IRVING (AP) – Conference USA seems to be in a perpetual cycle of change.

There are five new coaches among the league’s 12 teams. That includes Southern Miss and Houston, the division champs last season.

Next season, Conference USA will have four new teams after SMU, Houston, Central Florida and Memphis leave for the Big East.

Tulsa coach Bill Blankenship joked Wednesday at Conference USA media day that he’s quickly climbing the ladder in coaching seniority. He was the league’s only new coach last year.

There are quarterback changes as well, with all five of the league’s 3,000-yard passers from a year ago gone.

New Southern Miss coach Ellis Johnson, who also will have a new quarterback, says it’s good not being the only new coach or only team breaking in a quarterback.

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