Arrow-right Camera

Conference USA, Mountain West to form nationwide conference

DALLAS – Members of Conference USA and current and future members of the Mountain West are on their way to forming a new league that will begin in 2013.

The 16 schools revealed plans Monday, taking a bigger-is-better approach that will create a conference with schools in five time zones.

“This is an exciting development that will stabilize the current conferences and create the first truly national conference with members in five time zones and television viewership from coast to coast,” UNLV President Neal Smatresk said in statement.

The statement said the new conference likely will have 18-24 schools, split into divisions, and not only have a football championship game but also semifinals and a basketball tournament.

School leaders said they plan to complete work on the new league in six months.

The plan is for the conferences to join forces and start over, possibly with new television deals. Both conferences currently are in the middle of contracts with CBS that run through 2016.