Conference USA Expansion
What’s Going On? It’s losing Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, Rice, UAB, and UTSA to the American Athletic Conference next year, and it lost the fight to keep Marshall, Old Dominion, Southern Miss – all three bolted for the Sun Belt for this season.
For 2023, Conference USA is adding Jacksonville State, Liberty, New Mexico State, and Sam Houston State.
Best Case Scenario: Conference USA is somehow able to form a partnership with the Sun Belt or the MAC, it doesn’t lose any more schools, and the new programs coming in bring a big school energy that makes everything fun.
Worst Case Scenario: Conference USA loses FIU, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee and WKU to the Sun Belt or the MAC in the near future, and/or the other conferences pull away and get so strong that this is the new WAC.
Crazy Idea That Won’t Work, But … Align with the Mountain West. It seems too obvious that the top Mountain West schools will get picked off, and coming up with a national conference product – you know, like a conference for the USA – that goes from Miami to Hawaii would be interesting.
What Will Probably Happen: It’s going to be a rough run. It’s just a question of time before other conferences – watch out for the MAC – are able to offer the top remaining schools something strong, and Conference USA will struggle to make a splash.