The Mountain West and Conference USA alliance is now official with 22 teams at this point, but that could change if the Boise St. Broncos, Air Force Falcons, SMU Mustangs, Central Florida Knights and Houston Cougars do get an invite from the Big East. Those schools do not have an invite as of yet, so that is why the alliance has 22 teams.
Here are some the details of the teleconference from earlier Friday night:
• Air Force, Boise State, Central Florida, Houston and SMU all voted this morning to agree to this deal.
• 2013 is target date to begin the alliance, but 2012 is a possibility.
• For the first or second year the two leagues would play their normal schedule and then have a title game.
• After a year or two a more divisional format will be created.
• Legislature will need to be put in place to have a cross-conference title game.
• Neither commissioner has spoken to Bill Hancock to see if the champion of the alliance receives a BCS bid.
• Television contracts will remain league specific until they expire.
• Title game can be sold to any network.
• Possible semi-final matchup between divisional teams then a title game.
This merger was presented as being an innovation, but from my perspective the two leagues put the cart before the horse, because at this time there is no guarantee of a BCS bid that has been the reason for those, no word on if a title game can be held in this alliance and no improvement in television money at this time.
Some of those things will get sorted out, but this does not look like an improvement over being two separate leagues outside of perhaps help in scheduling down the road.
For more on the Mountain West and possible realignment, visit Mountain West Connection.