Jon Wilner blog article(previously posted in another thread)discussing upcoming MWC/C-USA merger and possible impact on the WAC and other conferences at http://blogs.mercurynews.com/collegespo ... and-others
Something I've thought about too: if the MWC/CUSA take WAC/SB schools, those conferences might be forced to form an alliance just to ensure number of games each year.
That said, the Sunbelt is in a much better position.
Say the MWC/CUSA does expand to 18, 20 or 22 (do not see 24 happening).
It means the current 16
Plus 2, 4 or 6
Who are they?
Utah St (WAC), No Texas (SB), FIU (SB), FAU (SB), SJSU (WAC), UTSA (WAC), LA Tech (WAC), Texas St (WAC), MTSU (SB), NMSU (WAC)
So lets take 6 of those schools for a 22 school MWC/CUSA...which might be a stretch since 18 adds 2 good markets, 20 adds likely So. Florida market (if only 1 FL school), SLC, Bay Area which, Dallas. Always could do 2 FL schools and pass on say, SJSU.
What does that leave...if a massive 22 school conference formed?
WAC FB: UTSA, Texas St., LA Tech, Idaho, NMSU
Sunbelt FB: Arkansas St., ULL, ULM, MTSU, USA, Troy, WKU
FAU (maybe they leave), Charlotte (potential newcomer), UTSA (potential newcomer)
SB is poised to add schools even now. So if they lose any, it's not the end of the world. If they lose 4, no worries, because they can just bring in schools from the candidates pool:
LA Tech, UTSA, Texas St., NMSU from the WAC, as well as FBS upgrades like Charlotte, GA State, App St., GA Southern, Lamar, SHSU, etc.
SB will be fine.
Easiest thing to do?
* Sun Belt, if at 8 (9 with UALR) can just bring in LA Tech, UTSA, Texas St., and NMSU to be 12 for football.
* If Idaho is the last, all alone, throw them a bone with a FB only invite (since I'm sure the NCAA would get involved to find them a home if they were the ONLY FBS school unable to have a home since they have a rule in place to stop FCS school from upgrading w/o a conference). Want to balance things out for basketball? Bring in UTA (to replace No. Texas) as a non-football member (#14).
What does this lineup do:
1) give MWC/CUSA full control over whatever they want to do
2) Regardless of MWC/CUSA plans, the Sun Belt has lots of options: ANY WAC schools (Idaho, Utah St and SJSU the only less desirable ones due to location) and it seems ALL the possible FCS upgrade schools are already in the SB footprint
3) WAC can remain a non-football conference for all those left out of MWC/CUSA or SB changes since they could just pick up schools from other conference. That, or maybe you'll see moves like UTA to SB, Denver to Summit, Seattle to WCC, Idaho to Big Sky for non-football.
4) Only Idaho seems screwed, which is why I think you'd see the NCAA lend a hand in getting them into SB for FB only. If not, no worries, can go at it alone.