Report: C-USA securing new league members with MTSU, WKU ‘likely’ joining MAC

College Sports

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The raid on Conference USA will not stop. Two weeks ago, the league had 14 member schools. According to a report from The Action Network’s Brett McMurphy, C-USA will be down to just three schools — including UTEP — as Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky are, “likely” to join the Mid-American Conference (MAC).

According to the report, the move is pending approval by the MAC presidents, which could come as early as this week.

In the past two weeks, Charlotte, FAU, North Texas, Rice, UAB and UTSA left for the American Athletic Conference (AAC), while Marshall, ODU and Southern Miss left for the Sun Belt. With MTSU and WKU now rumored to be on the move, it leaves C-USA with UTEP, LA Tech and FIU.

The news comes as the UTEP football team is getting set to host No. 16 UTSA on Saturday at Sun Bowl Stadium. The Miners (6-2, 3-1) and Roadrunners (8-0, 4-0) will play on national television, and UTEP head football coach Dana Dimel knows this game — and every game after it — serves as an audition.

“I’m not into all of that other [conference realignment] stuff, and that’s probably one of my strengths. I’m just trying to coach a football team and I’m not trying to get caught up in stuff that I don’t have any control over,” said Dimel. “But this is a great opportunity for our football team to play on national television. We have a really good football team, and we just have to go out and put our A-game out there for 60 minutes and see what that brings us.”

C-USA now has some work to do to get back to six member schools, which is the minimum required to remain an FBS league. According to the report, the league is talking with multiple FCS school that could make the jump to the FBS level. The schools “likely” to join includes Jacksonville State and Sam Houston State as all-sports members. Per McMurphy, C-USA is also considering adding FBS Independents Liberty and New Mexico State as all-sports members. UConn and UMass have also been rumored to join the league as football-only members.

As it pertains to NMSU, sources tell KTSM 9 Sports that no official invite has been extended by C-USA. The two biggest variables, according to the sources, is waiting for the MAC to make their move official, and a potential C-USA entry fee.

If NMSU were to secure a spot in C-USA, it would be the first time they share a conference with UTEP since 1961 in the Border Conference.

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