C-USA likely to play an 8-game Conference Football Schedule

By Kevin Kelley -

Conference USAWith Conference USA set to have 12 members next season and 14 by 2015, they will likely play an 8-game conference schedule, C-USA commissioner Britton Banowsky told the Charlotte Observer.

Conference USA currently has 12 football members, but Houston, Memphis, SMU, and UCF are leaving for the Big East in 2013. C-USA will add Florida International, Louisiana Tech, North Texas, and UTSA which will keep their overall number at 12 for the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

In 2015, current FCS members Charlotte and Old Dominion will join C-USA, bringing their total number of football schools to 14.

Conference USA currently plays an 8-game football schedule and will likely do so in the future, Banowsky stated:

When our athletics directors get together in August, we’ll be mocking up schedules and divisions that are geographically sensible. Most people I’ve talked with seem to be comfortable with eight (conference football) games. People appreciate the scheduling flexibility that gives you, and it’s my sense that we’ll stay with that.

If C-USA plans to keep “geographically sensible” divisions, we expect the two 7-team divisions to look similar to this:

East Division

West Division

Commissioner Banowsky also made some other interesting statements. Regarding the proposed merger between Conference USA and the Mountain West, he stated:

My sense is that a merger is not going to happen in the short run. There might be some kind of long-term consolidation, but we’ve pushed the pause button on a merger.

When asked if Appalachian State was a “serious candidate” for C-USA and if there was a chance for the Mountaineers to “join later,” Banowsky dodged the question:

Appalachian is a fine university that reached out to us when they began to explore the possibility of FBS membership. They have aspirations of moving up to a higher platform, and I’m not comfortable talking about the details of that dialogue or anything in the future.

Comments (10)

The only part of this I don’t understand is why hasn’t UTEP left the conference for the Mountain West? why haven’t they climb that ladder
yet,especially knowing they would get the better upper hand as
far as getting to the final four playoff format assuming that
comes to light,comparing the Mountain West conference strength to
Conference USA’s who’s adding schools from the FCS!!!!!!

Yes, C-USA is adding 2 FCS schools, but ODU will turn out to be REALLY good. They went 10-3 last season and won the first round of the FCS tournament in their first season eligible. C-USA is also adding Louisiana Tech (defending WAC champion) and FIU (2010 Sun Belt champion). Meanwhile MWC is adding Utah State (whose winning record last season was their first since 1996) and SJSU (which has only been to one bowl since 1990.
I think that once the conference shuffle is all over, CUSA, MWC, and Sun Belt will all be on roughly the same level. The days of lower-conference teams penetrating the national contenders will be long gone.

UTEP’s president has made it clear that after leaving the WAC for C-USA, it allowed their alumni in Dallas-Fort Worth (then SMU, now UNT) and Houston (then Houston & Rice, now only Rice) to see their alma mater play without the 10 hour drive from Dallas or 11 hour drive from Houston. With UTSA in San Antonio, UTEP alumni, who are concentrated in the State of Texas more than the fly over states in the MWC, will have better access to their team from afar.


I think that over the years, the MWC didn’t want UTEP. They were content with the original 8 and when they expanded, Boise and TCU were much better candidates.

But still, I would have to think that UTEP had more to offer than SJSU and USU. Also since their was the coalition between CUSA and the MWC, their probably was a gentleman’s agreement not to raid each others schools.

I also believe that UTEP felt they could recruit Dallas and Houston better in a conference with other Texas schools.

That’s just my guess, I have no solid facts to back them up though.


Maybe its because CUSA is has the better TV contract to go along with being a better overall conference? Also UTEP probably enjoys playing the Texas rival schools.

Utep– I’ve heard the same thing, that they have a lot of alum thru the state of texas, but with smu and houston leaving, it’s down to rice, north texas, and utsa. Not exactly huge rivalry games. the miners had a long history with a lot of the mwc schools such as new mexico,sd st, etc, so would have been fun to see that resumed. I reckon they like where they are now.
Divisions– like the geographic setup and glad to see la tech in a more logical league instead of road trips to boise, fresno, and hawaii.
8 games– I am wondering why not 9 games? maybe they need a couple of money games at bama,lsu,etc. not like they are going to offer big paychecks for teams to come to cusa stadiums.

So what will the 2 divisions look like in 2013 and 2014? My guess is:
East Carolina
Florida Intl
Southern Miss

Louisiana Tech
North Texas

I agree. Tulane may push to keep their west division rivalries, but I doubt it. They have just as good a rivalry with Southern Miss as anyone.