Conference USA athletics directors wrapped up two days of Winter Meetings Wednesday. C-USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky led a series of discussions and presentations regarding the future of the conference, beginning with the realigned membership on July 1, 2013.
"We had extremely productive meetings and we are fortunate to have such a great group," Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky said. "Our new members bring added competitive strength, especially in the areas of football and basketball, and we have dramatically increased the size of our television footprint. Our Conference generally represents growing institutions, in large markets, who are ambitious and have made significant investments. They are well positioned to be the next generation of great programs. We have tremendous upside potential."
During the meetings a number of items were addressed:
Officially welcomed FAU and Middle Tennessee as members of Conference USA beginning in 2013. Both teams will exit the Sun Belt Conference one year earlier than initially announced and will be eligible to compete in all C-USA sports. Conference USA will have 14 members compete in football and 16 members for its other 19 sports during the 2013-14 athletic season.
Television. Conference USA has television agreements with Fox Sports Networks and CBS Sports Network, and ESPN will continue to carry the C-USA Football Championship. As one the largest BCS conferences in 2013, C-USA membership will include institutions in 12 of the Top 65 television markets, eight in the Top 40 and four in the Top 25 media markets according to Nielson. C-USA home markets next year will include a little more than 14.5 million TV households, a 43 percent increase to our current 10.1 million homes.
Football Divisions. The 2013 Conference USA East Division will consist of East Carolina, FAU, FIU, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, Southern Miss and UAB. The West Division is made up of Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Rice, Tulane, Tulsa, UTEP and UTSA.
Scheduling. Home and away football opponents for 2013 have been determined. Institutions will play eight Conference games using divisions. A single round-robin will be played within divisions with two cross division opponents. The Conference schedule is based on two seven team divisions, with institutions playing all (6) teams within the division and two of the teams in the other division, in a one-year rotation.
HOME - FAU, Southern Miss, Tulsa, UAB
AWAY - at FIU, at Marshall, at Middle Tennessee, at Tulane
HOME - FIU, Marshall Middle Tennessee, Tulane
AWAY - at East Carolina, at Rice, at Southern Miss, at UAB
HOME - East Carolina, Louisiana Tech, Marshall, UAB
AWAY - at FAU, at Middle Tennessee, at Southern Miss, at UTEP
HOME - North Texas, Southern Miss, Tulane, Tulsa
AWAY - at FIU, at Rice, at UTEP, at UTSA
HOME - East Carolina, Southern Miss, UAB, UTSA
AWAY - at FAU, at FIU, at Middle Tennessee, at Tulsa
HOME - East Carolina, FIU, Marshall, UTEP
AWAY - at FAU, at North Texas, at Southern Miss, at UAB
HOME - Middle Tennessee, Rice, UTEP, UTSA
AWAY - at Louisiana Tech, at Southern Miss, at Tulane, at Tulsa
HOME - FAU, Louisiana Tech, Tulane, UTEP
AWAY - at North Texas, at Tulsa, at UAB, at UTSA
HOME - FAU, FIU, Middle Tennessee, North Texas
AWAY - at East Carolina, at Louisiana Tech, at Marshall, at UAB
HOME - East Carolina, North Texas, Tulsa, UTEP
AWAY - at FAU, at Louisiana Tech, at Rice, at UTSA
HOME - Marshall, North Texas, Rice, UTSA
AWAY - at East Carolina, at Louisiana Tech, at Tulane, at UTEP
HOME - FAU, Middle Tennessee, Rice, Southern Miss
AWAY - at East Carolina, at FIU, at Marshall, at UTSA
HOME - FIU, Louisiana Tech, Tulsa, UTSA
AWAY - at Middle Tennessee, at North Texas, at Rice, at Tulane
HOME - Louisiana Tech, Rice, Tulane, UAB
AWAY - at Marshall, at North Texas, at Tulsa, at UTEP
Old Dominion will be eligible for the 2014 C-USA Football Championship. Additionally for football, athletics directors determined Old Dominion would be eligible for an East Division title and the opportunity to compete in the 2014 C-USA Championship. However, they would not be eligible for a bowl berth until 2015.
Source: Conference USA