C-USA/MWC Merger a Flawed Idea Doomed to Fail

Guest Author: Chadd Scott of ChuckOliver.net

I love big ideas.  I love creative solutions, collaboration and the power of thinking with a futures mindset.  I am passionate enough about these topics to write a book about them and their role in business  innovation, Saving Innovation: How to Harness the Incredible Promise of Innovation.  As an expert on innovation I can tell you that the coming merger of C-USA and the MWC into a new, hemispheric athletic league is not innovative, it is a copycat strategy doomed to fail.

There is nothing new in the leagues’ proposal aside from the possibility of a conference semi-final and championship football game which I doubt will pass NCAA muster.  C-USA and the MWC are simply copying what we’ve seen the Big 10, SEC, ACC, Big 12 and Pac-12 do: expand their geographic footprint to raise their attractiveness to potential media partners.

Here’s the problem. Click to continue reading

3 thoughts on “C-USA/MWC Merger a Flawed Idea Doomed to Fail”

  1. College football should be reduced to 64 teams in four 16 team conference. The conference championship should be first round of a play off and leave a four team, two round playoff.

    The 64 schools should be the schools that have hangers-on (Wal-Mart alumni). Since no school currently in the MWC or C-USA have such fans, they should all drop football and probably should drop having college sports teams.

    Without hangers-on fans, there no reason for a university to have an Athletic Department.
    The first school that drops sports will get national recognition for the choice.

  2. Here’s why I think the MWC/C-USA merger took place. They think this is their best and final chance at getting into the ‘big boy club’ and getting the financial rewards that go along with admission into that club, most notably a big TV contract and a slice of the BCS football pie. They think more is better when it comes to getting a big TV contract and they also want the chance to play in a BCS game every year to get the money and notoriety that goes with it.

    College athletics has become all about money, football is the sport that generates the lion’s share of the revenue (and attention) and the BCS is the jackpot. They are just trying to squeeze into the club’s back door before it gets shut and locked permanently.

    That having been said, I suspect there may be another reason for this decision. It’s commonly referred to as ‘cya’. This merger was basically required of them, in my opinion, in order to save face and possibly to save jobs/careers.

    I think the MWC and C-USA commissioners and athletic directors felt pressured to try to get a piece of the ‘big boy’ pie and the failure to at least try to accomplish that would have been viewed by other interested parties (university presidents/boards of regents, coaches, boosters/donors, alumni, fans, etc.) as unacceptable. It could have resulted in a lot of heat from the above-referenced parties for a long time to come and may well have resulted in job loss and/or career damage for some of them. They would have been viewed as passively watching from the sidelines while the opportunity to become a ‘big boy’ passed them by.

    Because of the rapid and significant changes that have happened in college athletics in just the past few months, I think the MWC and C-USA decision-makers felt they had to do something/ anything and they ended up as partners in this merger almost by default. In the process of doing this merger, they can now say they have tried to become a ‘big boy conference’ and if it doesn’t work out, they can respond that “Well, at least we tried.”

    That’s the ‘cya’ response they can fall back on if/when necessary. They essentially bought a lottery ticket in the long shot hope of hitting the jackpot. If they win, the MWC and C-USA commissioners and athletic directors will be stars, their jobs will be secure and they will probably all get nice big raises. If they lose, they’ll say “We had to try and we did; it just didn’t work out. We didn’t create this whole situation but we were forced to participate in it. Don’t blame us.”

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