With the proposed merger with the Mountain West Conference fading into oblivion, Conference USA isn't waiting around for the next move.
CBSSports.com writer Brett McMurphy reported Tuesday that C-USA is adding not four, but six schools to the eight who aren't leaving for the Big East in 2013.
A conference source said four schools are a lock to join in 2013: Florida International, Louisiana Tech, Texas-San Antonio and North Texas. The source said the league really wants North Carolina-Charlotte, as long as the latter can raise its football program in a few years, and is intrigued by Old Dominion.
McMurphy reported that all six teams are coming on board, and said an official announcement could come as soon as Friday.
Charlotte is in the process of starting its football program, and will take its first official snaps in 2013. ODU, based in Norfolk, Va., restarted its long-dormant program in 2009, and could conceivably raise its program from the FCS sooner.
UT-San Antonio has finished just its first season, but is already beginning its two-year transition to the FBS. That's no reach, considering its home stadium (Alamodome), its first-year average attendance (35,000-plus) and the fact that the Roadrunners are the only high-profile football team in San Antonio.
No matter how quickly those schools can move on football, C-USA is moving quickly. The 2012-13 season is the league's last with Central Florida, Southern Methodist, Houston and Memphis, all going to the Big East.
When Charlotte and ODU raise their football programs to the FBS ranks, the 14 C-USA teams could be neatly split into East and West divisions, much like it is now. Logically, the East would contain Marshall, East Carolina, Southern Mississippi, FIU, Alabama-Birmingham, Charlotte and Old Dominion, while the West would have UTSA, Texas-El Paso, Tulsa, Rice, North Texas, Louisiana Tech and Tulane.