As reported on a bunch of teams are leaving Conference USA for the American Athletic Conference, maybe as early as the 2023 season. This would leave UTEP in a conference with 7 other schools, none of which are in Texas.

In fact, of the teams left, the one nearest UTEP is almost a thousand miles away (Louisiana Tech in Ruston). There are also rumblings and rumors (which may be more than just rumors by the time you read this) that some of the remaining teams will be looking to jump from C-USA to greener pastures.

The whole situation got me thinking about the nature of the college conferences. What it each school was required to “fit in” with the actual NAME of their conference? Conference USA is good to go because a.) it IS a conference and b.) all the schools are actually IN the United States of America.

Let’s examine some of the college conferences through this lens and see how well UTEP would fit in, based on the name of the conference.


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El Paso is the westernmost point in Texas AND there’s a huge mountain smack-dab in the center of town. San Diego doesn’t have any mountains so they’d get the boot to make room.

Strength of Match: 9 out of 10


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I think Texas is generally acknowledged to be “the West”. Some years I’ve wondered if “athletic” is an apt descriptor for the Miners.

Strength of Match: 6 out of 10


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While UTEP IS the finest institution of higher learning on the entire Westside, it’s still the desert. You’re more likely to find scorpions than ivy climbing up the side of our Nepalese-style walls.

Strength of Match: 0 out of 10


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El Paso IS the Sun City. And, the last time I checked, most people wear belts. So…

Strength of Match: 9 out of 10


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El Paso does have a valley. Two, actually…Upper and Lower. However, a quick check of Google maps confirms it. El Paso: NOT in Ohio.  But, then again, neither are Eastern Illinois, Southeast Missouri, Tennessee State OR Tennessee Tech. As I’m perusing the conference website, NONE of the teams in the Ohio Valley Conference are in Ohio! Boy, are they going to be embarrassed when somebody finally notices!

Strength of Match: 5 out of 10 (because of the valleys)


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I’ve never thought about it but now that I do…the El Paso sky IS pretty big, I guess. A lot bigger than lots of places where you can hardly even see the sky because of all the trees/building/clouds/etc. Maybe we’ve found a home!

Strength of Match: 10 out of 10!!!

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