College Football Conference Realignment Tracker: American Athletic Set To Add Teams

The American Athletic Conference announced that it would take in six new members — FAU, Charlotte, North Texas, UTSA, Rice and UAB. The league’s announcement made what had been reported on Oct. 18 official.

Conference USA expects the six members to join the league for the 2023-24 athletic year.

The league will have 14 football-playing members and 15 total members, with Wichita State the one non-football playing member.

This is the league’s reaction to losing Cincinnati, Houston and UCF to the Big 12 Conference in September. It will also likely trigger moves by Conference USA and, perhaps, the Sun Belt Conference in the coming weeks.

Our complete College Football America realignment tracker for all divisions is at the bottom of this story.

Oct. 18: Yahoo! Sports’ Pete Thamel reported on Oct. 18 that the American Athletic Conference is preparing to discuss conference expansion this week, and that they’re expecting at least a half-dozen team to apply for membership.

Those teams, according to Thamel, are FAU, Charlotte, North Texas, UTSA, Rice and UAB. All six teams are currently members of Conference USA.

Thamel tweeted that the expectation is that all six teams will be accepted.

This would be the AAC’s first reaction to losing Cincinnati, Houston and UCF to the Big 12 last month.

Sept. 29: The Texas A&M-Commerce Lions made it official on Tuesday, as they announced that they were moving to Division I and joining the Southland Conference.

The Lions, based in Commerce, Texas, will become the seventh member of the Southland Conference and would join the league for the 2022-23 athletic season. The Lions will go through a four-year transition to Division I at the same time.

TAMU-Commerce is the first new member the SLC has taken in since five of its members moved to different conferences for the 2021-22 athletic season — Central Arkansas to the Atlantic Sun, and Abilene Christian, Lamar, Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin to the Western Athletic Conference.

The Lions are currently members of the Lone Star Conference.

The 2021 College Football America Yearbook features more than 900 college football teams from the United States and Canada in more than 250 striking, full-color pages. That includes every team from the NCAA (FBS, FCS, Division II and Division III), NAIA, NJCAA, CCCAA and U Sports (Canada). It also includes updates on club football, one-year postgraduate prep/sports academies and Mexican college football, along with dozens of action shots and stadium photos taken by the CFA staff.

Sept. 17: The Atlantic Sun announced that Austin Peay would move from the Ohio Valley Conference to the A-Sun, boosting the A-Sun’s football numbers to six for the 2022 season. That will give the A-Sun six football members for the 2022 season — Central Arkansas, Eastern Kentucky, Kennesaw State, Jacksonville State and North Alabama.

Sept. 10: The Big 12 announced that it would be adding four programs — BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF. BYU should join the conference in 2023, while the other three programs —currently members of the American Athletic Conference — should join in 2024.

July 29: The SEC approved the membership of Texas and Oklahoma for the 2025-26 athletic season during a meeting of its conference membership.

The Longhorns and Sooners are members of the Big 12 Conference and cannot move to the SEC before the 2025-26 season due to its grant-of-media rights agreement with the rest of the Big 12.

College Football Realignment/Conference Changes


American Athletic: Losses – Cincinnati, Houston, UCF (June 30, 2024) Additions: FAU, Charlotte, North Texas, UTSA, Rice and UAB (July 1, 2023).

Big 12: Losses — Oklahoma, Texas (June 30, 2025); Additions: BYU (July 1, 2023), Cincinnati, Houston, UCF (July 1, 2024).

Conference USA: Losses – FAU, Charlotte, North Texas, UTSA, Rice and UAB (June 30, 2023)

SEC: Additions — Oklahoma, Texas (July 1, 2025).

Independents: Losses — BYU (June 30, 2023 – note BYU plays the rest of its sports in the West Coast Conference)


Atlantic Sun: Additions — Austin Peay, Kennesaw State, North Alabama (July 1, 2022) — Note: A-Sun will field its first full season of football in 2022 with Central Arkansas, Eastern Kentucky and Jacksonville State, which are playing as part of the A-Sun-WAC Challenge in 2021.

Big Sky: Losses — Southern Utah (June 30, 2022).

Big South: Losses — Kennesaw State, North Alabama (June 30, 2022).

Ohio Valley: Losses — Austin Peay (June 30, 2022).

Southland: Additions — Texas A&M-Commerce (July 1, 2022).

Western Athletic: Additions — Southern Utah (July 1, 2022).

Division II

Lone Star: Losses — Texas A&M-Commerce (June 30, 2022).

South Atlantic: Additions — Barton (July 1, 2022), Erskine (July 1, 2022), Anderson (July 1, 2025).

Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference: Additions — Edward Waters (2021, approved on July 17).

Division III

Eastern Collegiate Football Conference: Losses: SUNY-Maritime (June 30, 2023).

NEWMAC: Additions: SUNY-Maritime (July 1, 2023).

Old Dominion Athletic Conference: Additions: Averett (July 1, 2022).

USA South Athletic Conference: Losses: Averett (June 30, 2022).

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