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C-USA Sought Merger With Mountain West For 22-Team Conference

The field of play in college athletics hasn't changed radically with the arrival of the Pac-12 and the expansion of the WAC, but in late 2010 Conference USA did seek to make waves. According to the Hattiesburg American (via Cowboy Altitude), Mountain West Conference commissioner Craig Thompson briefly mentioned an issue of Conference USA's:

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"Their interest was more of a combined big old league of 20-some-plus institutions, where we’re interested in effectively changing the postseason," Thompson told the Union-Tribune about his talks with C-USA. "We’re kind of saying, ‘This is our agenda. Your agenda might be a little bit different, but it’s good to talk.’"

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Cowboy Altitude goes on to look at how the 22-team football conference would have turned out. The major change would have been sending the UTEP Miners to the west division to create two 11-team divisions.

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I don't see many advantages for the Mountain West had this taken place, which is why it made sense for Craig Thompson to stick with what he wanted do. Now, that is attempting to get the conference a BCS automatic qualifier. Creating a 22-team conference wouldn't have helped with that since it, at first glance, would appear to be a conference still dominated by the old Mountain West teams.

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A nice idea, but try again.