The Mountain West and Conference USA merger is gaining a lot of steam and now with the Memphis Tigers heading to the Big East in 2013 it looks like the teams left over will form one large league. There would be 15 teams in all sports and 16 for football as the Hawaii Warriors are in the Big West for non-football sports. This looks to be the end of the Big East taking Conference USA members, according to Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky:
"Based upon my conversations with commissioner (John) Marinatto, the Big East has now completed its future membership plan. If this is true, it is very helpful as we can now move forward with our plans in a more stable national environment," he said. "We hope that the other conferences appreciate the value of stability in intercollegiate athletics and higher education."
The league would stretch from East Carolina to Nevada for non-football sports and all the way to Hawaii for football, and I am not fully sold on this idea. Even if the television deal works out with The Mtn. being involved in some capacity as well as NBC Sports and CBS Sports the money may not be that great. Yes, there would be a ton of programming to sell but it would be a lot of games that not too many people care about, so the per team amount may not be there. I don't really like an eight-team league either, but at least with that travel is condensed and there are no trips involving the women's volleyball or soccer team flying cross country for a weekend match.
However, this merger talk has been going on for a long time and the alliance is already in place, so I guess a 16-team football league is better than the alliance that could of had over 20 teams.