A League with Vision

Aug 26, 2012 -- 7:57pm

Give Conference USA credit for one thing: if the league isn’t going to have the best football on the field each Saturday (and, while good, it isn’t close to the SEC, Big 12 and others) it seems determined to have the best television markets of any college football conference. And it succeeds.

In today’s college football world it’s all about how much money a conference’s TV deal brings each of the league members. Since C-USA can’t walk into negotiations with networks and hand over the best football, it gives CBS, Fox and Comcast (the three networks that carry C-USA football) the next best thing – top markets like Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, Orlando, Memphis and Birmingham. Even some of the lower-ranking markets in the league (Tulsa and El Paso) at least offer medium-sized markets to help boost the league’s television revenue.

After this season the league loses Orlando, Dallas, Memphis and one of its two Houston properties (UH, while Rice remains). It is replacing those markets with schools in Miami, Charlotte and San Antonio, among others. While still lagging far behind the upper crust of college conferences in terms of play, C-USA continues to play the only hand it has: great TV markets and decent football.


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