C-USA Considers Merger with Mountain West in Search of BCS Bid

In what seems both inspired and crazy, Conference USA, which includes University of Houston and Rice, is considering a football-only merger with the Mountain West Conference that would create a massive 22-plus-team mega conference in the hopes that it might receive a BCS bowl bid.

Officials from both conferences discussed the possible alignment during the annual Division I athletic directors meetings in Dallas.

The move would not officially merge the two conferences, but would instead align them, creating a final championship game between the winners of the respective conferences that would then, hopefully, receive a coveted BCS bid.

The Mountain West already has some shuffling to do as it lost Utah last year to the Pacific 12 and is losing TCU to the Big East after this year, but the MWC does have more significant football schools than C-USA including Boise State, currently ranked among the top five teams in the country.

What makes the plan intriguing is that it would immediately create a wide range of markets attractive to television networks and position the conferences for potentially more lucrative deals than they could achieve on their own. No one would confuse them with the SEC, but with teams scrambling to secure their future conference homes, such a move would certainly make these two conferences much more attractive.

The most bizarre element of this construction would be the massive physical distance it would cover. The aligned conferences would have teams representing every time zone and Hawaii. Granted, they likely wouldn't play a lot of inter-conference games each year, but it does make for a lot of ground to cover.

The big question is whether or not the BCS would grant a champion from an aligned "mega conference" a bowl spot. No telling right now, but the talks certainly make the gradual demise of the Big 12 a little less depressing for fans of UH and Rice.

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