As an intact entity, the MAC and Conference USA would fall all over themselves to add UConn as a member. But just UConn football? Eh.
That’s the word on the grapevine, according to a tweet from CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd, which came in the aftermath of the bombshell report that UConn is on the verge of leaving the American Athletic Conference to take its Olympic sports, led by its prized men’s and women’s basketball programs, back to the non-football Big East Conference.
So willing are the Huskies to fix the situation for their basketball programs that they’re happy to orphan their football team, as Dodd reported that the MAC and Conference USA were not interested in adding UConn as a football-only member.
The stance makes sense for both leagues. Both conferences have an even number of teams (C-USA has 14, the MAC a dozen), and none of their schools are close to Connecticut. The MAC’s closest school is Buffalo, which sits 423 miles away from Storrs, Conn., and isn’t particularly close to any of the 11 other MAC schools (Buffalo’s nearest neighbor is Kent State, 209 miles west). For Conference USA, UConn is 450 miles north of Marshall, and Marshall is 350 miles north of Middle Tennessee.
Further reporting showed that UConn has no interest in returning to FCS, meaning it appears the Huskies will try to make a go of it as an FBS independent. For what it’s worth, Huskies head coach Randy Edsall retweeted this message from NCAA.com’s Andy Katz.