Feb 132012
Authors: Kevin Lytle

The Mountain West and Conference USA announced Monday that they will form a new conference with existing members that will begin competition in 2013-14.

Sixteen presidents and chancellors met on Sunday in Dallas to discuss the future membership plans.

“We are very excited about this new era for Colorado State athletics and the Mountain West,” CSU Athletic Director Jack Graham said in a statement. “This merger creates a bigger, more competitive conference and will allow us increased exposure for all Ram athletic programs.”

All sports for each university will be a part of the conference, with the exception of Hawaii which will be a football-only member.

Universities involved in the discussions were the Air Force Academy, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Colorado State University, East Carolina University, Fresno State, University of Hawaii, Marshall University, University of Nevada, University of New Mexico, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Rice University, University of Southern Mississippi, University of Texas-El Paso, Tulane University, The University of Tulsa and University of Wyoming.

The discussions currently involve 16 universities, but the new conference will likely consist of somewhere between 18-24 universities.

The conference will likely be broken into two divisions based upon region and will have a championship football game that includes semi-final matchups.

“The new conference preserves traditional rivalries that are important to CSU, such as those with Air Force and Wyoming,” Graham said. “At the same time, it gives us the opportunity to create new rivalries with some tremendously competitive programs in different parts of the country.”

The new conference will span all five time zones.

Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Lytle can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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