Memphis Football 2011 Info - Conference USA

Conference USA Website

C-USA Bowl Partners

After marking its 15-year milestone during the 2009-10 season, Conference USA is still going strong. From the beginning, dedication to excellence has been the league's guiding principle and remains today a common thread for a promising future. C-USA is home to 12 nationally prominent, tradition-rich members in East Carolina, Houston, Marshall, Memphis, Rice, SMU, Southern Miss, Tulane, Tulsa, UAB, UCF and UTEP. This combination enhances men's and women's programs that are immersed in athletic success and academic prowess. Together, we are committed to excellence, integrity and leadership in athletics, academics and in our communities.

All C-USA institutions sponsor Division I-A football, along with several other men's and women's athletic programs, many of which compete regularly for NCAA Championships. C-USA sponsors competition in 20 sports - nine for men (baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis and indoor and outdoor track and field) and 11 for women (basketball, cross country, golf, rowing, softball, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field and volleyball).

The league sponsors numerous academic awards, including the Commissioner's Honor Roll and the Commissioner's Academic Medal, indicative of outstanding achievement in the classroom.

C-USA annually awards 12 postgraduate scholarships, along with the Sport Academic Award, Scholar Athletes of the Year and the Institutional Academic Excellence Award. Conference USA also added a Spirit of Service Award, recognizing student-athletes three times a year for a combination of significant community service efforts, good academic standing and participation in their elected sport.

Conference USA performers have achieved great success in competition, placing the league among the top conferences in the nation. In football alone, 62 teams have earned bowl bids.

Conference USA has guaranteed spots in six games during the 2011 season and serves as a primary back-up for a possible seventh game. The AutoZone Liberty Bowl has the top selection of C-USA teams and the league will also send teams to the Beef O'Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg, Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl and TicketCity Bowl this season. The conference also has an agreement with the Military Bowl to participate in that game should be the ACC or Navy be unable to provide a team for that bowl.

A Conference USA champion may qualify for the Bowl Championship Series if ranked in the BCS final Top 12 or, in the BCS Top 16 and ranked higher than a team which receives automatic qualification.

C-USA institutions are among the nation's best in academic performance among student-athletes, bolstered by the fact that student-athletes at league schools have a higher graduation rate than the general student population. Among C-USA's 5,000 student-athletes, there are champions off the playing field as well. In 15 years, 153 student-athletes earned national ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America honors, while 541 were named All-District. In addition, more than 20,000 student-athletes have been named to the Commissioner's Honor Roll or received the Commissioner's Academic Medal, indicative of outstanding achievement in the classroom.

C-USA enjoys significant television exposure through a multi-tiered selection process that is rooted in partnerships with FOX Sports Media Group and CBS Sports Network. By partnering with FOX Sports Media Group and extending an existing partnership with CBS Sports Network, the league has substantially increased the number of national and regional appearances for football, men's and women's basketball, and all other conference sports.

Along with the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10 and SEC, Conference USA is one of the seven conferences having significant representation in the NCAA governance structure. The Presidents of the member institutions serve as the league's Board of Directors.

A PROUD HISTORY; A promising future
Conference USA was formed in 1995 and quickly emerged as one of the nation's top conferences. The conference unveiled its name, logo and commissioner on April 24, 1995 in Chicago. The league's charter members included Charlotte, Cincinnati, DePaul, Houston, Louisville, Marquette, Memphis, Saint Louis, Southern Miss, Tulane, UAB and USF. Eleven of the institutions began athletic participation in 1995, while Houston joined competition in the fall of 1996.

The league's headquarters were established in Chicago and after nine years, relocated to the current office in Irving, Texas. Britton Banowsky was named Commissioner in October 2002, succeeding Mike Slive, the league's first commissioner.

C-USA added East Carolina (September, 1996) and the United States Military Academy (March, 1997) as football members. ECU began league competition in 1997; Army in 1998 and UAB began football play in 1999. The league added TCU and ECU (1999) for all sports and they began competition in 2001. USF started C-USA football in 2003.

After celebrating its 10th Anniversary during the 2004-05 season, C-USA began a new chapter in 2005-06 when its current membership came together to form the new look of the league.

Since its formation, C-USA has established a strong foundation, an identity and a history that reflects the league's national presence. Fifteen years of remarkable history has reinforced the league's position in collegiate athletics, setting the course for the next decade and beyond.

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