The problems with the merger shall be multiple. Here is just a few of them.
(a) Stability: The new design will not assure this. As with C-USA, and the MWC to some extent, certain schools could get picked off as changes and additions happen with other conferences, particularly the BCS ones. This constantly is a factor in trying to promote and sustain cohesion as well as develop more long-term rivalries.
(b) Proven to be too big and far-flung: Remember the breakoff from the old 16-team WAC? Schools that carry their weight will start to get frustrated with those that become a drag, i. e. attendance figures, lack of success, etc. There's not the level of revenue compared to BCS conferences that keeps most afloat and competitive.
(c) Travel: This will be extensive, even for some in divisional play that includes all sports competition. These schools don't have the budgets of schools like Notre Dame and LSU. Fan travel to away game shall be further strained.
(d) BCS/AQ Appeal: The leadership of the merger shall hope, if not expect, that somehow their champion gets into the BCS via BCS/AQ revisions for more inclusiveness, or that most years a dominant team from the merger shall make the cut. Also, hoped for is a lucrative TV package (uhh, a proliferation of ESPN2 Tuesday & Thursday night games?).
Not sure the extent of broadcast rights have been promised (certainly there has been network talking); but the approach sounds more like "build and they shall come".
I agree with a lot of those, however:
(A) The design won't assure "stability" in the sense that nothing changes. Nothing can. But it does protect them. It assures stability for those left behind the next time they get raided. Each conference was three members above the threshold for "in a world of hurt." If they get raided again, they'll have more members left after the raid than CUSA or the MWC has now. THAT'S the stability.
(B) too big and too far flung is based on what? The WAC experiment? The Big East has done fine with Marquette-Providence-Tampa and they don't have a division format.
The problem with the old WAC being far flung was because the 16-team league had so many close rivals that splitting into two eight-team divisions didn't work. This league does not have that problem. The league has a VERY clear divide. Rice was a WAC member out of necessity. Ditto Tulsa.
The only team with "rivals" in a different division is UTEP. And since they have the "Hawaii problem," a 16-team all-sports league with Hawaii being 17 in football would work perfectly:
Add Temple or North Texas to the C-USA side:
West: UNLV, Fresno, Nevada, Colo St, Air Force, Wyoming, New Mexico, Hawaii
East: ECU, Marshall, UAB, So Miss, Tulane, Rice, Tulsa, North Texas
Each of those teams plays 7 division football games. Put UTEP in either division and they play four from each group (similar to the MAC's 13-team setup.
C) In all sports, UTEP's in the West, which improves their travel (and really improves the East's travel).
In football, each team would have one trip to that's two time zones away... every other year. Not bad at all.
In all sports, it works fine. Sports that had a single-round robin before (soccer, baseball, softball) have virtually no change. You do your division once, and two cross-overs. With eight teams, you do travel partners. Instead of going to UTEP and SMU, C-USA teams go to UTEP and New Mexico, or CSU/AF, or Fresno/Nev. Or UNLV/Wyoming. For the MWC group, instead of the TCU trip, it's So Miss/Tulane.
They're going to play the same number of games as before, only one trip is a little longer than before. It's not like a traveling carnival covering all 17 teams.
D) This is the big one to me. The fact is, they've essentially relegated themselves to second-tier status (or third tier). But the boat sailed when Boise State and TCU left.