|Region||Southern United States|
|Commissioner||Judy MacLeod (since 2015)|
Conference USA (C-USA or CUSA) is an intercollegiate athletic conference whose current member institutions are located within the Southern United States. The conference participates in the NCAA's Division I in all sports. C-USA's offices are located in Dallas, Texas.
C-USA was founded in 1995 by the merger of the Metro Conference and Great Midwest Conference, two Division I conferences that did not sponsor football. However, the merger did not include either Great Midwest member Dayton or Metro members VCU and Virginia Tech. Since this left an uneven number of teams in the conference, Houston of the dissolving Southwest Conference was extended an invitation and agreed to join following the SWC's disbanding at the end of the 1995-96 academic year. The conference immediately started competition in all sports, except football which started in 1996.
The conference saw radical changes for the 2005-06 academic year. The Big East Conference had lost several teams, and looked to Conference USA to attract replacements. Five C-USA members departed for the Big East, including three football-playing schools (Cincinnati, Louisville, and South Florida) and two non-football schools (DePaul and Marquette; both joined the New Big East in 2013). Another two schools (Charlotte and Saint Louis) left for the Atlantic 10; TCU joined the Mountain West (and is now in the Big 12 with several other former Southwest Conference members); and a ninth member, Army, which was C-USA football-only, opted to become an independent in that sport again.
With the loss of these teams, C-USA lured six teams from other conferences: UCF and Marshall from the MAC, as well as Rice, SMU, Tulsa, and later UTEP from the WAC. Note that UCF played in the MAC for football only; for all other sports, it was a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference.
With C-USA's membership now consisting of 12 schools, all of which sponsor football, the conference adopted a two-division alignment.
In 2013, C-USA entered its next phase with the departure of four schools (Houston, Memphis, SMU, and UCF) for the American Athletic Conference, the football-sponsoring portion of the former Big East Conference. This was again the result of Big East schools leaving for the ACC, this time being Syracuse and Pittsburgh. It was announced in early 2012 that Conference USA was in talks with the Mountain West Conference about forming either a football alliance or conference merger in the future.
However, when the conferences discussed their plans with the NCAA, they were told that if they merged, the new league would receive only one automatic bid to NCAA championships; at least one of the former conferences would lose expected future revenues from the NCAA men's basketball tournament; and at least one former conference would lose exit fees from any schools that departed for the new league. As a result, both C-USA and the MW backed away from a full merger. As of April 2012 However, after the MW added more members, the alliance was apparently abandoned., the likeliest scenario was an all-sports alliance in which both conferences retain separate identities.
For men's soccer, there was a chance that the MW, SEC, and C-USA along with the one Sun Belt member (FIU), that sponsor the sport, would play under the C-USA's men's soccer program. The MW, which does not sponsor men's soccer, would take three of the four members that offer the sport (UNLV, Air Force, New Mexico--San Diego State is a Pac-12 associate member in that sport), join C-USA's three full members that offer the sport (UAB, Marshall, Tulsa), the two SEC members already in C-USA for the sport (Kentucky, South Carolina), and the Sun Belt's FIU. However, the only MW member school that ultimately moved to C-USA men's soccer was New Mexico.
For the 2013-14 season C-USA invited five new members to join their conference, with all accepting. UTSA and Louisiana Tech joined from the WAC and North Texas and FIU, (an affiliate member of C-USA joining for men's soccer in 2005), from the Sun Belt Conference. Old Dominion, which already housed five of its sports in C-USA, moved the rest of its athletic program from the CAA (except for field hockey, women's lacrosse and wrestling, with the three sports joining the new Big East, the Atlantic Sun, and the MAC respectively because C-USA does not sponsor those sports) and upgraded its football program from the Football Championship Subdivision. Charter member Charlotte returned from the A-10 and accelerated its recently established football program, which was set to begin play in 2013 as an FCS school, to FBS in 2015 with full conference rights in 2016.
On November 27, 2012, it was announced that Tulane would leave the conference to join the Big East in all sports, and East Carolina would join the Big East for football only (ECU's membership was upgraded to all-sports in March 2013 after the Big East's non-football members, save for ACC-bound Notre Dame, announced they were leaving to form a new conference which took the Big East name, leaving the football-playing members to become the American Athletic Conference). Conference USA responded by adding Middle Tennessee and Florida Atlantic, both from the Sun Belt.
Citing financial difficulties, the UAB football program was shut down on December 2, 2014. According to Conference USA bylaws, member schools must sponsor football. In January 2015, UAB announced an independent re-evaluation of the program and the finances involved, leaving open a possible resumption of the program as early as the 2016 season. On January 29, 2015, the conference announced that there was no time pressure in making a decision regarding UAB's future membership. The conference also stated that it would wait for the results of the new study before any further discussions on the subject. On June 1, UAB announced that it would reinstate football effective with the 2016 season, presumably keeping the school in C-USA for the immediate future. The return of football was later pushed back to 2017. The Blazers won the 2018 conference championship their second year back.
Commissioner Britton Banowsky stepped down on September 15, 2015 to become the head of the College Football Playoff Foundation. Executive associate commissioner and chief operating officer Judy MacLeod was subsequently named interim commissioner. On October 26 MacLeod was named the conference's third official commissioner, also becoming the first woman to head an FBS conference.
|University of Alabama at Birmingham||Birmingham, Alabama||1969||1995[a 1]||21,923||Blazers|
|Florida Atlantic University||Boca Raton, Florida||1961||2013||29,772||Owls|
|Florida International University||University Park, Florida||1965||2013[a 2]||58,064||Panthers|
|Louisiana Tech University||Ruston, Louisiana||1894||2013||12,467||Bulldogs & Lady Techsters|
|Marshall University||Huntington, West Virginia||1837||2005||13,204||Thundering Herd|
|Middle Tennessee State University||Murfreesboro, Tennessee||1911||2013||21,913||Blue Raiders|
|University of North Carolina at Charlotte||Charlotte, North Carolina||1946||2013[a 3]||29,710||49ers|
|University of North Texas||Denton, Texas||1890||2013||38,087||Mean Green|
|Old Dominion University||Norfolk, Virginia||1930||2013[a 4]||24,176||Monarchs & Lady Monarchs[a 5]|
|Rice University||Houston, Texas||1912||2005||7,124||Owls|
|University of Southern Mississippi||Hattiesburg, Mississippi||1910||1995||14,509||Golden Eagles|
|University of Texas at El Paso||El Paso, Texas||1914||2005||25,151||Miners|
|University of Texas at San Antonio||San Antonio, Texas||1969||2013||30,674||Roadrunners|
|Western Kentucky University||Bowling Green, Kentucky||1906||2014[a 6]||19,456||Hilltoppers & Lady Toppers|
In this table, all dates reflect the calendar year of entry into Conference USA, which for spring sports is the year before the start of competition.
|University of Kentucky||Lexington, Kentucky||1865||26,054||Wildcats||2005||soccer (m)||Southeastern|
|University of South Carolina||Columbia, South Carolina||1801||28,481||Gamecocks||2005||Southeastern|
|University of Central Florida||Orlando, Florida||1963||Knights||2005||2013||The American|
|University of Cincinnati||Cincinnati, Ohio||1819||Bearcats||1995||2005|
|DePaul University||Chicago, Illinois||1898||Blue Demons||Big East|
|East Carolina University||Greenville, North Carolina||1907||Pirates||2001[b 1]||2014||The American|
|University of Houston||Houston, Texas||1927||Cougars||1996[b 2]||2013|
|University of Louisville||Louisville, Kentucky||1798||Cardinals||1995||2005||Atlantic Coast|
|Marquette University||Milwaukee, Wisconsin||1881||Golden Eagles||Big East|
|University of Memphis||Memphis, Tennessee||1912||Tigers||2013||The American|
|Saint Louis University||St. Louis, Missouri||1818||Billikens||2005||Atlantic 10|
|University of South Florida||Tampa, Florida||1956||Bulls||The American|
|Southern Methodist University||University Park, Texas||1911||Mustangs||2005||2013|
|Texas Christian University||Fort Worth, Texas||1873||Horned Frogs||2001||2005||Big 12|
|Tulane University||New Orleans, Louisiana||1834||Green Wave||1995||2014||The American|
|University of Tulsa||Tulsa, Oklahoma||1894||Golden Hurricane||2005|
In this table, all dates reflect each school's actual entry into and departure from Conference USA. For spring sports, the joining date is the calendar year before the start of competition. For fall sports, the departure date is the calendar year after the last season of competition.
|University of Alabama||Tuscaloosa, Alabama||1831||Crimson Tide||2009||2014||rowing||Southeastern[c 1]|
|United States Military Academy (Army)||West Point, New York||1802||Black Knights||1998||2005||football||Patriot[c 2]|
|California State University, Bakersfield||Bakersfield, California||1965||Roadrunners||2007||2010||swimming & diving (w)||Western Athletic|
|California State University, Sacramento (Sacramento State)||Sacramento, California||1947||Hornets||2013||2014||rowing||Big Sky[c 3]|
|Colorado College||Colorado Springs, Colorado||1874||Tigers||2006||soccer (w)||Southern Collegiate|
(NCAA Division III)
|University of Kansas||Lawrence, Kansas||1865||Jayhawks||2009||rowing||Big 12|
|Kansas State University||Manhattan, Kansas||1863||Wildcats|
|University of New Mexico||Albuquerque, New Mexico||1889||Lobos||2013||2019||soccer (m)||Mountain West|
|University of North Dakota||Grand Forks, North Dakota||1883||Fighting Hawks||2008||2011||swimming & diving (w)||Big Sky[c 4]|
|University of Northern Colorado||Greeley, Colorado||1889||Bears||2007||2010|
|University of Oklahoma||Norman, Oklahoma||1890||Sooners||2009||2014||rowing||Big 12|
|San Diego State University||San Diego, California||1947||Aztecs||2013||Mountain West[c 3]|
|University of Tennessee||Knoxville, Tennessee||1794||Lady Volunteers||2009||Southeastern[c 1]|
|University of Texas at Austin||Austin, Texas||1883||Longhorns||Big 12|
|West Virginia University||Morgantown, West Virginia||1867||Mountaineers||2012|
Full members (all-sports) Full members (non-football) Affiliate members (football-only) Affiliate member (other sport)Other Conference Other Conference
Conference USA sponsors championship competition in nine men's and ten women's NCAA sanctioned sports. Two schools are affiliate members for men's soccer.
|Swimming & Diving||-||7|
|Track and Field (Indoor)||10||13|
|Track and Field (Outdoor)||10||13|
Men's varsity sports not sponsored by Conference USA which are played by current full C-USA members:
Women's varsity sports not sponsored by Conference USA which are played by current full C-USA members:
|School||Beach volleyball||Bowling||Field hockey||Lacrosse||Rifle[a]||Rowing||Sailing[b]|
|Old Dominion||No||No||Big East||Big East||No||The American||MAISA|
Conference USA uses a divisional format only for football.
|Florida Atlantic||2001||92-126||.422||3||3-0||2||Lane Kiffin|
|Middle Tennessee||1911||581-430-28||.573||8||2-6||13||Rick Stockstill|
|Old Dominion||1930||120-83-4||.589||1||1-0||0||Bobby Wilder|
|Western Kentucky||1908||575-400-30||.587||5||3-2||13||Tyson Helton|
|Louisiana Tech||1901||620-462-39||.570||11||7-3-1||25||Skip Holtz|
|North Texas||1913||516-506-33||.505||10||2-8||24||Seth Littrell|
|Southern Miss||1912||590-423-26||.580||23||11-12||8||Jay Hopson|
The highest-ranked champion from the so-called "Group of Five" conferences (The American, C-USA, MAC, Mountain West, and Sun Belt) is guaranteed a berth in one of the non-semifinal bowls of the College Football Playoff if the group's top team is not in the playoff.
|Cotton Bowl Classic||Arlington, Texas||AT&T Stadium||at-large|
|Fiesta Bowl||Glendale, Arizona||State Farm Stadium||at-large|
|Peach Bowl||Atlanta, Georgia||Mercedes-Benz Stadium||at-large|
For the 2014-19 seasons, Conference USA is guaranteed at least five of the following bowl games.
|Arizona Bowl||Tucson, Arizona||Arizona Stadium||Mountain West|
|Armed Forces Bowl||Fort Worth, Texas||Amon G. Carter Stadium||The American|
|Bahamas Bowl||Nassau, Bahamas||Thomas Robinson Stadium||The American|
|Boca Raton Bowl||Boca Raton, Florida||FAU Stadium||The American|
|First Responder Bowl||Dallas, Texas||Cotton Bowl||Big 12|
|Frisco Bowl||Frisco, Texas||Toyota Stadium||The American|
|Hawaii Bowl||Honolulu, Hawaii||Aloha Stadium||Mountain West|
|Independence Bowl||Shreveport, Louisiana||Independence Stadium||ACC|
|Miami Beach Bowl||Miami, Florida||Marlins Park||The American|
|New Mexico Bowl||Albuquerque, New Mexico||Dreamstyle Stadium||Mountain West|
|New Orleans Bowl||New Orleans, Louisiana||Mercedes-Benz Superdome||Sun Belt|
|Gasparilla Bowl||Tampa, Florida||Raymond James Stadium||The American|
Current or former C-USA in conference rivalries:
|Teams||Rivalry Name||Trophy||Meetings||Record||Series Leader||Current Streak|
|UAB||Memphis||Battle for the Bones||Bones Trophy||7||4-3||UAB||Memphis won 1|
|FIU||Florida Atlantic||Shula Bowl||Don Shula Award||15||5-10||Florida Atlantic||FIU won 1|
|Louisiana Tech||Southern Miss||Rivalry in Dixie||--||46||15-31||Southern Miss||Louisiana Tech won 2|
|Marshall||East Carolina||East Carolina-Marshall football rivalry||--||15||10-5||East Carolina||Marshall won 1|
|Middle Tennessee||Western Kentucky||100 Miles of Hate||--||65||34-31-1||Middle Tennessee||WKU won 2|
|Middle Tennessee||Troy||Battle for the Palladium||The Palladium||20||12-8||Middle Tennessee||Middle Tennessee won 1|
|Western Kentucky||Marshall||Moonshine Throwdown||--||10||6-4||Marshall||Marshall won 2|
|North Texas||SMU||Safeway Bowl||--||34||28-5-1||SMU||North Texas won 1|
|Rice||Houston||Bayou Bucket Classic||--||40||11-29||Houston||Houston won 3|
|Rice||SMU||Battle for the Mayor's Cup||Mayor's Cup||89||40-48-1||SMU||Rice won 1|
|Southern Miss||Memphis||Black and Blue Bowl||--||63||40-22-1||Southern Miss||Memphis won 1|
|Southern Miss||Tulane||Battle for the Bell||The Bell||30||23-7||Southern Miss||Southern Miss won 6|
For the most recent season, see 2018-19 Conference USA men's basketball season.
This list goes through the 2017-18 season.
|UAB||1979||797-482||.623||15||10-15||Bartow Arena||Robert Ehsan|
|Charlotte||1963||844-719||.540||11||7-12||Dale F. Halton Arena||Ron Sanchez|
|Florida Atlantic||1989||322-557||.366||1||0-1||FAU Arena||Dusty May|
|FIU||1982||409-635||.392||1||0-1||Ocean Bank Convocation Center||Jeremy Ballard|
|Louisiana Tech||1910||1352-1021||.570||5||4-5||Thomas Assembly Center||Eric Konkol|
|Marshall||1907||1484-1103-2||.574||6||1-6||Cam Henderson Center||Dan D'Antoni|
|Middle Tennessee||1914||1233-1046||.541||9||4-9||Murphy Center||Nick McDevitt|
|North Texas||1915||1149-1306||.468||3||0-3||UNT Coliseum||Grant McCasland|
|Old Dominion||1951||1160-729||.614||11||3-11||Ted Constant Convocation Center||Jeff Jones|
|Rice||1915||1100-1422||.436||4||2-5||Tudor Fieldhouse||Scott Pera|
|Southern Miss||1913||1242-1060-1||.540||3||0-3||Reed Green Coliseum||Doc Sadler|
|UTEP||1915||1377-1046||.568||17||14-16||Don Haskins Center||Rodney Terry|
|UTSA||1982||546-544||.501||4||1-4||Convocation Center||Steve Henson|
|Western Kentucky||1915||1775-912||.661||23||19-24||E. A. Diddle Arena||Rick Stansbury|
This list goes through the 2012-13 season.
|UAB||1979||537-495||.520||2||2-2||Bartow Arena||Randy Norton|
|Charlotte||1976||537-398||.574||2||0-2||Dale F. Halton Arena||Cara Consuegra|
|Florida Atlantic||1985||387-419||.480||1||0-1||FAU Arena||Jim Jabir|
|FIU||1976||668-396||.628||6||3-6||Ocean Bank Convocation Center||Tiara Malcom|
|Louisiana Tech||1975||1031-244||.809||27||65-25||Thomas Assembly Center||Brooke Stoehr|
|Marshall||1970||591-597||.497||1||0-1||Cam Henderson Center||Tony Kemper|
|Middle Tennessee||1976||764-361||.679||16||5-16||Murphy Center||Rick Insell|
|North Texas||1977||434-602||.419||1||0-1||UNT Coliseum||Jalie Mitchell|
|Old Dominion||1970||959-358||.728||25||34-24||Ted Constant Convocation Center||Nikki McCray|
|Rice||1979||511-503||.504||2||1-2||Tudor Fieldhouse||Tina Langley|
|Southern Miss||1976||618-476||.565||8||4-8||Reed Green Coliseum||Joye Lee-McNelis|
|UTEP||1975||461-579||.443||2||1-2||Don Haskins Center||Kevin Baker|
|UTSA||1982||453-449||.502||2||0-2||Convocation Center||Kristen Holt|
|Western Kentucky||1914||848-440||.658||16||17-16||E. A. Diddle Arena||Greg Collins|
"RS" is regular season.
No team has won an NCAA team championship as a member of C-USA.
However, the following C-USA teams have won national championships when they were not affiliated with C-USA:
|FIU||2||Men's Soccer (Division II)||1982, 1984|
|Louisiana Tech||5||Football (Division II)||1972, 1973|
|Women's basketball||1981, 1982, 1988|
|Marshall||2||Football (Division I-AA)||1992, 1996|
|North Texas||4||Men's golf||1949, 1950, 1951, 1952|
|Old Dominion||28||Men's basketball||1975 (Division II)|
|Women's basketball||1979 (AIAW), 1980 (AIAW), 1985|
|Women's field hockey||1982, 1983, 1984, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1998, 2000|
|Sailing||1982, 1987, 1989 (Three classes), 1990 (Two classes), 1992, 1996, 1998 (Two classes), 2002 (Two classes), 2003, 2004|
|Southern Miss||2||Football (Division II)||1958, 1962|
|Men's outdoor track and field||1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982|
|Men's indoor track and field||1974, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982|
|Men's cross country||1969, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981|
|Western Kentucky||1||Football (Division I-AA)||2002|
|School||Football stadium||Capacity||Basketball arena||Capacity||Baseball park||Capacity|
|UAB||Legion Field[a]||71,594||Bartow Arena||8,508||Regions Field
Jerry D. Young Memorial Field
|Charlotte||Jerry Richardson Stadium||15,300||Dale F. Halton Arena||9,105||Hayes Stadium||3,000|
|Florida Atlantic||FAU Stadium||29,419||FAU Arena||5,000||FAU Baseball Stadium||3,000|
|FIU||Riccardo Silva Stadium||20,000||FIU Arena||5,000||FIU Baseball Stadium||2,000|
|Louisiana Tech||Joe Aillet Stadium||28,562||Thomas Assembly Center||8,098||J. C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park||3,000|
|Marshall||Joan C. Edwards Stadium||38,227||Cam Henderson Center||9,048||Appalachian Power Park[b]
Kennedy Center Field
Linda K. Epling Stadium
|Middle Tennessee||Johnny "Red" Floyd Stadium||30,788||Murphy Center||11,802||Reese Smith Jr. Field||2,600|
|North Texas||Apogee Stadium||30,850||UNT Coliseum||10,032||Non-baseball school|
|Old Dominion||S.B. Ballard Stadium||22,480||Ted Constant Convocation Center||8,639||Bud Metheny Baseball Complex||2,500|
|Rice||Rice Stadium||47,000||Tudor Fieldhouse||5,208||Reckling Park||5,368|
|Southern Miss||M. M. Roberts Stadium||36,000||Reed Green Coliseum||8,095||Pete Taylor Park||5,036|
|UTEP||Sun Bowl Stadium||51,500||Don Haskins Center||12,222||Non-baseball school|
|UTSA||Alamodome||65,000||Convocation Center||4,080||Roadrunner Field||800|
|Western Kentucky||Houchens Industries-L. T. Smith Stadium||22,113||E. A. Diddle Arena||7,326||Nick Denes Field||1,500|
In 2016, C-USA began a long-term television contract with lead partners ESPN and CBS Sports Network, with ESPN carrying 5 football games and the football championship game; and CBSSN carrying 6 football games, 5 basketball games, and both the men's and women's basketball championship games. C-USA also renewed and expanded its partnership with American Sports Network; owned and operated by Sinclair Broadcast Group, ASN will carry between 15 and 30 football games; between 13 and 55 men's basketball games; and between 2 and 5 women's basketball games. ASN will also carry 10 events in other C-USA sports.
The conference also entered into a contract with beIN Sports for 10 football games (marking the first domestic American football rights the network has ever acquired, and the first broadcast rights deal it had ever entered into with a college conference), 10 men's and 10 women's basketball games, 12 baseball and 12 softball games, 10 men's and 10 women's soccer games (excluding conference men's soccer games at Kentucky and South Carolina, covered by their primary conference's contract), and 10 women's volleyball games.
Men's soccer associate members Kentucky and South Carolina have an agreement with their primary conference for other sports to carry all home matches online through the SEC Network service, including all Conference USA conference matches. ESPN and the SEC Network will have first rights to all C-USA home men's soccer matches featuring both schools.
In 2017 American Sports Network and Campus Insiders merged creating Stadium. Stadium's C-USA content will be available to stream on Twitter and Pluto TV. In 2017 Stadium completed a deal with Facebook to exclusively stream some C-USA football games. In 2017 C-USA entered an agreement with the streaming subscription service FloSports to stream three football games.
In 2016 C-USA partnered with SIDEARM Sports to create a subscription based streaming service named CUSA.tv. In a statement C-USA Commissioner Judy MacLeod said. "Thanks to our partnership with SIDEARM Sports, this new site showcases a clean modern look with easy access to information and we are proud to offer live content and original feature stories through our CUSA.tv." Various sports including football, basketball, and baseball will exclusively air on CUSA.tv when they are not picked up by other networks.
One of the current member schools, Rice University is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), an organization of 62 leading research universities in the United States and Canada. Rice and UAB are doctorate-granting universities with "very high research activity," the highest classification given by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Rice, UAB, Louisiana Tech, and Charlotte are ranked as Tier One National Universities in U.S. News and World Report's 2018 Best Colleges rankings.
|University of Alabama at Birmingham||Public (UA System)||Research (Very High)||N/A[d 1]||149 (National)||518|
|Florida Atlantic University||Public (SUSF)||Research (High)||$270,933,875||RNP (National)[d 2]||536|
|Florida International University||Public (SUSF)||Research (High)||$230,954,000||RNP (National)[d 2]||487|
|Louisiana Tech University||Public (UL System)||Research (High)||N/A[d 1]||199 (National)||389|
|Marshall University||Public||Master's (Larger)||$114,742,403||45 (Regional: South)||N/A[d 3]|
|Middle Tennessee State University||Public (TBR)||Doctoral/Research||$75,710,000||RNP (National)[d 2]||635|
|University of North Carolina at Charlotte||Public (UNC System)||Doctoral/Research||$166,591,692||194 (National)||495|
|University of North Texas||Public (UNT System)||Research (High)||$131,749,714||RNP (National)[d 2]||570|
|Old Dominion University||Public||Research (High)||$240,900,000||210 (National)[d 2]||551|
|Rice University||Private||Research (Very High)||$4,836,728,000||18 (National)||32|
|University of Southern Mississippi||Public||Research (High)||$68,863,000||RNP (National)[d 2]||575|
|University of Texas at El Paso||Public (UT System)||Research (High)||N/A[d 1]||RNP (National)[d 2]||491|
|University of Texas at San Antonio||Public (UT System)||Research (High)||N/A[d 1]||RNP (National)[d 2]||642|
|Western Kentucky University||Public||Master's (Larger)||$118,396,000||31 (Regional: South)||584|