Cougars Finally Get AQ Conference Invite, According To Reports

Houston has recently being mentioned as a possible candidate to join the Big East conference in an effort to get that league up to 12 teams.

  • Live
6 Total Updates since October 11, 2011
  • Updates 5
  • Articles 1
  • All Updates 6

Reports: Big East Officially Offers Houston

As has been expected for a couple of days now, multiple reports on Monday night indicated that the Big East Conference formally extended an invitation to the University of Houston.

One sticking point for UH was reported to be whether or not the conference's current member schools would vote to raise the exit fee from $5 million to $10 million, which apparently also officially happened on Monday night. The primary reason for this is Louisville's flirtation with the Big XII, which will be looking to expand in the near future after Missouri reportedly chose to leave for the SEC on Monday.

While the Big East isn't a very good geographic fit for the Cougars, the most important aspect is that Houston will now be a member of a BCS automatic qualifying conference. The conference change will also result in a significantly larger athletics revenue for the school.

There has been some concern over the Big East being able to maintain it's AQ status in football, as the conference was already widely considered the weakest AQ conference even before Pittsburgh and Syracuse left for the ACC. However, the Orange hasn't had a 10-win season since 2001, and Pitt has never won the conference outright, so it's not like those two schools were the ones carrying the banner in the first place. The addition of Houston (currently #19 in the BCS rankings), and potentially SMU and Boise State (among others) should cement the conference's automatic bid for years to come.

The move would also put Houston in one of the nation's premier conferences for men's basketball. That may be a scary proposition for a team coming off a 4-12 campaign in Conference USA, but recruiting has already been on a major uptick as of late, and the conference change will give local kids even more reason to stay close to home. In hoops, the Coogs will be able to claim a more prestigious conference affiliation than either Texas-Austin or Texas A&M.

There could certainly be some growing pains, but getting out of a conference that gets two NCAA bids in a good year will be a huge plus in the long run.

The only sport where the Cougars would actually suffer a setback would be baseball, where Conference USA (along with the Big West) is considered a power conference, and the Big East (along with the Big Ten) is not.

Once the school makes the move official, I certainly hope that Mack Rhoades, and Rice AD Rick Greenspan move quickly to ensure that the two schools will continue to meet on a yearly basis in all major sports. Let's show the rest of the country that we're classier than Texas/A&M, Missouri/Kansas, et al.


Conference Realignment: Big East To Invite Houston On Monday, According To A Report

The Big East has had the Houston Cougars on their radar for a few weeks, and week after week the Big East was set to invite teams to shore up the football side of the Big East. However, a report from Sports Radio 610 that the Big East is set to invite the Houston Cougars, SMU Mustangs, Central Florida Knights, Boise St. Broncos, Air Force Falcons and Navy Midshipmen.

Houston would join in all sports as would SMU and Central Florida, but Air Force, Navy and Boise State are to receive an invite for football-only. Last night the Mountain West and Conference USA agreed to an alliance for football that was created to help strengthen the two leagues. The alliance has been created to have a title game with the idea that the winner to receive an automatic bid to the BCS, but that has not been discussed with BCS executive director Bill Hancock.

If the report is accurate and the Big East does extend an invite to Houston on Monday, the Cougars would then be on their way to a BCS league. 

For more on Big East expansion head over to Big East Coast Bias.


Conference Realignment: Conference USA, Mountain West Create An Alliance

At this moment the Houston Cougars are part of Conference USA and now they are part of an alliance between the Mountain West and Conference USA for football only. The announcement was made tonight and Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson and Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky are very excited about this:

"The role of a conference is to provide its members with the best possible environment in which to conduct their intercollegiate athletics programs," said Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson. "Rather than await changes in membership due to realignment, it became clear the best way to serve our institutions was to pursue an original concept. The Mountain West and C-USA share a number of similarities, and the creative merger of our football assets firmly positions our respective members for the future."

"The potential of this association is very exciting," Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky said. "By taking an innovative approach, we feel we can offer tremendous opportunities for exposure and stability without breaking up the regional rivalries that truly make up the college football tradition."

The idea of the alliance is to have a title game between each leagues champion, increase television revenue and earn a BCS bid for the alliance winner. However, none of those have been set up as of yet. In Friday evenings teleconference those three items have not been made official. 

Also, this alliance is expected to start in 2013, but it could possibly begin in 2012 if things can be worked out within the next 90 days. At least during the first two years the leagues will compete as two separate conferences, but after the initial years the idea is to create divisions and then have a playoff format to determine the conference champion with a semi-final matchup.

Also, one key point to consider is that Houston and the other named schools to be rumored to join the Big East all voted and approved this move.

For more on this merger head over to Mountain West Connection.


Conference Realignment: Houston Has Potential Invite To Join Big East, According To Reports

The Houston Cougars have been lobbying for a invite to any BCS conference and they may get their wish. Reports are coming from's Brett McMurphy and the New York Post that Houston is one of six teams that could receive an invite to join the Big East possibly as early as next week. 

The other five teams that are under consideration are the SMU Mustangs, Central Florida Knights, Navy Midshipmen, Air Force Falcons, Temple Owls and Boise St. Broncos. Houston is in consideration with SMU and Temple for two of the three spots.

Also, the exit fee to leave the Big East was voted and approved to be increased from $5 million to $10 million to create solidarity between the current members. The raised exit fee is what Navy and other schools were waiting for the Big East to do before considering joining their league.

If these reports are correct then these invites are expected to be handed out early next

Fore more on Big East expansion go visit Big East Coast  Bias.


Houston Alum Jim Nantz Is Part Of A Grassroots Effort To Get Houston Into A BCS League

Current CBS announcer Jim Nantz is a graduate of the University of Houston and Nantz is teaming up with the University of Houston Alumni Association by helping in a grassroots effort to get Houston into a BCS league. Houston is being considered for the Big East, but Nantz and the UHAA want to garner more support with this campaign.

Nantz writes a letter encouraging alumni to email in and let their voice be heard by saying Houston deserves to be in a BCS league. This is akin to calling your cable or satellite provider to get that channel they do not cover, it is a good effort but in the long run not going to make a difference. They even have a nice logo set up as well as a Facebook page to encourage people to support the cause.


If you do plan to email in it must be done by 12 p.m. Central time and here are the details to do so as well as a partial list the UHAA includes to say why Houston belongs in a BCS league:

• Houston is ranked the nation's sixth largest radio market and is the 10th ranked television market in the fourth largest city in the U.S.

• Director of Athletics Mack Rhoades has announced a new construction plan to replace Robertson Stadium and a major renovation plan for Hofheinz Pavilion.

• The NEW University of Houston is approaching a student body of 40,000 while remaining on track to admit 45,000 students in the next few years.

• UH has a growing international network that encompasses nearly 200,000 UH alumni.

Houston does have its qualities by being a large city with the a large television market and their recent success is a positive item to mention, but the Houston market is out shined by the University of Texas and Texas A&M. However, if a BCS league (Big East) is going off of the potential for what Houston could be then Houston looks be a good school to add. 


Conference Realignment: Big East Has Houston On Their Radar, According To A Report

Houston has recently being mentioned as a possible candidate to join the Big East conference in an effort to get that league up to 12 teams.

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation Houston

You must be a member of SB Nation Houston to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Houston. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Houston

You must be a member of SB Nation Houston to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Houston. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.