After months of will they or won't they, Conference USA and the Mountain West announced on Friday afternoon that the two leagues are forming a football-only association. All 22 schools of this association agreed to the move. For the time being, the Air Force Falcons and the Boise State Broncos are members of this new conference, but both teams appear headed to the Big East.
This could be a move to keep both schools in the Mountain West, but realistically this merger doesn't bring much prestige to either conference. But there is this from the official press release;
UNLV President and Mountain West Board of Directors Chair Neal Smatresk said, "In an era of uncertainty in intercollegiate athletics, this collaborative partnership with C-USA lends stability and credibility to our collective football enterprise. We are excited about the prospect of having teams in five time zones and the many possibilities created by this extremely bold and proactive step."
This league could certainly give way to an automatic qualifier in the BCS, but outside of Boise State, who, again, might leave, there is no powerhouse school that will compete for the national championship year-in and year-out.
There could be a TV deal still to be made with this new conference, but there's still much left to be learned about it.
For more on the Mountain West and possible realignment, visit Mountain West Connection.