In an act of self-preservation, the Mountain West and Conference USA will merge for football. The new entity will encompass a whopping 22 member institutions, spanning essentially the entire United States. Both conferences announced the move with a press release on Friday afternoon.
According to MWC Commissioner Craig Thompson, the decision to consolidate was made in response to the ever-changing college landscape.
"The role of a conference is to provide its members with the best possible environment in which to conduct their intercollegiate athletics programs," said Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson. "Rather than await changes in membership due to realignment, it became clear the best way to serve our institutions was to pursue an original concept. The Mountain West and C-USA share a number of similarities, and the creative merger of our football assets firmly positions our respective members for the future."
This should be quite the experiment. It's unclear if the new football-only entity will actually takeoff with 22 teams as both the MWC and CUSA are dangerously close to losing teams to the Big East. How the new entity will work, and what kind of structure it will take, remains to be seen.