Friday, January 18, 2013
Conference USA adding two teams
By Brett McMurphy
Florida Atlantic and Middle Tennessee State will leave the Sun Belt and join Conference USA on July 1, sources told ESPN on Friday.
Both schools were not scheduled to leave the Sun Belt until 2014, but are leaving early for C-USA. The addition of FAU and Middle Tennessee will give C-USA 14 football members in 2013.
On July 1, C-USA members UCF, Houston, SMU and Memphis are joining the Big East. Also in 2014, East Carolina and Tulane are headed to the Big East.
To replace the four schools leaving for the Big East in 2013, C-USA is adding Florida International, Louisiana Tech, North Texas and Texas-San Antonio. In 2015, Charlotte and Old Dominion will join C-USA.
It's unlikely that East Carolina and Tulane could leave C-USA and join the Big East this fall. On Friday, the Big East announced football opponents for a 10-team schedule, not including ECU and Tulane.
C-USA's 14 football members this fall will be: UAB, East Carolina, FAU, FIU, Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Rice, Southern Miss, UTEP, Texas-San Antonio, Tulane and Tulsa.
As far as the Sun Belt, the league will have eight members in 2013: Arkansas State, Georgia State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, South Alabama, Texas State and Western Kentucky.
The good news for the Sun Belt is all four bowl teams from 2012 -- Arkansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe and Western Kentucky -- remain in the league, while three of the four leaving for C-USA had losing records in 2012.