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UTEP & C-USA

By Asher Wildman, Sports Director
Published On: Jan 18 2013 12:43:28 AM CST

UTEP Athletic Director Bob Stull discusses the possibility of a new 20-plus team, football-only merger between UTEP's Conference USA and the Mountain West Conference.

El Paso, TEXAS -

It seems like every day in the college football landscape that teams are leaving and joining conferences on a daily basis.

"There's certainly movement in the Mountain West, there's certainly activity in the Big East, and quite frankly there's a lot of dynamics happening at this time," UTEP Athletics Director Bob Stull explained when asked about schools realigning themselves in different conferences.

Lately rumors and speculation is that UTEP is headed to the Mountain West Conference, but that isn't necessarily true.

"If the Mountain West picks up San Diego State then that will put them at 12," Stull said. "They'll have enough for a championship game, would they even want to expand?"

In 2000 UTEP was part of a 9 team WAC Conference with TCU, Hawaii, and Nevada.

In 2006 the Miners joined Conference USA and were part of a 12 team two division conference with; Southern Miss, East Carolina, Marshall, Central Florida, Alabama Birmingham, Memphis, Houston Rice, Tulsa, SMU, and Tulane. The conference however, will have a new look in 2015 with 14 teams. UTEP will still be with Marshall, Southern Miss, UAB, Rice, and Tulsa, but eight new schools will be in by then and they are; UT-San Antonio, MTSU, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, North Texas, Old Dominion, Louisiana Tech, and Charlotte.

Despite how it seems switching conferences is not easy. Conference's look at so many things like a schools market size, facilities, TV ad revenue potential, and input by school president's.

"Conference USA has been good to us," Stull said. "They took us in when the WAC was dissolving, but I think now everyone is analyzing the total scene."

Today, I can tell you the Miners will be playing in Conference USA next season. After that though, your guess as well as UTEP's is as good as mine.

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