Mountain West, Conference USA Merger On Hold Once Again

It looks like the merger between the Mountain West and Conference USA has been placed on hold, once again. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser has the story however it is behind a pay wall so I am not certain of the details which are included. However, it does not surprise me that there is yet another delay with this merger.

The deadline has been pushed back multiple times but June was to be the real deadline this time, and well here it is and we are facing another delay. The merger is looking less and less likely to happen as both leagues have gained and lost members which could be the reason for a delay due to having to clue in the new conference members.

We also have heard losing the NCAA Tournament payouts if the leagues do merger, but that will never change because new teams will make the tournament each year so there is no way to wait until a lapse in earning that money.

My main reason for the merger to not happen is because there is not going to be a television network or a group of television networks that are going to make it worth their while in such a large league. NBC is desparte for live sports but it seems likely they may land the Big East contract, and then their is Fox who wants more live football and is starting their own national sports channel plus they are wanting to make FUEL TV a home for more mainstream sports. So there are suitors, but they probably want little to do with this until the Big East signs their next rights deal.

Then there is the idea that the new league would want to host a semifinal matchup and then a title game needs to be approved by the NCAA. There are just too many hoops to jump through to make this work, even as a football-only merger. What probably will eventually happen is that the two leagues wil have some scheduling agreement like the Pac-12 and Big 10 are starting up in a few years.

Each year one non-conference game will be played between the two leagues for football and maybe two in basketball. This allows to play a comparable opponent and decreases the chances of having to play a FCS team just to fill out the schedule.

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