New Conference USA Will Bring Scheduling Issues

Mar 8, 2012; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Tigers forward Tarik Black (10) drives to the basket against UTEP Miners guard/forward Julian Washburn (4) during the first half of the quarter finals of the Conference USA Tournament at the FedEx Forum. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE

Beginning in the 2013-14 seasons, Conference USA will be adding new members Charlotte, FIU, La Tech, North Texas, Old Dominion, and UTSA, while losing Houston, Memphis, SMU, and UCF. The new schools will bring the conference to 14 total members, although Old Dominion and Charlotte will not join in football until 2015.

Eventually, the additions will allow C-USA to split into two 7 team divisions, but again that won't take place until Charlotte and ODU join in football. Until then, the conference will be a bit offset. Considering both of the late additions will be "East" division schools, the conference will be stuck with 7 western schools, and 5 eastern, until they make the jump.

The easiest possible solution would be to shift one of the Louisiana schools east, possibly new member Louisiana Tech. Once the conference reaches its 14 member mark, La Tech would then be able to shift into the "West" division, where they will compete in the long run.

As it currently stands in football, C-USA schools play each member of their division once, as well as three games against members of the opposite division, with those opposite division opponents changing every year. One would assume that once the league takes its full new form, a similar scheduling format will be implemented.

Its still yet to be seen whether or not the conference will keep the same scheduling format in basketball though. Currently, C-USA schools play members of their division twice, while playing each member of the opposite division once. As of now, that equals out to a 16 game schedule, which is a pretty common number for a conference slate.

However beginning in 2013, if the same model is kept, each school will wind up playing a 19 game conference schedule. Not only do no NCAA conferences play an odd number of conference games, that high number would allow for only a maximum of 12 more regular season games.

And, that number could actually be smaller. If I'm not mistaken, the NCAA allows a school to schedule up to 27 regular season games, plus a pre-season tournament (Old Spice Classic, Preseason NIT, Great Alaska Shooutout etc..). If the conference were to have a 19 game schedule, a team would potentially only be able to schedule 8 out of conference games.

It's highly unlikely that any coach would go for that. While its still unclear what formats Conference USA football and basketball will take on, it is fairly clear that a little bit of change will be necessary. I wouldn't expect any definitive information on it for at least a few months, but be sure that MinerRush will bring it to you as soon as it is available.

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