Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mountain West / C-USA merger talks heat up

The odds of a full-scale, all-sports merger between the Mountain West and Conference USA appear to be getting stronger.

According to numerous reports, a meeting will take place this week regarding an all-sports merger between the two leagues.

By the 2013-14 season, we could be seeing a super conference with as many as 16 teams overall.  As it currently stands, 11 of the 16 schools in the proposed merger sponsor the sport of softball.  Thus, there's a strong chance such a scenario could involve adding a 12th school, which would enable a split into two 6-team softball divisions.

If all goes as planned (and that's a big if), the 2014 MWC/C-USA season could involve one super conference featuring the following schools:

Colorado State
East Carolina
Fresno State
Marshall
Nevada
New Mexico
Southern Mississippi
Tulsa
UAB
UNLV
UTEP

That would be a pretty dynamic softball conference.  Five of those teams are currently ranked in the Top 25 of the Mid-Major Poll, and are either ranked or receiving votes in the NFCA/USA Today and ESPN.com/USA Softball national rankings.