Does C-USA Deserve Its Name?

Most of the conferences in college sports have names that don’t make a lot of sense.

To start, some don’t know how to count:

  • The Big “10” (or B1G or whatever) has 14 teams
  • The Big “12” (or Big XII or whatever) has 10 teams

Also, some don’t make sense geographically:

  • The Atlantic Coast Conference has Louisville, a school over 500 miles from the Atlantic.
  • The Pac 12 has Colorado, a school nearly 1,000 miles from the Pacific.
  • The Southeastern Conference has Missouri, a school definitely not in the southeast that I assume was added because the SEC wanted the largest collection of Tiger teams.

Power 5 conferences aren’t alone in this name-confusion, but Group of 5 conferences seem to do a better job at naming themselves. The Mountain West schools are all out west close enough to mountains and the Sun Belt makes sense now that Idaho is gone (RIP).

But the G5 isn’t perfect. Pretty much every team in the Mid-American Conference is both north and east of the geographic center of America (Lebanon, KS):

mac map

So that leaves two FBS conferences left to overly criticize the names of: Conference USA and the American Athletic Conference.

First things first, I believe these conference’s names are way too similar. In a perfect world, there should only be one conference with a patriotic name, if for no other reason than to help new fans keep everything straight. With that being said, I’m going to blindly assume that everyone agrees with me.

Now that we’ve decided that #Muricah only needs one patriotic college sports association, the issue is picking which conference needs to change its name.

The easy answer would be for the AAC to change names, because that conference has only used the “American” name since 2013 (compared to C-USA’s 1995). But because we are talking about patriotic conferences, I think the most patriotic conference should get to keep its name.

But how will we decide? With rigorous analysis, of course!

Colors Red and Blue

The colors red, white, and blue are very American as evidenced by this inspection of the American flag:

flag analysis

There are eight schools that have both red and blue as primary colors (if we include all shades of red and blue). They are:

  • Arizona (Pac-12)
  • FAU (C-USA)
  • Fresno State (MWC)
  • Kansas (Big 12)
  • Louisiana Tech (C-USA)
  • Ole Miss (SEC)
  • SMU (American)
  • Tulsa (American)

Two for C-USA and two for the AAC. So, off the bat, we’re tied.

Hmm. What else is patriotic?


Is there anything more American than a bunch of cars turning left over and over again? (Or anything as tired as that turning left joke?) The answer is of course “Yes,” but NASCAR still sounds pretty ‘Murican.

There are 23 racetracks in the Nextel Sprint Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series. Using the obscure and highly technical internet tool called “Google Maps,” I found the closest FBS program to each track.

NASCAR Raceway Closest FBS Conference
Atlanta GA Tech ACC
Auto Club UCLA PAC-12
Bristol Tennessee SEC
Charlotte Charlotte C-USA
Chicagoland Northwestern Big 10
Darlington USC SEC
Daytona UCF American
Dover Navy American
Homestead-Miami FIU C-USA
Indianapolis Indiana Big 10
Sonoma Cal PAC-12
Kansas Kansas Big 12
Kentucky Cincinnati American
Las Vegas UNLV MWC
Martinsville Wake Forest ACC
Michigan Michigan Big 10
New Hampshire Boston College ACC
Phoenix Arizona St PAC-12
Pocono Temple American
Richmond Virginia ACC
Talladega UAB C-USA
Texas North Texas C-USA
Watkins Glen Syracuse ACC

Now we count the frequency of each conference.


Dang, still a tie between C-USA and the American.

So… umm… what else is American-y?

Military Academies

There are four military academies that field a college football team. The Coast Guard Academy Bears play Divsion 3 football, while three others are FBS:

Air Force MWC
Army Independent
Navy American

Finally, we have a tie breaker. We can now say with absolute certainty that the American is more patriotic than C-USA.


So C-USA needs to change its name. And while some Tech fans may suggest that the name C-UAB is the most accurate choice, I humbly submit the name: Louisiana Tech Is The Best School In The USA And You Are A Stupid Head If You Disagree With That Statement Conference, or LTITBSITUSAAYAASHIYDWTSC for short.

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