Today marked the end of Conference USA Media Days. C-USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky shared about the future of his Conference and where it stood in relation to the ‘Power 5′ Conferences.
Asked what he would like C-USA and the other Conferences outside of the ‘Power 5′ to be known as, Banowsky replied,
“Call us the second five, and note there’s 32 (conferences).”
The C-USA Commissioner expects that his and the “second five” leagues will have to be able to co-exist with the big-money power conferences (SEC, Big 12, Pac-12, ACC and Big 10).
“Our five conferences and their five conferences have a lot of history together, and we’ve always found a way to get in a room and to be good listeners and work it out. I also think having 60 schools together is just not enough for them to be able to have a base from which to operate. You need a bigger base. We are in a transition from conference realignment to system realignment,” Banowsky said.
The new College Football Playoff has the 10 FBS leagues contractually obligated for 12 years. That agreement guarantees a spot in one of the CFP’s six bowl games for the highest-ranked team from among the mid-major leagues — C-USA, the Sun Belt, MAC, Mountain West and American Athletic.
Marshall coach Doc Holliday speaking on this,
“We’re as well off as we’ve ever been. We’ve got a seat at the table if we just take care of business. Before, in the old BCS system, we didn’t have a very good shot at getting that particular deal.”
While Tulsa, Tulane and East Carolina left for the American Athletic Conference (AAC), C-USA welcomes Old Dominion and Western Kentucky. Charlotte is competing in other league sports and will join the Football Championship Subdivision level next year (giving the league 14 football members).
“Today, we are kind of on a pivot point, and I think our future is very, very bright. I think this is perhaps the most challenging time in the history of college athletics. It’s certainly the most historic time.”