I'm still trying to get my arms around this MWC-CUSA football merger.
At first I thought MAYBE the idea was to lock up all the BE expansion candidates, let the SEC & Big 12 pick over the BE, leaving the MWC-CUSA in the cat-bird seat, where they would then invite BE FB remnants and absorb the BE's AQ...
That could still happen.
Then it hit me what the other motivation may be.....
If CUSA were to become the sponsoring conference of this combined MWC-CUSA FB operation, then the MWC is no longer sponsoring FB.
This means that Boise State and Air Force can leave their other sports in the MWC.
This also means that if BYU does not get an invitation to an all-sports conference, they can park their other sports in the MWC too (instead of the WCC).
BYU could stay independent (using the MWC as Notre Dame uses the BE) or even join the BE FB West Division (along with Boise St. and Air Force)...
So when Craig Thompson was "asked to get this done", the deal may have been that Boise / Air Force told him they were moving their FB to the BE,
but needed a way to let them stay in the MWC for other sports.
If this is the case, then Hawaii becomes Big West / CUSA FB (no connection to MWC).
The MWC would have 9 schools for non-FB sports. They could expand to 12 with : BYU's "Olympic Sports", Denver, Seattle...
They may take some schools from the WAC like: Idaho, Utah St., SJSU (if they can place ther FB operations in this CUSA FB league).
The WAC is then left with a bunch of FB schools in Texas, Louisiana, which merges into the Sun-Belt.
Very interesting take. It works in everyone's benefit if it happens that way.
I'd imagine 10 is the ideal number of football schools in each division for 9 conference games. If BSU and AFA move their football, the MWC would be at 8 football, 9 olympic sports. So they would probably bring in two full members (and since there is a partnership with C-USA, no need to raid them, unless C-USA says take UTEP so we can get someone like Temple). So I would think USU and SJSU would finally get invites which gets the MWC to 10/11. Adding Denver would be perfect to get them to 12.
C-USA would lose 3 bringing them to 9. Adding North Texas would help offset the loss of SMU so I'd imagine they'd be in. Not sure if there are 2 non football candidates to get the conference back to 12, but it wouldn't be entirely necessary.
Both conferences would be very solid and if the merger was unsuccessful, they could easily split from each other and the MWC could go back to sponsoring football.