Cougars’ finale concludes C-USA play

When the Cougars say their final goodbye to Robertson Stadium on Saturday, they will also part ways with Conference USA, the University’s athletic home since 1996.

The Cougars sit at 67-57 all-time in C-USA with seven of the losses coming in a winless 2001 season.

The Cougars compiled two conference championship victories, one coming in their inaugural 1996 season and a decade later in 2006.

Of the Cougars’ 67 wins conference, 40 have come since the beginning of the 2006 season. Despite the losing record this season, the Cougars have appeared in five bowl games in the last seven seasons.

The Big East Conference formally announced the addition of the Cougars on Dec. 7.

“Over the last 32 years, the Big East Conference has constantly evolved along with the landscape of college athletics,” said John Marinatto, former Big East commissioner, in May.

With recent rumors emerging regarding Rutgers potentially leaving for the Big 10 Conference, the Big East is still attempting to solidify its conference.

Despite the shakiness of the departures of Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia, the conference remains an upgrade for the Cougars current home.

“We are excited about our future and that future includes the Big East Conference,” Athletics director Mack Rhoades said in a statement. “Transition is a part of college athletics, and we have the utmost faith in President Williams and the search committee to bring in a dynamic new commissioner for our league.”

The Cougars will be a part of the Big East’s western division which is set to include SMU, Boise State, Temple, San Diego State and Memphis for the 2013 season.

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