/MWC expansion.
Schools that could be included in expansion are, according to McMurphy’s report: “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.”
However, FAU president Mary Jane Saunders told Owl Access last Friday that the school had not received an invite from the possible merger.