Yes, you did read the title of this post correctly. And yes, unfortunately this is happening. ESPN is reporting that the two conferences will divide up into divisions and conferences among the new group of schools, which consists of Southern Miss, Tulsa, Marshall, Rice, UTEP, UAB, Tulane and East Carolina from the Conference USA. Then UNLV, New Mexico, Wyoming, Colorado State, Air Force, as well as new members Fresno State, Nevada and Hawaii (Football only) from the Mountain West Conference. All of these teams except for Fresno State and Nevada, which are moving over from the WAC, will be eligible to play in the new conference in the 2013-2014 season. The new conference does not have a name for itself yet, but I think the Irrelevant Conference has a nice ring to it.
While this may seem stupid from a travel perspective (because it is), so long as these teams play in local divisions and do not have many cross-over games, I don’t have a problem with it. This new conference will be completely irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, and I will be utterly shocked if any of these teams wins anything on a national scale. All this merger means to me is that I think the idea of “Super Conferences” is becoming more viable, and then more of the smaller conferences like these two will continue to merge.
Conference realignment was a sleeping giant, but ever since Nebraska and Colorado left the Big 12, it has been on an utter rampage and who knows if or when it will ever stop.