The Memphis Tigers and the Big East are reportedly in "the final stages of negotiations" to add the Tigers in all sports.
Will the move be for next year so the Big East doesn't have to play football with just seven members? Nope. The date is for 2013 which doesn't do the league a bit of good this upcoming football season. Memphis is a founding member of Conference USA which might give them the freedom to depart a conference which might be blown up anyway for a merger for the Mountain West. If we're being honest, they need to move for the 2012 season, as awkward as that might be. -- Big East Coast Bias
If this works out the basketball strength of conference USA will be seriously diminished, though they will hardly notice in football. With this move CUSA will struggle to be a multi bid conference come March.
This move is seriously good news for the MAC, if not all of its members.
This makes Conference USA less attractive to Temple, and it demonstrated just how much sway Villanova has. Bring in the Tigers because they are a good hoops program but leave out Temple? By every objective measure the Owls would be a better all around choice but the hoops only members are looking out for each other. Nova does not want a recruiting rival within spitting distance.
The possible scenario which might hurt the MAC is panic among the conference USA members. If they decided to start throwing around football only invites than maybe Temple goes. I say maybe because the reported 2.5 million dollar buyout and the recent hits they took in football (UCF, Houston, SMU) might be enough to make Temple think twice.
UMass is at least five years away from being on any other conferences radar, and that only happens if their move up is quickly profitable in terms of wins and donations to the program.
So it looks like the Big East crippling Conference USA hoops, ignoring temple, and neutering any potential "alliance" between CUSA and whats left of the MWC made the MAC a more stable conference.
Conference USA currently only has eight members slated past 2013. That is nearly the number of bowl agreements that they have. If they don't reload from the sunbelt (geography) the WAC, MWC, or MAC they are going to start losing those games.