Conference USA Faces An Uphill Fight

Conference USA needs to be rebuilt or it’s done.

In September, the American Athletic Conference was on shaky ground. The AAC Commissioner Michael Aresco saw the University of Central Florida, the University of Cincinnati and Houston University’s heads give their okays to jumping to the Big 12 Conference. The Big 12 took those three schools after the Southeastern Conference poached the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas from that conference. The AAC has seemingly survived as it enticed six Conference USA schools to leave behind its conference membership to join a rebuilt AAC. Now Conference USA is in the same position that the AAC was in after losing members. Conference USA has to rebuild as it is very possible that as few as five schools will be left after all the maneuvering that has taken place since the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas fled the Big 12 for more money with the Southeastern Conference.

All of the moves that are taking place have been done to get more TV money. The television executives are willing to give conferences large contracts if the conference alignment makes sense. The conferences are realigning for football purposes because that is where the money is made. The Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby probably has ripped up a letter he sent to ESPN after he lost Oklahoma and Texas in the summer to the SEC. Bowlsby accused the Walt Disney Company’s ESPN unit of pushing the two schools out of the Big 12. Bowlsby or Big 12 lawyers sent Disney’s ESPN a cease-and-desist letter which stated that ESPN “has taken certain actions that are intended to not only harm the Big 12 Conference but to result in financial benefits for ESPN.” It seems that Bowlsby has gone silent on ESPN’s devastating role in ruining the Big 12. It’s Conference USA’s turn to cry.

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UAB quarterback Tyler Johnston (17) looks to make a pass as the Blazers take on Marshall during an NCAA college football game for the Conference USA Football Championship on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in Huntington, W.Va. (Sholten Singer/The Herald-Dispatch via AP)