Conference-USA and Mountain West Announce College Football Merger

Michael ClineCorrespondent IOctober 14, 2011

BOISE, ID - OCTOBER 01:  Kellen Moore #11 of the Boise State Broncos looks for a receiver against the Nevada Wolf Pack at Bronco Stadium on October 1, 2011 in Boise, Idaho.  (Photo by Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images)
Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images

Today, the Mountain West and C-USA announced their football-only merger, creating what looks to be a 20- to 22-team super conference or alliance.

No official announcement has been made about a name change, but this new football alliance will spread across the entire United States, with universities in 16 different states.

This may effect the possible departures of ECU, Boise State, Air Force, Houston and San Diego State. ECU has made it abundantly clear that it seeks membership in the crumbling Big East, which just sent an invitation to Boise State. Air Force has been rumored to also join the Big East, and Houston has been a favorite and likely candidate to move to the Big 12. SDSU, who will look to find greener pastures, has sent information in an attempt to join the Big 12.

All these moves are clearly gaining momentum, so an alliance may have been a move to gain stability between the two conferences, who both are without an automatic qualifying bid to the BCS; such a move could help change this.

Divisions have also yet to be announced, but it was stated by Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson that the two conferences may stay somewhat separate and meet at a Mountain West-C-USA championship game at the end of the year.

C-USA commissioner Britton Banowsky exclaimed: "The potential of this association is very exciting. By taking an innovative approach, we feel we can offer tremendous opportunities for exposure and stability without breaking up the regional rivalries that truly make up the college football tradition."

This move will have no effect on any other sport besides football, and it was likely a move to keep institutions from leaving both conferences and to solidify an automatic-qualifier bid for the BCS.