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College Football World Reacts To Latest Conference USA News – The Spun

» Dan Lyons

UAB football team takes the field at the Superdome for a college football bowl game.NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – DECEMBER 21: The UAB Blazers take the field during the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 21, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

As the Oklahoma and Texas moves continue to reverberate through college football, Conference USA is trying to be proactive. Over the weekend, CBS Sports reported that the league planned to reach out to the AAC and Sun Belt about some common sense regional realignment among the three leagues’ member schools.

Those three Group of Five conferences have some significant overlap in terms of geographic footprint. The AAC is likely still the best of the three leagues, even after losing Cincinnati, Houston, and UCF to the Big 12, though it definitely moves them closer to the rest of the Group of Five pack than to the bottom of the Power Five.

The AAC will likely look to poach from C-USA and the Sun Belt now, after getting turned down by some Mountain West programs. In order to get out ahead of the situation, C-USA will propose that the AAC and Sun Belt joins them in reshuffling the existing leagues into more regional entities.

Sports Illustrated‘s Ross Dellenger says that C-USA plans to reach out to the AAC today. It is unclear if they’ll involve the Sun Belt, but he also says that one of “several different models for a reorganization” involves the rival league.

CUSA executives today plan to send a letter to AAC officials asking them to consider reorganizing the leagues into 2 new conferences split on geographic lines, sources tell @SINow.

CUSA commissioner Judy MacLeod is leading a proposal deemed as a long shothttps://t.co/PSaDDc13wk

— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) October 12, 2021

“There’s so much insanity. This is worth a shot instead of continuing to perpetuate the insanity,” Conference USA commissioner Judy MacLeod told SI.

“Our presidents are willing and would like to have broader conversations about it. We can’t do it alone.”

UAB is among the schools most desirous to the AAC, now that the Mountain West options appear to be off the table. As one of C-USA’s top programs, it makes sense that MacLeod and her league want to protect what they have, and the regionalization idea has some merit. Regional rivalries and fan bases are part of what make college football great, and bringing some of that back could really benefit the lower league.

Of course, the likelihood that the AAC agrees to a pact, and helps elevate another league rather than take its best members, is very unlikely. Many have pointed out what a big swing this is.

Better chance getting the Sunbelt to do that than American

— Pete Medhurst (@PeteMedhurst) October 12, 2021

Why would the AAC go for this when their current plan is to take the best C-USA teams and add them to the conference as is?

— Dan Morrison (@Dan_Morrison96) October 12, 2021

Hopefully this won’t happen. I would rather UAB move up to the AAC than be relegated to a watered down version of C-USA/AAC. A merger of C-USA with the AAC would devalue the AAC brand. The remaining C-USA teams will likely be absorbed into the Sun Belt & MWC after realignment.

— UAB, UAH, & Birmingham Sports Propaganda (@EBRINDLEY) October 12, 2021

IMO the AAC needs to add teams to stay the top G5 Conference not merge.

“The proposal, originating from C-USA commissioner MacLeod, would require the conferences to remake themselves based on geography, creating two new leagues under different names.”https://t.co/J0PxUHe3zR

— Sidelines-South Florida 🤘 AAC Baseball Champs🏆 (@SSN_USF) October 12, 2021

I don’t see the C-USA/AAC merger as having legs to stand on

The AAC is in a position to poach the biggest and best C-USA teams. Why would they break themselves up?

It makes sense for C-USA to want this, though because they’re in the worst position of anyone

— Dan Morrison (@Dan_Morrison96) October 12, 2021

Not everyone is opposed though. SB Nation’s Underdog Dynasty, which covers the Group of Five, seems to think this is more forward-thinking than MacLeod and C-USA are being given credit for.

To the fans who have a stake in C-USA’s latest proposal to reconfigure with the AAC. Do you hate this idea of being in a more geographic-friendly conference?

— Underdog Dynasty (@underdogdynasty) October 12, 2021

The gap between the AAC and C-USA is wide. The gap between the AAC and the P5 in the new landscape will be wider than it’s ever been. Everyone who will be left in the G5 after the CFP expands has to realize that the golden ticket P5 invite is gone for good. Consolidation is next.

— Underdog Dynasty (@underdogdynasty) October 12, 2021

It is very unlikely that the AAC sees the value here. Even if they agree on regionality, they’re the league that would give the most up to get there. Still, it is hard to fault C-USA, which may be the weakest of these three conferences, for trying something different.

[Sports Illustrated]


About Dan Lyons

Dan is an Editor at The Spun.


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