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Finally...FIU and Conference USA going all the way; Come Mundy

While trying to console a 7-year-old who somehow injured a calf in the shower and now can't go to sleep, we bring you the long awaited news projected on this blog back on August 13 and spoken of often since.

 

The FIU-Sun Belt marriage is about to go through the year of legal separation before D-I-V-O-R-C-E. The Other Conference waiting to walk down the aisle with FIU is, of course, Conference USA. Camp Mitch sources confirm that FIU will be joining Conference USA in 2013. FIU's already a member for men's soccer.

Official announcements likely will be made within a week. FIU athletic director Pete Garcia refused comment other than to acknowledge FIU had been in talks with C-USA for weeks.

Conference USA lost UCF, Houston, SMU and Memphis to the Big East. Inviting FIU replaces the UCF with another school with the massive enrollment in a large Florida market and up-and-coming athletic program. Houston and SMU account for two large Texas markets, Houston and Dallas.

 

The Sun Belt's having a media conference call tomorrow to discuss the future of the conference, which also probably loses North Texas (near the Dallas TV market) to the C-USA rebuild. I thought they'd lose FAU also because smart expansions usually don't leave a team without a natural nearby potential rival or travel partner. But the Owls' Nest is a mess right now, despite the swanky new football joint.

The Conference USA-Mountain West full football merger's been put off, but C-USA does have its own football championship game. Football motivates the movement these days. Conference USA includes Marshall (FIU's conqueror in the 2011 Beef O'Brady's Bowl), Tulsa (Jerry Rhome, Dolphins Very Good Howard Twilley), Lousiana Tech (Terry Bradshaw), Southern Mississippi (Favre); UTEP. All should be better draws than Sun Belt teams and bring more folks with them.

 WOMEN'S GOLF

Senior Katie Mundy, who finished second after a playoff for the individual Sun Belt title, has been invited to the NCAA East Regional at Penn State next week.

 

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Is that in all sports?

Good move for FIU.

Great news, yep in all sports.

Hallelujah! Finally out of the lowly Sun Belt. C-USA is no SEC but it is definitely a step up. From an attendance perspective it's a positive - casual fans more likely to come see FIU play Marshall or ECU than Louisiana Monroe or Western Kentucky.

Well done PG.

Great move for FIU... it's a big step in the right direction... Charlotte declined an invite to the SC, most likely because they know they are also headed to C-USA.

por fin! congrats FIU!

I could not love this move any more!

Finally!! Tougher competition but worth the move.

Movin' on up! This is great news. Looking forward to bigger games and better things in the future.

I've been waiting so long for this!!! This is definitely a step forward. I just wish that no of us start talking down on the Sunbelt; we should ALL appreciate what the conference and teams have done for our small but yet steady growth. Go FIU!!!

Moving on up!

The Sunbelt has been good to us but I also think its a great move by FIU Athletics. The Travel will be a little easier and the crowds will only get bigger. Still have ONE more chance to be SUNBELT Champs in a couple of our sports during 2012-2013..

GO FIU!

Great stuff! Go FIU!

In only 11 years we will go from no team, to FCS, to the SunBelt, to C-USA.

This is progress. Thanks PG.

Good job, DJN.

PANTHERS ON THE RISE!!!!!!!

Wait, UCF, SMU, and Memphis left C-USA?

What's the point of moving then? Both conferences only have teams no one has ever heard of and it's easier to win in the Sunbelt.

I don't get it.

It's all about baby steps, crawl before your walk...I only see things getting better for FIU (not sure why the CUSA/M-West merger isn't happening and why the birds from Boca Raton aren't coming along not sure what kind of mess they can possible be in but hey)

we have been waiting for this move for a while... excited for it.. can't wait to see how it goes.

GP 2000,

SoMiss is still in C-USA and they beat Houston for the title last season. SMU has had a couple of good years, but have also had some terrible years in the last decade and historically hasn't been as good as Tulsa and ECU, who are staying. UCF had a good season, but is also an up and down team and we beat them last year to boot. Memphis has been god awful in football, UNT is a better program, heck ODU might be a better program.

The league added two 8-5 teams in FIU and LaTech. Added major markets in Dallas, Miami, Charlotte and Norfolk. Added top basketball schools in ODU and Charlotte. Also remember that ODU has had the most successful start of any program in the history of the FCS, and has a very fertile recruiting ground to pull from as they move to FBS.

GP2000,

Southern Miss, East Carolina, Marshall, and Tulsa are all recognizable teams with plenty of alumni in the NFL. They are better teams then what is currently in the Sun Belt. Not to mention, Tulane, Tulsa, and Rice are very fine academic institutions ranked in the top 100 universities in the nation. Not to mention, C-USA is definitely an upgrade in national perception.

Better opponents, better academics, better TV deal, better bowl game tie ins... C-USA is a step up from the Sun Belt.

Good points by fiu fan, pikedanny, and Jules in putting the move to the CUSA in perspective. It has several elements whick makes the move a clearly positive one. Also, the $$$ distribution in the past has averaged a little over $3.3 million per team, as compared to the SBC's distribution average which comes to less than $400k (maybe $300k). With the departure of several CUSA teams, the distribution might be affected, but clearly not to the extent to wipe out he enormous payout difference between CUSA and SBC.

Go FIU!

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