still alive, but struggling. two problems:
1) marshall would need to find a home conference for basketball etc. if marshall leaves the mac in football, the mac kicks marshall out in basketball. the mac is already a strong mid-major that typically sends 2 and sometimes 3 teams to the tourney, and it doesn't need marshall to compete. conference usa will not expand in basketball unless they found a 16th team, and tha unlikely. marshall tried to interest the horizon league, but horizon didn't want to expand.
2) usa is looking for teams with a television market to increase exposure. with the exception of southern miss and east carolina, all of the schools are in a major metropolitan area (birmingham, cincinnati, dallas-ft. worth, houston, louisville, memphis, miami, new orleans, new york). marshall is in huntington, west virginia. usa would still take marshall, but would rather take another school in a tv market, like smu, central florida or temple. smu poses the same problem as marshall with expansion of the basketball conference, however...
usa's new contract with espn/abc allows for telecast of a championship game, but the ncaa won't let them hold one until that 12th team joins. expect something at the end of this season and a 12th team to be added in time for a 2004 championship game. if they can't pry anyone else, they'll take marshall.