On second thought, never mind?
Following months of discussions and alterations in plans to someway, somehow, get Conference USA and the Mountain West to either merge or dissolve and reform as one, it appears the two conferences will, in fact, stay separate — for now, anyway.
CBS Sports’ Brett McMurphy reports, citing industry sources, that a merger between the two leagues “probably will not happen“, but that each side is still working to figure out a way to share television, marketing and scheduling resources with the other.
“There is not much talk about a formal merger of the conferences into one conference entity in the near term, but that is still a future consideration,” one source told McMurphy.
The two conferences have been in discussions about how to modify their leagues since last year in the wake of more conference reshuffling and gerrymandering. If the conferences separately dissolved and reformed into one conference, as was the original plan, they could nullify any current TV deals and restructure media rights to maximize revenue.
Earlier this month, “The Mtn”, a TV channel for MWC athletics, announced it would be shutting down.
However, if C-USA and the MWC dissolved, each conference would then lose money from the NCAA tournament because those units are distributed after a six-year period. In other words, it doesn’t appear there was an option where the two conferences married and simply profited to maximum capability.
And, really, that’s what all realignment is about, more or less.
If the conferences stay separate for the immediate future, that doesn’t mean they’ll stay put, though. The Mountain West will have to replenish the spots left by Boise State, San Diego State and TCU; C-USA will have to replace Houston, SMU, Memphis and Central Florida.
Utah State, San Jose State, North Texas, Louisiana Tech and FIU have all been listed as possible replacements. That leaves the possibility that the WAC and the Sun Belt could, for inventory reasons if nothing else, adopt a similar idea to the one that has now fallen though for C-USA and the MWC.