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Marshall, Old Dominion, and Southern Miss have played their last Conference USA game

The mass exodus out of Conference USA will begin earlier than previously announced.

As far as football is concerned, Marshall, Old Dominion and Southern Miss are done with Conference USA.

As part of the massive deck shuffle created by the SEC's annexation of Texas and Oklahoma last summer, the above trio of schools announced in late October and early November that they would leave Conference USA for the Sun Belt. Day 1 in their new league was to come "no later than July 1, 2023."

We don't yet know when the Herd, Monarchs and Golden Eagles will compete in the SunBelt, but all three announced Friday they're done with C-USA, effective June 30.

The announcements were not written jointly but were all released at the same time. Each statement has different words with a similar underlying cause: exit negotiations with C-USA were going nowhere. The announcements were released at the same time the conference sent its 2022 schedule to league members -- one that includes the Herd, Monarchs and Eagles, per Ross Dellenger.

One would assume all three schools will be able to compete in the Sun Belt immediately. The league already announced earlier this month it will welcome James Madison in all sports, including football, in 2022-23 -- a year earlier than anticipated. 

The Dukes will not be able to play in the postseason, but that's due to NCAA reclassification rules as they move from FCS to FBS. Marshall, Old Dominion and Southern Miss will face no such issue. 

Either way, the Sun Belt will become a 14-team league, perhaps sooner than later. We learned Friday that Conference USA will drop from 14 teams to 11, with six more schools -- Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, Rice, UAB and UTSA -- leaving for the American in 2023. As of now.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest. 

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