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Mountain West Expansion: MWC, Conference USA Considering Football-Only Merger

With the Big 12 conference about to go under, Pitt and Syracuse heading to the ACC and Texas leading a number of schools that will likely wind up in the Pac-12 (or 16 as it would become), the Mountain West Conference is willing to consider a football-only merger with Conference USA, according to Brian Murphy of the Idaho Statesman:

"We’ve resurrected … this consolidation concept with Conference USA from a football-only standpoint. The timing is right to be proactive in that," Thompson said. "Consolidation is, at least, worth exploring."

However, this is just one possible course of action for the league. Commissioner Craig Thompson told the Statesman that the conference is also discussing inviting remaining teams from the Big 12 and from the Big East, though those teams could attempt to come together to remake one of the conferences.

If the MWC-CUSA merger took place, it would be to help TV distribution, sponsorships and other financial happenings. Each conference would send its top team to a league championship game.

Also, Thompson hinted that the TCU Horned Frogs could be issued an invitation back into the Mountain West, just a year after they opted to leave and join the Big East in 2012. With Pitt and Syracuse heading to the ACC, Connecticut could also move to the ACC to keep together a rivalry against the Orange.

For more on the Mountain West and possible expansion, visit the Mountain West Connection.