Scott Cunningham

Mid-major realignment: Sun Belt making moves

Check back here for the latest college conference realignment news.

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220 Total Updates since October 16, 2011
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JMU likely replacing WKU

The Sun Belt has now lost five schools in the last year.

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There are not enough college football teams

Let's get inclusive: What if we put every football team in the world in the Football Bowl Subdivision?

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There are too many college football teams

Something must be done about this non-problem.

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Sun Belt to split into 2 divisions

The Sun Belt has revealed new East and West divisions after the addition of Idaho, Georgia Southern, Appalachian State and New Mexico State.

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Boise State puts 2 more foes on ESPN

Once hampered by its location and limited revenue share, Boise State can now promise a ESPN payday and a televised game to willing visitors.

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Behold the Moon Belt Conference

With the news that the Sun Belt Conference is expanding beyond our wildest dreams, our wildestest dream is coming true: the Moon Belt Conference is blasting off into Division I.

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Grading Sun Belt realignment moves

Monday, SB Nation reported the Sun Belt is bringing on FCS greats Appalachian State and Georgia Southern, while CBS Sports reported Idaho and New Mexico State are joining as well.

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Sun Belt will add NMSU, Idaho

Georgia Southern and Appalachian State aren't the only schools headed for the southern non-BCS conference. NMSU and Idaho will soon join as football-only members.

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SB Nation reports App State, GSU to Sun Belt

SB Nation's Steven Godfrey reports Georgia Southern is leaving FCS for the Sun Belt and confirms the Winston-Salem Journal's report of Appalachian State doing the same, while CBS Sports adds Idaho and New Mexico State.

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ESPN signs deal for Boise State home football

ESPN will now air every game from Bronco Stadium and partner with CBS on Mountain West football and hoops.

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Mountain West gets creative with division names

The conference's new division names will be "Mountain" and "West," because let's not get too risky here.

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Could Tulsa get a Big East invite?

The Tulsa Golden Hurricane could get an invite from the Big East now that the Mountain West has taken the San Diego State Aztecs back.

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San Diego State staying in the Mountain West

The Big East West may be no more after San Diego State has decided to stay at home.

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UTSA denies contact with Mountain West

Despite the rumors flying around, UTSA officials say they have not been in contact with the Mountain West about a potential move to that league.

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Big East still fighting for SDSU

San Diego State is reconsidering its decision to join the Big East, and it appears the school would prefer at this point to stay in the Mountain West.

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San Diego State expected to stay in Mountain West

Uncertainty in the Big East already caused Boise State to call off their scheduled 2013 move, and apparently San Diego State is close to doing the same.

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San Diego St. closer to Mountain West return

The Aztecs were set to leave the conference for the Big East, but further upheaval there has them reconsidering their plans.

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Boise State staying in Mountain West

As expected by many, Boise State will stay in the Mountain West instead of leaving for the Big East. The conference announced the news shortly after it broke.

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Boise, BYU back to MWC or not?

If Boise State, BYU and San Diego State head back to the Mountain West, geography's the first winner.

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Idaho returning to the Big Sky in 2014

The Vandals were charter members of the conference in 1963 before leaving after the 1995-96 season.

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Mountain West Expansion: No Idaho, No Conference USA, No Nothin'

MOUNT USA is dead. Or at least almost dead. The grand idea that was the merger between the Mountain West and Conference USA, thereby creating a single league of two dozen teams, "probably" is not going to happen, MWC commissioner Craig Thompson said during Mountain West Media Days on Wednesday.

It's just too complicated to make it work, Thompson said, and let's just imagine what would've happened if somebody had said the Louisiana Purchase was too complicated. This is America. It probably is really complicated, though. Combine that with the suspended scheduling deal between the Pac-12 and Big Ten, and it's clear everybody got just a little bit carried away with grand ideas during the last phase of realignment fever.

In further sadness, the conference prefers to sit tight at 10 teams for the time being, meaning:

That Plan B probably won't include the Sun Belt, and the WAC is basically dead, so just about the only option left is to drop down a level. Or try out independence, and it's hard to imagine that would go well.

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Boise State Going Through Mountain West Withdrawal Withdrawals

NBA free agency begins shortly, as does ... the point at which Boise State's transition to the Big East gets even weirder. The Broncos still have yet to officially leave the Mountain West despite swearing they're still Big East-bound, and waiting until Monday could mean a big financial hit:

Speculating on the holdup doesn't get us very far, since every step of the way the Broncos have said they're still solid on the move. Probably just waitin' on the Big East to offer up some of those cheeseburgers Boise State likes to rile the NCAA up with, huh!

For more on Broncos football, visit Boise State blog OBNUG, plus SB Nation Denver. And you should probably start reading Big East Coast Bias.

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Sun Belt's Decision To Stand Pat May Benefit WAC

Though it's certainly on life support, the WAC may not be dead after all. The Sun Belt's reported decision to close its doors and stop accepting new members means the WAC now has an opening to draw schools looking for a new home. Whether it's able to capitalize or make the moves necessary to stay alive, however, is a different question.

According to Karl Benson, former WAC and current Sun Belt commissioner, a quartet of schools are knocking on the WAC's door to explore membership.

There are still many hurdles for the WAC, despite Benson's comments about four schools taking a look at the conference. Simply put, it needs to replace a large amount of institutions following a mass exodus, and will still come out of this significantly weakened. For Idaho and New Mexico State, though, the WAC may be the only option on the table, and its survival is key to their own futures.

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Sun Belt Expansion Taking A Break: Bad News For Idaho, New Mexico State

Sun Belt commissioner Karl Benson isn't going to try for the whole 16-team thing just yet, as his WAC did in the '90s. He says his league will hold steady at (/counts on fingers and toes) however many teams it's expected to have next year, when newbies Texas State and Georgia State come aboard.

The lineup for the time being: Middle Tennessee, UL-Lafayette, Florida Atlantic, Georgia State, Texas State, Troy, Western Kentucky, Arkansas State, South Alabama and UL-Monroe. That's 10, so no conference championship game just yet.

The Sun Belt has a number of upcoming (or potentially upcoming) FCS programs in its area that could be promising. Both Georgia Southern and Appalachian State have more elite football history than all the recent FCS imports combined. Appy State's more interested in Conference USA, however, and GSU's made no formal indication it wants to move up.

As for the two schools this news hits the hardest:

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Notre Dame To The Big 12 And Other Best/Worst Case Scenarios For Conference Realignment

While we wait for the late-summer conference realignment scramble, let's go ahead and prepare ourselves for the best and the worst.

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What's Your College Football Program Worth? Introducing Realignment Value Rankings

If we're going to follow conference realignment as if it's a sport, we might as well come up with a scoring system.

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Boise State Going Through With Big East Thing After All, According To Report

The Boise St. Broncos, scheduled to join the Big East in 2013, reportedly had second thoughts about leaving the Mountain West while trying to decide what to do with their non-football sports and seeing multiple Big East schools look for a way out. But with the Big West emerging as a possible repository for football-free sports, the decision has been made to proceed, reports Brett McMurphy:

The Broncos had several recent discussions with MWC reps about staying in the Mountain West, sources told CBSSports.com. Boise State officials wanted to finalize its decision this week, because they didn't want to attend the Big East's meetings, which start Sunday, in Ponte Verda Beach, Fla., if they weren't going to join the league.

Great news for the Big East, which could lose the Louisville Cardinals and Connecticut Huskies right away if realignment goes haywire thanks to moves by the Florida St. Seminoles, Notre Dame Fighting Irish or others.

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Old Dominion Officially Joining Conference USA Football In 2015

The demise of the insta-conference CAA continues, with the Old Dominion Monarchs announcing they'll ship their non-football sports to Conference USA beginning in 2013, with football joining in 2015. With Charlotte also coming on several years down the road, CUSA will soon have itself a fine collection of promising, if brand new, football programs. CUSA will have a wide assortment of football programs on board for the time being, having added four others for 2013 already.

(This also means at least three conference realignment moves -- including Navy to the Big East -- aren't set to happen until after next season, meaning conference realignment is going to be with us for a very long time.)

The official release on the matter:

IRVING, Texas - Conference USA has entered into a membership agreement with Old Dominion University beginning in July 2013, Commissioner Britton Banowsky announced today.

"We are extremely pleased to add Old Dominion to Conference USA," Banowsky said. "They are a tremendous university with, not only a great tradition in athletics, but an extremely bright future. Their leadership team has a bold vision for the University, which fits well with our plan for the future of the Conference."

Located in Norfolk, Va., Old Dominion features an enrollment of 24,753 students and sponsors 16 NCAA Division I sports. ODU will join Conference USA for all sports in 2013-14, with the exception of football, which will move up to the Football Bowl Series (FBS) level for conference competition in the 2015 season. The Old Dominion football program has sold out every game since the program was reinstated in 2009. The school is located in the No. 43 media market in the country. (More Info on Old Dominion) Get Acrobat Reader

Earlier this month, University of North Carolina at Charlotte (Charlotte), Florida International University (FIU), Louisiana Tech University, University of North Texas and University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) finalized comprehensive membership agreements to begin competition in Conference USA for 2013 as well. Current C-USA members that will remain in the league in 2013-14 include East Carolina University, Marshall University, Rice University, University of Southern Mississippi, Tulane University, The University of Tulsa, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and University of Texas El Paso (UTEP). The metro area population of these 14 schools is nearly 19 million.

"Our new 14-member model will significantly expand the Conference's market penetration and enable us to continue to stage our championship game," Banowsky added. "Moreover, we will be able to compete in two divisions that are geographically balanced, fan-friendly and sensitive to the needs of our student-athletes."

"The Presidents and Chancellors of Conference USA universities are pleased to include Old Dominion in our future plans," said Dr. Scott Cowen, Tulane University president and Chair of Conference USA's Board of Directors. "They possess all the attributes of a tremendous University and will make a great addition to our Conference. With the six new members in place, we are stable and poised for great things in the future."

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Conference Realignment: Old Dominion Joining CUSA After All

Conference USA is getting its 12th member for 2013, after a couple weeks of delay. Old Dominion is set to announce at 2:30 p.m. ET that it is leaving the CAA for CUSA next year, David Teel reports, with the move being announced at its football stadium.

Brett McMurphy reported on May 1 that ODU would be among six members joining CUSA. Five of those -- FIU, Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Charlotte and Texas-San Antonio -- announced shortly after, while the Monarchs publicly said they still weren't sure about the move and hadn't had much time to process the whole thing.

Teel reports ODU should be eligible to play for the FCS playoffs in 2012, which wasn't the case for UMass last year. The Monarchs have played north of 100 games of football in their entire history, having only restarted their program in 2009 after decades of dormancy. They are 27-8 since then. This gives them quite the leg up on Charlotte, which has yet to play a single game and is already in a relatively stable FBS conference. Nothing makes sense.

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Big East Expansion: Boise State Could Be Having Cold Feet, Reportedly

When college football fans realized the sport is soon to get a playoff, many of us began wondering about whether the Boise St. Broncos would rethink their decision to leave the Mountain West for the automatic-qualifying BCS. But the Broncos would still make more TV money in the Big East, and I think most admins knew AQ status was going away anyway.

But since playoff news came out, Boise State beat writers have repeatedly been asked whether the Broncos are reconsidering the move. The latest development was Boise State asking the Big East for help in finding a new home for its non-football sports, which aren't joining the Big East, can't be left in the Mountain West and have no WAC to turn to.

And now this, from Brett McMurphy:

An industry source told CBSSports.com that Mountain West representatives met with Boise State officials earlier this week to persuade the Broncos to remain in the MWC. Adding to that possibility is that the Broncos still haven't formally notified the Mountain West they are withdrawing from the league.

CBSSports.com asked Boise State for a comment about the MWC meeting and why the school had not formally withdrawn from the Mountain West. "We are actively monitoring the changing landscape in college athletics and remain committed to making the best long-term decisions for Boise State," a spokesman said.

With the Louisville Cardinals and Connecticut Huskies pretty much openly looking for a way out of the Big East, along with ancient basketball-football discord, the Big East might not look as stable as its eventual 13-strong membership might suggest.

For more on Broncos football, visit Boise State blog OBNUG, plus SB Nation Denver.

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Conference USA Expansion: Appalachian State An Option, AD Confirms

The hot Sun Belt rumor (all Sun Belt rumors are hot!) from the past week has been the potential additions of FCS titan Appalachian State and WAC stowaway New Mexico State. It started on one or another message board, but grew big enough to earn mention elsewhere.

So it was something of a surprise when ASU athletic director Charlie Cobb issued a letter Tuesday night laying out the Mountaineers' current conference realignment state, mentioning Conference USA as something of a priority over the Sun Belt (Yahoo! Sports' Graham Watson reported State hasn't even been in touch with the Sun Belt).

The letter in full:

Dear Appalachian Family,

In an effort to help with some of last week's conference expansion developments, I want to share some thoughts with you from our perspective.

Potential membership in Conference USA is one of the scenarios that Appalachian has been pursuing since the athletics feasibility committee made their recommendation last August. As you recall, the committee recommended that Appalachian seek membership in a conference that sponsors FBS football and the Board of Trustees approved that recommendation this past September. The committee's mandate was that a new conference must create geographic rivalries and make financial sense for us. Also, while other institutions have the ability to use student fees as the major investment in growing athletics on their campus, our committee made a strong statement that student fees would only be a portion of our athletics funding model.

Feedback that we have received throughout this process has been overwhelmingly positive with regards to our University's and athletics department's infrastructure. Our academic programs are top-notch, our financial base is strong, the data put forth by the athletics feasibility committee is solid and our facilities, fan support and success on the playing fields and courts are unparalleled among our peers.

A hurdle we face is one that is completely out of our control - our campus's distance from a major population center and its potential effect on television revenue. In an effort to diffuse this concern, we have shared that while we are not in the heart of a large TV market, Boone falls in the coverage areas of four top-100 markets that serve over 3 million homes combined (see chart). We also have 103,000 living alumni and 76,000 of them live in the major population centers of North Carolina (see chart). We have shared that the widening of US-321 and US-421 and the ability to charter flights in and out of Hickory and Wilkesboro Regional Airports have made our campus easily accessible by ground and air. We have shared that we have made over $60 million in facility improvements since 2006 and that we would have finished fifth in C-USA and second in the Sun Belt in football attendance last year. I hope it is obvious to all, but the reality is that potential TV revenue dictates much of the movement that we are seeing in college athletics. Conferences that have recently lost programs based in major media markets have looked to replace them with programs located in major media markets.

Conference realignment is not a sprint and remains very fluid. Additional realignment is inevitable and I can assure you that as the carousel continues to spin, we will continue our efforts to explore and pursue options. It is our hope that with this wave of expansion and the reality of actual competition still several years away, conferences will start to look at the core value of geographic rivalries (specifically competitive success, the accessibility and affordability for teams and fans to travel, ticket sales, actual television and internet viewers, regional marketing partnerships and other fan-based revenue streams) as an important component to complete their membership.

While some are disappointed in last week's developments, the primary reason that we are even in this conversation is because our fans have responded in tangible ways by purchasing tickets, attending games and supporting the Yosef Club. Because of you, "The Rock" is one of America's best gameday environments. Because of you, the Charlotte Observer recognized us in 2005 as having the "Carolinas' Best Division I Football Program" and this was before our three-consecutive national championships. Because of you, our football program is second only to Boise State in wins over the past seven years.

While we diligently explore options, we ask you to continue to support your Mountaineers as passionately as you always have. If you can, please make time to support our conference-leading and nationally ranked baseball team over the final month of the regular season or come to Boone later this week when Appalachian softball competes for an NCAA Tournament berth by hosting the Southern Conference Softball Championship. Also, be sure to purchase your season tickets for the fast-approaching football season - kickoff is less than four months away!


Today I give my ALL for Appalachian State,

Charlie Cobb

With Old Dominion reportedly unsure about whether to make the plunge, the Mountaineers could be a very, very viable alternative that would bring C-USA to 12 eventual football schools. Kinda hard to imagine ODU would've been picked ahead of ASU, actually.

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Mountain West, Conference USA Officially Introduce New Members

A week's worth of conference realignment rumors have found a stopping point for the time being: Both the Mountain West and Conference USA announced new additions on Friday, with the former bringing out San Jose State and Utah State and the latter picking up Charlotte, Florida International, Louisiana Tech, North Texas and Texas-San Antonio.

All will join their new leagues for the 2013 seasons, but Charlotte won't start playing football at the FBS level until 2015. It had previously been reported at CBS Sports that both Charlotte and Old Dominion would join in football for 2013. ODU, for its part, is saying that it hasn't really had time to make up its mind regarding such a plunge.

As for the hoped-for merger (or whatever we're calling it) between the two conferences, the MWC's statement mentions that the two leagues "synchronized" their additions, with CUSA commissioner Britton Banowsky adding in his own statement: "The discussions with the Mountain West are ongoing. What form the relationship will take is still to be determined, but both remain committed to working together."


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Conference USA Expansion: Old Dominion Not Announcing Just Yet

Conference USA is expected to introduce five new members on Friday, but a sixth that was supposed to be joining up either isn't making the move or isn't quite ready just yet. Earlier in the week, Brett McMurphy reported Old Dominion would be making a surprise leap to FBS, leaving the CAA for Conference USA. But then, this:

This follows a couple days worth of slow-your-rollin' from ODU suits, including a note on Thursday that they've barely had time to properly consider the invite. We could be looking at a case where the CUSA made an invite it presumed would be accepted, but the Monarchs just aren't working with the same timetable. This could also explain why it was such a surprise in the first place -- usually, when a school takes the plunge, there's at least a little buzz beforehand. This one came out of nowhere.

This also means Conference USA is about to have a big to-do expanding to 13 teams. Such a perfect number, and one that surely means they aren't already trying to nail down No. 14. No, that's a lie.

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Sun Belt Expansion: Texas State Officially On Board For 2013

The Texas State Bobcats, who've yet to play a FBS football game, are already set to join their third conference in three years. Since jumping from the Southland for the WAC, the WAC has begun disintegrating, making a move to the Sun Belt mighty attractive, and the Sun Belt it is. The SBC is also bringing on Georgia State and non-football member Texas-Arlington.

The Sun Belt is losing North Texas and Florida International to Conference USA, which is itself making up for schools taken by the Big East, which had to go national after being eaten by the ACC and Big 12, which lost teams to the Big Ten and Pac-12. It's all connected, maaan.

The Sun Belt's statement on Texas State:

"Texas State University has worked very hard to be ready for FBS competition and joining the Sun Belt Conference represents a new opportunity for our future," said Texas State University President Denise M. Trauth. "The Sun Belt's record of competitive success over more than 35 years provides a tradition of excellence that we are happy to join. Our students and alumni will bring a very strong fan base that will welcome these new opportunities. Just as Texas State is the rising star of Texas, we believe that the Sun Belt is also on the rise and we are happy to be a part of its future."

"On behalf of the presidents and chancellors of the Sun Belt Conference, it is my honor to welcome Texas State University as the newest member of our league family," said Sun Belt Conference Executive Committee President and Troy University Chancellor Jack Hawkins, Jr. "We are not the same conference we were 10 years ago. The Sun Belt is strong athletically as demonstrated by the fact that our bowl record over the last eight years is better than five other BCS conferences. We are stronger academically, as 90 percent of our teams have achieved an Academic Progress Rates of 925 or higher. Texas State is an excellent addition to our strong, growing conference."

Texas State, located in San Marcos between Austin and San Antonio, is home to over 34,000 students and officially opened its doors in 1903. Notably, Texas State is the only university in Texas to have graduated a U.S. president: Lyndon B. Johnson, class of 1930.

The Texas State athletics program currently consists of 16 varsity programs including the football team coached by Dennis Franchione. The Bobcats will begin their first season at the Football Bowl Subdivision level in 2012 and will be eligible to compete for football conference champions and bowl games when they join the Sun Belt in 2013.

"Texas State is a great addition to the Sun Belt Conference as the Bobcat athletic program is destined for success in the Football Bowl Subdivision," said Sun Belt Commissioner Karl Benson. "The Sun Belt Conference's rise to prominence will continue with Texas State as part of our league."

"We are very excited about becoming a member of the Sun Belt Conference in 2013," said Texas State Director of Athletics Dr. Larry Teis. "We know that our student-athletes will be eager to succeed in the Sun Belt, and we will enter the conference ready to compete. We look forward to building new rivalries with some Sun Belt schools and renewing rivalries with others. The Sun Belt Conference encompasses eight states from Texas to Florida that are rich in college athletic traditions, especially in the sport of FBS football."

Texas State's budget for athletics ranks in the upper half of the current Sun Belt Conference membership, and its undergraduate enrollment ranks near the top of the league's current membership.

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Conference Expansion: C-USA Additions Include Old Dominion, Charlotte, According To Report

As expected, Conference USA is about to shore up its Big East losses with a round of pickups from smaller conferences. But, wow, take a look at the list Brett McMurphy reports is about to be officially announced: Charlotte, Florida International, Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Old Dominion and Texas-San Antonio. They'd break down as follows, says McMurphy:

When completed, Conference USA's new 14-team league is expected to be split into two divisions: East - East Carolina, FIU, Marshall, Southern Miss, UAB, Charlotte and ODU; West - Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Rice, Texas San Antonio, Tulane, Tulsa and UTEP.

UTSA has yet to actually compete in the WAC, but will have already found an escape route from the flailing conference. The big surprise here is ODU, which hasn't exactly been the subject of widespread rumors of a FBS leap. There'd been talk of Charlotte being eyed by C-USA and the Sun Belt alike, so we were a little more prepared for that.

Old Dominion currently plays in the CAA, which is also losing Georgia State to the Sun Belt as well as reportedly suffering some basketball losses to the A-10.

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Temple Football Joining Big East For 2012, Other Sports Joining Later

The Big East has scheduled a press conference for noon. It's probably not about Peyton Manning or the New Orleans Saints. It's probably also not about announcing the start of the Big East Tournament. What oh what could it be about? Let's ask the Houston Cougars, soon-to-be Big East members:

That's either the Miami Marlins or the Temple Owls, and, thanks to CBS Sports' Brett McMurphy, we're pretty sure it's Temple. Owls football will indeed join the Big East for 2012, but McMurphy reports other sports won't join until 2013. There's a bit of a scheduling rush that makes Temple football quite valuable to the league immediately, since the West Virginia Mountaineers left a schedule gap when they left for the Big 12. The same vacancy doesn't exist in basketball, as the Big East will have approximately all of the basketball teams.

For more on Temple football, visit SB Nation Philly.

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Temple To Big East In 2012 Is Likely, According To Report

The Temple Owls have been talking up a return to the Big East for almost a year now, and according to multiple reports, they might just about be set to make it in. CBS Sports' Brett McMurphy reports Temple is likely to replace the West Virginia Mountaineers in all sports in 2012. The 2012-2013 athletic year begins in just a few months, and we're really cutting it close this time around.

It would also eliminate the need for the Boise St. Broncos to hurry up and make a move without having a good place to stow their non-football teams. Boise had been looking at a return to the WAC with their other sports, but the WAC might not exist beyond any particular day of the week.

The Big East would have 13 eventual football members if Temple joined on and nobody left, but this does raise speculation that the Louisville Cardinals could be headed to the Big 12.

For more on Temple football, visit SB Nation Philly. Also, head over to Big East Coast Bias.

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Conference Realignment: MWC, C-USA Merging To Form New Conference

After months of news about one potential merger or "alliance" or another, the Mountain West Conference and Conference USA have made ... something official, issuing a joint release on starting up a new conference for 2013, as reported moments before by soothsayer Brett McMurphy.

The release hopes for membership of "18 to 24 universities" and a football championship game that includes a semifinals round (ooh!). Current members of the C-USA and MWC are listed as all-sports members moving forward, with the exception of Hawai'i, which will join in football only. That leaves the conference needing like a whole 'nother conference in order to get up to its number, which could mean bringing up multiple schools from the FCS ranks.

The release:

Presidents and chancellors from 16 universities met in Dallas Sunday to discuss future conference membership plans and agreed to work on forming a new intercollegiate athletic association that would begin competition in the 2013-14 academic year.

This presidentially-led association will ensure stability and be built upon the principles of operating at the highest level of integrity and sportsmanship, enhancing the student-athlete academic and competitive experience, bringing fiscal discipline into athletics and ensuring competitive fairness.

"This is an exciting development that will stabilize the current conferences and create the first truly national conference with members in five time zones and television viewership from coast to coast. This partnership brings together like-minded institutions to improve the integrity and stability of intercollegiate athletics," said UNLV President Neal Smatresk. "We are moving our plans forward rapidly and expect to complete our conversations in the near future. Look for further announcements soon as we work together on this exciting new venture."

Universities involved in the discussions were the United States Air Force Academy, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Colorado State University, East Carolina University, Fresno State, University of Hawai'i, Marshall University, University of Nevada, Reno, University of New Mexico, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Rice University, University of Southern Mississippi, University of Texas at El Paso, Tulane University, The University of Tulsa and University of Wyoming. With the exception of Hawai'i as a football-only member, the participation would involve all sports.

The structure of the new conference will likely include:

• Membership of 18 to 24 universities
• National scope from the Atlantic Seaboard to Hawaii
• Championship football game format that includes semifinal match-ups
• Championship basketball tournament
• Regular season scheduling in divisions

For more on the MWC, visit Mountain West blog Mountain West Connection.

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Big East Expansion: Unnamed Invites Sent, Reportedly Only To Football Schools

Big East commissioner John Marinatto closed out a series of conference meetings with an address to media on Tuesday. Key among his comments: the Big East will expand to 12 teams as planned, and invites should begin going out within the next week. No surprises there. Oh, and West Virginia's lawsuit is no good.

He declined to name any of the schools getting invites, but it was reported by Mark Viera that non-football schools are included in the mix. That part would definitely be news, as the list of expected additions (Boise State, UCF, Navy, Air Force, SMU, Houston and maybe Temple) doesn't include any schools that don't play football.

However:

Brett McMurphy@McMurphyCBS Reports of Big East extending "non-football memberships" inaccurate. They will offer invites to schools for football-only & all-sports    

So there goes that idea. Here's an entirely speculative look at just what that kind of thing could look like if it were to actually happen, though.

For more on the Big East, visit Big East Coast Bias. And stay tuned here for more conference realignment news.

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Big East Expansion: Navy, Air Force Key In Fee Increase, According To Report

The Big East voted on an exit fee increase that is aimed at making the conference a more attractive and stable destination for potential football schools.

The Big East is reportedly prepared to increase it's exit fee to $10 million if Navy and Air Force join the conference as football-only members. On Monday night, Big East presidents and chancellors voted unanimously in favor of the increase, according to CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy.

The hike in exit fee represents an increased financial committment from the leagues remaining members: Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida and West Virginia. That's purpose of the $5 million increase -- to help convince Navy and Air Force that the remaining Big East member schools are committed to the conference. The services academies are reportedly interested in joining the conference as football-only schools, but want to be sure they are moving into a stable situation.

With the recent shifts in the college football landscape ongoing and dramatic, that is a reasonable concern. Via McMurphy:

Less than an hour before the Big East’s presidents and chancellors held their teleconference Monday night with Commissioner John Marinatto, the New York Times reported Missouri’s departure from the Big 12 was "inevitable and imminent."

That development would have a significant impact on the league, specifically Big East members Louisville and West Virginia, who sources have told CBSSports.com are prime candidates to receive a Big 12 invitation if Missouri left. However, all of the Big East’s 14 members still voted unanimously for the increased exit fee.

For more, visit Big East Coast Bias. Stay tuned to SB Nation's conference realignment news section.

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Boise State To Big East? Invite Coming Soon, According To Reports

Multiple outlets have reported that the Big East is ready to invite the Boise St. Broncos, but it wasn't until CBS Sports' Brett McMurphy said an invite could be coming as soon as next week that it felt like an actual thing. According to McMurphy, the Central Florida Knights, Navy Midshipmen and Air Force Falcons would also be included in that first batch of invites, matching an earlier New York Post report.

McMurphy's new detail: the Temple Owls would be excluded at the expense of the SMU Mustangs and Houston Cougars. Which would mean Villanova would get its way and remain the only Big East school in Philly.

Basically, the news here is that McMurphy is reporting Boise State could soon get an invite to the Big East. His record on Big East realignment means this is probably happening for real.

For more, visit Boise State blog One Bronco Nation Under God and Big East Coast Bias. Stay tuned here for more conference realignment news.

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Big East Expansion Authorized: Navy, Air Force And Maybe Army Reported Targets

The Big East has finally gotten around to deciding on expansion. The votes are in, and ... they'll expand! This is great news, considering they were just a Big 12 poaching or two away from completely vanishing as a football conference. Better late than never.

As has long been the buzz, the Navy Midshipmen and Air Force Falcons are expected to be two prime candidates, according to USA Today's Kelly Whiteside, along with perhaps the Army Black Knights. But only football for Army.

Also according to Whiteside, the Louisville Cardinals and West Virginia Mountaineers are likely to stick around instead of leaving for the Big 12. That could mean the Big 12 would turn its focus to the BYU Cougars and maybe even the Boise St. Broncos. It's not an October conference realignment story if it doesn't involve Boise State somehow. 

For more, check Mountain West Connection and Big East Coast Bias. Stay tuned for more conference realignment news.

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UT Arlington Accepts WAC Invitation, Will Level Up In 2012

What if Karl Benson threw a party and nobody came? Floating in the detritus of the Friday afternoon bad news dump, that time after 3:30 p.m. reserved for the most unsavory of PR releases, came the news that UT Arlington will accept an invitation to mount up with the WAC for the 2012-2013 athletic year. Doggedly cheerful quotes from the conference commish's press release follow!

We are very pleased to add UT-Arlington as the 10th member of the WAC for 2012," Benson said. "Besides bringing top level academics to the league, the addition will provide a geographical balance to the WAC and help in the creation of travel partners as we attempt to further expand to two six-team divisions in the future."

"UT-Arlington and the Dallas-Fort Worth region also bring in another top-20 media market to go along with the recent additions of Seattle and Denver. The addition will significantly help the WAC in securing more lucrative television rights fees in the future," Benson said.

UT Arlington does not field a football program, and finished next to last in Southland West men's basketball in 2010. 

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WAC Expansion: Conference Extends 2012 Invitation To UT Arlington

Not satisfied with welcoming one new member who'll be fielding its first-ever varsity football program in 2011, one that can't win in AA ball, and two more schools primarily in play for their basketball teams, the WAC has officially invited the University of Texas at Arlington to join the ranks of Division I-A, welcoming to a wannabe AQ BCS conference an institution that doesn't play football and will apparently not be bound to try:

Should the University of Texas System board of regents approve the recommendation join the WAC, UT Arlington will join the conference beginningJuly 1, 2012, in all sports but football. The agenda document notes that "the WAC is a football bowl subdivision conference where football is important, but UT Arlington’s invitation is not conditioned on starting a football program."

The Mavericks, who finished second from the bottom of the Southland West last season in men's basketball, would join hoops members Denver and Seattle, UT San Antonio in year one of gridiron play under Larry Coker (hey, Larry Coker!), and Texas State, which boasts a nonwinning Southland tradition in an entirely different sport, as WACspansion teams in 2012. This move would follow the departure of Boise State to the Mountain West, Utah to the Pac-12, and BYU's arrival in the WAC as a basketball member, and coincide with HawaiiFresno State, and Nevada bolting to the Mountain West and TCU decamping for the Big East. Got all that? New conference crest reads, in Latin: "You can get there from here."

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Villanova Vote On Big East Expansion Move Delayed Indefinitely

The early reports out of Villanova on Monday had merit, as it happens, and Tuesday's planned vote on whether or not the program will join the Big East has been put on indefinite hold thanks to existent member concerns about Nova's lack of a high-capacity stadium. SB Nation's Nova Blog has an email from university president Fr. Peter Donohue that reads, in part:

Without a clear and formal invitation from the Big East, we cannot proceed. We are now working with the Big East to provide whatever additional information and details we can. It is our hope that in the near future we will proceed with the Board of Trustees vote as planned.

Needless to say, after all this hurry-up-and-now-wait, our Nova community ain't happy -- with anybody, really.

[A]pparently, the the communication not only amongst the conference members, but between Villanova and the Big East was so astoundingly horrible that at the 11th hour it was discovered that Villanova's plan wasn't up to the expectations of the conference members. On the surface, the Big East looks to have screwed the pooch pretty bad on this one - but we're not letting ourselves off the hook either.

Over in the peanut gallery, the NCAA's compliance blogger, John Infante, has a cheeky renaming suggestion for when they get this stadium thing worked out, and meanwhile, UCF's all, "Oooh! Oooh! Pick me! Pick me!"

Stay tuned to this StoryStream, The Nova Blog, and SB Nation Philly for more news on possible Big East expansion in 2011.

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Bloggers React To TCU Joining The Big East

A look around the SBNation college blog network reveals varying opinions on Monday’s news that TCU will join the Big East Conference in 2012.

BCS Evolution says the move all but kills the MWC’s bid for a BCS invitation:

Losing TCU kills any life support that bid had. Because the move happens in the 2012-2013 season, TCU will still count for the MWC in the numbers. Those numbers will come up short of a guaranteed automatic qualification, but should leave then eligible to petition for an automatic qualification. The loss of TCU the following year critically wounds the MWC’s case. Normally I would publish those numbers after an expansion, but the next scheduled release is due early next week (after the final BCS standigns are released).

I expect the MWC to extend an invite to at least three of Idaho, Utah State, San Jose State, and New Mexico State in the very near future. Hawaii has flirted with independence, but the issue may be forced upon them if the MWC insists that they add too much travel cost with too little value added.

Mountain West Connection says the financial considerations of the deal were just too much for TCU to shy away from:

In 2012 TCU will earn roughly 4-5 times the amount of television revenue than it could in the MWC and possibly much more than that when the contract is renegotiated for 2013. This money will be quite a boon for TCU’s athletic development as TCU is a private university that does not receive public funding like a University of Texas does, so the extra athletic revenue will help to further improve the athletic department and facilities.

The extra money is nice but it will be even better to be back on ESPN again and get some heavy east coast exposure. ESPN is great not only because of the amount of eyes on the games but also the amount of love and publicity ESPN will throw your way as they shamelessly promote those games. Boise State got a good taste of that love this year and conversely TCU felt the cold shoulder that you get when you’re not an ESPN product, which was especially evident last night on the BCS Countdown Show.

The UConn Blog is wondering how the heck a 17-team basketball conference is going to work:

The frank truth is that a 17-team basketball league is probably unworkable. The Big East may find some crazy-ass way to do it, but I’d bet that this either starts the break-up of the conference (especially if the Big East looks to expand further, which wouldn’t shock me) or marks the beginning of the end for some schools. Let’s just say that if I was the athletic director at DePaul, I wouldn’t let John Marinatto take me on any fishing trips to Lake Tahoe.

Card Chronicle sees nothing but upside for all parties involved:

It’s an understatement to say that is the best case scenario as far as the first step in expanding the league goes. TCU still has an outside shot at winning the national championship this season, and if recent years are any indication, the program figures to remain in solid shape by the time the move happens. In short, the league gets its respectable eight-game conference schedule and does so by adding a perennial top 25 program and emerging player on the national scene.

Anonymous Eagle wonders how the arrival of a Texas school will impact recruiting and scheduling for the other Big East squads:

First and foremost, it may have an impact on recruiting. Buzz’s contacts in Texas have funneled a steady stream of talent up north. Will TCU stem that flow? I tend to think not. In fact, it should only increase MU’s exposure in the area and will guarantee recruits at least two trips back to their home state.

What remains to be seen is how this will impact Big East conference scheduling and the Big East tournament. The path of least resistance for scheduling is to keep the 18 game conference season and drop one of the three mirror games. They league may also consider a single round robin 16 game league schedule. Either way, TCU limits Marquette’s opportunities to play the conference heavies. I can’t even venture a guess on how the conference tournament will work. Will the bottom feeder team stay home?

Cardiac Hill doesn’t see what all the fuss is over the travel concerns:

So there’s also one other issue that is irking some – the distance. How will TCU and the league cope with the distance? Well, to be honest, I think we’re going to see a lot more of this. The Big Ten and Nebraska kind of kicked things off as Lincoln isn’t exactly a hop, skip, and a jump away from schools like Penn State. The more time goes on, the more we’re going to see schools and conferences simply learn to deal with this. Flights cost money, but is a flight to Fort Worth from Syracuse really all that much more than one to Louisville? I can’t imagine so.

Voodoo Five is surprised the basketball-only schools accepted the deal:

I’m surprised that the basketball schools caved in and let TCU in as an all-sports member, but it is the best thing for the conference as a whole. TCU raises the profile of the football side of things, and their Olympic sports are quite good, with their baseball and women’s basketball teams consistently ranked in the Top 25. Maybe most importantly, TCU’s BCS rankings will be attributed to the Big East when reevaluation starts in a few years.

Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician is happy to see TCU join up but concerned about the timing of the announcement:

I’m all for the Horned Frogs joining up for quite a few reasons. That said, I think the timing is awful for two specific reasons:

1. All it’s going to do it remind everyone how much better TCU is than every other team in the Big East and how bad Big East football has been this year.

2. Let the “can TCU have the Big East’s automatic bid this year?” jokes begin.

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University Confirms TCU's Intent To Join Big East

TCU's gone and held their official press conference confirming the report that the Horned Frogs are, in fact jumping ship from the Mountain West to the Big East for the 2012 athletics season. If you'd like to view the Q&A in its entirety, the full video is available on the university website. For the impatient, we've got pertinent tidbits from the official announcement:

• The trustees' decision to jump from mids to majors was unanimous.

• The official exit date for the Horned Frogs is July 1, 2012.

• Fun media numbers highlighting the business side of the decision:

In adding TCU and the nation's fifth-largest television market, the Big East Conference further strengthens its footprint on the national television scene. Big East markets already contained almost one-fourth of all television households in the United States. Big East institutions currently reside in nine of the nation's top-35 media markets.

• Of course, joining a conference they'll win every year from here to eternity AND get a guaranteed BCS bid has to be nice, too. Make room in the trophy case, facilities personnel:

"The Board of Trustees, along with TCU's administration, thoroughly examined the invitation and came to the conclusion that joining the Big East is the right move to make at this time," said Luther King, chair of TCU's Board of Trustees. "This University has a lot of momentum and joining the Big East will accelerate that momentum."

And though the geography of a trip to, say, Storrs is comparable to the distance between TCU and would-be conference-mate Boise State, if TCU's basketball program is het up about having to motor all the way over to the East Coast so many times per year, they have only one of their own to blame:

Pitt men's basketball coach Jamie Dixon and a TCU alumnus, confirmed that he did initiate contact between his alma mater and the Big East. Dixon was with Del Conte for a homecoming weekend against Baylor Sept. 18. Dixon and Del Conte spoke about how the Big East was going to need another football member. Dixon tested TCU's interest and then let Marinatto know of the Horned Frogs' desire to look at membership. Once TCU's football team rose in the BCS standings and the Big East struggled, the matter became a need for both parties.
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WAC To Announce Three New Member Schools Today

The WACspansion saga that's decidedly not taken the country by storm is expected to reach its denouement this afternoon, when commissioner Karl Benson has scheduled a 5 p.m. EST teleconference to announce the conference's intention to add three new member schools to its ranks: the University of Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners, the Texas State Bobcats, and the University of Denver Pioneers. The two Texas schools will compete in all sports, while Denver will serve as a conference member in everything but football.

And how will these three programs fare in replacing BCS top-five regular Boise State, offensive powerhouse Nevada, and Fresno State, which, well, Fresno's probably nice at some point during the year, just never when we've been there?

UTSA is starting a football program that will begin play in 2011. Former Miami coach Larry Coker is the Roadrunners' coach.

Texas State plays in the Southland Conference in the Championship Subdivision of Division I, but has been exploring the possibility of moving up to FBS. The Bobcats are 4-5 overall and 1-4 in the Southland Conference this season.

Denver competes in the Sun Belt in most sports and does not have a football team.

To dull the gleaming edge of victory just a trifle more, presumed fourth newcomer program Montana (the best-positioned of any of the four programs to actually compete at the I-A level in football) has just announced it intends to remain with the Big Sky conference, meaning the WAC will likely extend a non-football membership invitation to the University of Seattle:

President Royce Engstrom said in a release Thursday that it was a complex decision. But, he adds, the better course for the school is to stay with the conference it helped establish in 1963.

This, of course, is code for "We're waiting for the inevitable invitation from the Big 12 and don't want to have to change our stationery more than once."

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TCU AD: No Football-Only Big East Membership For Horned Frogs

At this point, pretty much all we know of the Big East conference expansion plan is that the conference does, in fact, intend to expand its ranks to include ten member football football schools. (If it can.) Following initial reports that the conference had spoken to TCU and Villanova about joining up, TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte first denied he'd been contacted about jumping ship from the Mountain West, and is now shooting down rumors they'd split up the school's programs, saying he wouldn't want to send Horned Frogs football to compete in a separate conference.

"We’re an athletic department," he said in a telephone interview with Sporting News. "Whatever endeavor we do, you’re united as one. That’s who we are. That’s how we always compete. We compete as one unit."

But, just to complicate matters, he's of course leaving options on the table (and invoking Bette Midler?):

"My sole job is to provide the wind beneath the wings for our teams to compete for championships, whatever that may be," he said. "I will always look at the things we need."

As for a move to the Big East, Del Conte said the reports remain premature, and that TCU’s football program is comfortable for now as a Mountain West Conference member.

For now. With TCU undefeated and gunning for a slot in the national title game, the view from a Horned Frog's blood-rimmed eyes must seem rosy indeed. If they win out and get slighted by Oregon or Auburn, however, it wouldn't be hard to imagine some longing gazes being cast towards a conference where TCU could immediately wreck shop and be guaranteed a BCS berth.

Or, this could all still be a coy smokescreen to get Nova to realize it's loved the Big East all along. Mon dieu, the suspense! Tune in this winter, when actual football ends and we'll be forced to talk about this kind of thing all the time.

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Report: WAC Expected To Add Four Teams

The WAC is set to add programs to replace Boise State, Nevada and Fresno State, all of whom are heading to the Mountain West. The San Marcos (Texas) Daily Record is reporting that the WAC is going be adding four new teams:

WAC Commissioner Karl Benson has stated he'd like the conference to get back to having at least eight football-playing members and with the immediate addition of Texas State and UTSA, it would bring the WAC to eight. When Montana finally gets around to declaring itself ready, it would bring that total to a favorable nine.

"It's pretty obvious at this point," WAC Senior Associate Commissioner Jeff Hurd said. "You know who the football playing schools are and you know who the non-football playing schools are. I don't know if you can say it's automatic but if you're looking at a probability, it's pretty high."

Yet according to sources close to the situation - since Montana is in currently in a transition mode - Texas State and UTSA will be invited into the conference for all sports while Denver and Seattle will join for all but football.

This move is all about keeping the WAC together as a football conference, because by losing Boise State, Fresno State and Nevada, they would have been down to only six schools, two fewer than the NCAA requirement.

This should close the door on expansion for 2010, unless the Big East is serious about adding TCU.

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Now Applying To The WAC: Denver, Montana, Seattle, Texas State, UT-San Antonio

As previously speculated in this space, two teams from Texas have interest in joining the depleted WAC. Texas State and UT-San Antonio, along with Denver, Montana, and Seattle, were scheduled to meet with the conference membership committee in Dallas today and present their cases for a bump up to Division I-A:

Among the items schools are expected to discuss are budgets, current rosters, the institution in general, sponsorship, institutional commitment and how their individual markets would be attractive to the WAC.

Texas State, UT-San Antonio and Montana will make presentations as potential football-playing members. Benson said he hopes to have a minimum of eight football-playing schools prior to the 2012 season.

Denver and Seattle are applying as basketball members; if the idea of UT-San Antonio joining I-A football sounds unfamiliar, it's because they won't even officially launch their program until 2011. And if you're wondering what "attractive markets" and "Montana" have to do with one another, New Mexico State AD McKinley Boston has some thoughts that perfectly encapsulate the current state of the WAC:

I like Montana's footprint in terms of its location in the west. It has a football brand, even though it's at the 1-AA level, but it wouldn't take long for people to adjust to it.

Phrasing is king: It wouldn't take long for WAC audiences to adjust to I-AA football? What a tragic commentary on our times.

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Las Vegas Review Journal Confirms Utah To Pac-10

Utah to the Pac-10 looks to be closer to a done deal as the Las Vegas Review Journal is confirming the original report by Comcast that has Utah in the Pac-10:

Utah is on its way to the Pac-10, a Mountain West Conference source said Tuesday night. The source did not want to be named because an official announcement has not been made.

The denials by Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott are expected, but at this point the denials seem to be aimed at the timing of when when Utah receives their invite.  The Utes are all but officially in the Pac-10, because it is well known that the Pac-10 wants a title game and that Utah was their fallback choice after Texas. 

Make sure to check in with SB Nation's Utah blog BlockU for further developments.

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Larry Scott Denies Report That Utah Is Heading To Pac-10

Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott is denying the report by Comcast that said earlier this evening that Utah is being introduced as the latest Pac-10 member tomorrow.  Salt Lake Tribune's Utah beat writer Lya Wodraska sent out this tweet with the Scott denial.

Screen_shot_2010-06-15_at_8

More info coming from University of Utah athletic office:

In addition, MWC officials I just spoke with said they have not received any notification from Utah that it is leaving and Utah associate athletic director Liz Abel said there was "nothing new to report."

Make sure to check in with SB Nation's Utah blog BlockU for further developments.

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Report: Pac-10 Officially Invites Utah

Unconfirmed reports have an official invitation from the Pac-10 to Utah in the works, and unlike the last few conference expansions, this one appears to be heading for a speedy resolution:

The Pacific-10 Conference will extend an invitation to the University of Utah to become the league's 12th team, Comcast SportsNet has learned exclusively from sources close to the situation.

A press conference is expected to formalize the announcement on Wednesday.

Make sure to check in with SB Nation's Utah blog BlockU for further developments. 

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Allegedly New Divisions In Allegedly New Pac-10 Including Allegedly New Teams Being Reported

Colorado is barely a member of the Pac-10 and there is no 12th member just yet, but according to CBS4 Denver, the 12-team version of the conference is already set, along with its two-division breakdown.

Sources close to C.U. have told CBS4 Sports the Buffs are projected to be in a 6 team division in the new Pac-10. The Buffs will be joined by USC, UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State and probably Utah, which is expected to receive an invitation to join the Pac-10.

The remaining teams in the conference that will make up the Pac-10 North are:

Cal-Berkeley, Stanford, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State

While that does make sense, remember that it’s still just an unconfirmed rumor based on another unconfirmed rumor. Don’t book those flights just yet. Keep an eye on The Ralphie Report for any updates as they happen.

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Report: Boise State To Join The Mountain West Today

Most of the talk over the past few days had the Mountain West Conference slowing down their expansion plans so that they could survey the wreckage that is the Big 12 and swoop in to possibly pick up some of the leftovers. While the MWC may still be waiting to pounce on some other additions, Joe Schad is now reporting that the conference already knows who the tenth school will be:

Boise State will join Mountain West Conference todayless than a minute ago via txt


You didn't think college football would let the World Cup steal their thunder today did you?

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WAC Loosens July 1 Deadline For Boise State To Leave Conference

The supposed hard deadline of July 1 which would allow Boise State to leave and presumably join the Mountain West is now being relaxed by the WAC:

"If a school desires to be a member of another conference, that's their prerogative and that's their choice," (WAC Commissioner) Benson said. "We have to make sure it's done in a timely manner and in an order that doesn't cause further damage to the conference."

Boise State would forfeit its 2010-11 league revenue even if it gives notice by July 1. If the school gives notice after that date, Benson said, the WAC board of directors likely would allow the move with some additional penalty.

"I just assumed all along if we don't give them notice by July 1 the WAC bylaws stand as is," Boise State president Bob Kustra said Monday evening. "If they're interested in amending that, that's fine."

Giving up their 2010-2011 could be upwards toward six million dollars if the Broncos make a BCS bowl game as an automatic qualifier, plus the additional financial penalties for leaving the WAC after July 1.  This could be good news for the Mountain West who decided against expanding on Monday and is taking a wait and see approach on if or when to invite Boise State.

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Boise State Blog Reacts To Non-Invite From Mountain West

Boise State is now officially regulated as the backup plan for the Mountain West who is now going in a wait and see mode to see what happens from the Big 10, Big XII, and the Pac-10 in the expansion landscape.  Here is the reaction from SB Nation's Boise State blog OBNUG:

After today's non-invite from the Mountain West, I now know how the WAC feels. Boise State played the courtship game with bigger and better conferences for pretty much all of 2010, all the while knowing that the WAC would be waiting with open arms to welcome them back if things didn't turn out. Of course the WAC would. The WAC is Sun Belt West without the Broncos.

And now the same thing is happening to Boise State. The Mountain West has nothing against expanding to ten teams, but with the possibility of bigger and better schools falling like table scraps from BCS conference realignment, the MWC is content to sit back and see what comes their way. If nothing good happens, then they can just give Boise State a ring, and the Broncos will come running at a moment's notice.

With Boise being the bridesmaid in this situation they will jump at the chance to join a league that would increase their revenue to approximately $2.6 million by being in the Mountain West.

For more on all things Mountain West and Boise State related, check out Mountain West Connection and One Bronco Nation Under God.

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