Keeping Score

C-USA loses Tulsa - What's next?

Tulsa is set to leave Conference USA to join the (Old) Big East, ESPN's Brett McMurphy is reporting.

This move has been expected for a while as folks in the Tulsa area could hardly contain their excitement over the pending invitation during the last few months.

Tulsa joins a league that is essentially a reconstituted Conference USA with Houston, Memphis, Cincinnati, South Florida, etc.

This means that USM was once again overlooked for Big East membership.

The Golden Eagles' best chance to make the leap to the Big East is for Cincinnati and UConn to leave the league and potentially join the ACC. That would leave the Big East to be run by a bunch of USM's former conference mates. It's hard to say which schools would be pro-USM, but you can bet several in the league will be open to considering the Golden Eagles at that point.

Even in that situation, USM is no lock to join the Big East.

It's also no sure thing that the Big East (or whatever it will be called) will actually be a better destination for the Golden Eagles.

The TV money in Conference USA is fairly comparable to the deal the Big East just got with ESPN The Big East's ESPN deal will also have to be renegotiated if two teams (UConn, Cincinnati) jump ship.

It's fair to assume that Western Kentucky will get an invite to Conference USA in short order.

Arkansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette and Texas State are possibly other considerations for C-USA.

If C-USA adds an eastern school, that will increase the odds that Southern Miss will wind up in the West Division, which will include Louisiana Tech as a potential good rival for the Eagles.