Wednesday, January 16, 2013

*UPDATE* C-USA: FAU & MTSU to Arrive in 2013, Tulsa Open to Exit


Lots of moving parts in this story and we have a big update. First and foremost, Dieter Kurtenbach of the South Florida Sun Sentinel is reporting that talk of FAU and MTSU to C-USA in 2013 is premature. Apparently, the sticking point is the $1 million exit fee both must pay to leave the Sun Belt Conference. An early exit could still occur but, don't expect any thing by February.

Also, it appears that this story originated when C-USA commissioner Britton Banowsky told the San Antonio News-Express that the league had plans for 14 teams this fall, including the Owls and Blue Raiders.

Finally, my speculation about ECU and Tulane to the Big East this year appears to be incorrect. In a interview with ESPN on January 8th, Big East commissioner Michael Aresco stated that his conference would stay at 10 football playing members this fall if they lose Boise State and San Diego.


Per the Twitter account of Sun Herald reporter Patrick MaGee, Middle Tennessee State and Florida Atlantic University will join Conference USA a year ahead of schedule in 2013. Reports indicate that the early exits will be announced in February. FAU and MTSU originally accepted invitations to join C-USA in November with plans to leave the Sun Belt following the 2013 academic year.

Speculation on my part but, I don’t expect C-USA to host 14 football playing members next season. I believe ECU and Tulane will leave the conference early, joining Memphis, SMU, UCF, and Houston in the Big East for 2013.

If MaGee’s report and my speculation are correct, C-USA will look like this heading into next football season.

1) Marshall
2) Southern Miss
3) Louisiana Tech
4) UAB
5) FlU
6) FAU
10) Tulsa
11) North Texas
12) Rice

Keep in mind, conference realignment is not over. It has become apparent that San Diego State will return to the Mountain West Conference and not move to the Big East. With the Aztecs exit, the Big East will be looking for another member. In today’s Tulsa World, it was indicated that Tulsa would be willing to exit C-USA if they received an invitation from the Mountain West or Big East.  

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