Making sense of college sports realignment. Which schools are changing conference affiliation?

Sun, Jun 30, 2024
NCAAF News (AP)

Making sense of college sports realignment. Which schools are changing conference affiliation?

College sports in the U.S. has seen scores of schools change conference affiliation over the past century, but the pace has quickened over the past three decades and certainly over the past two years. It is no longer a surprise to see storied programs leave their longtime conference home in search of more stability and more revenue in the college athletics arms race.

By early August, a dozen more schools will officially change affiliation, from Stanford and USC to Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona State, Colorado and SMU. A look at football membership in the Power Five and the Group of Five, largely dating to the launch of the Big 12 in 1996:

ACC

1996 (9): Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Wake Forest, Virginia.

2023 (14): Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest.

2024 (17): Boston College, California, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, SMU, Stanford, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest.

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BIG TEN

1996 (11): Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin.

2023 (14): Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Rutgers, Wisconsin.

2024 (18): Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State, Purdue, Rutgers, Southern California, UCLA, Washington, Wisconsin.

BIG 12

1996 (12): Baylor, Colorado, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech.

2023 (14): BYU, Baylor, Cincinnati, Central Florida, Houston, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech, West Virginia.

2024 (16): Arizona, Arizona State, BYU, Baylor, Cincinnati, Central Florida, Colorado, Houston, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas Tech, Utah, West Virginia.

PAC-12

1996 (10): Arizona, Arizona State, California, Oregon, Oregon State, Southern California, Stanford, UCLA, Washington, Washington State.

2023 (12): Arizona, Arizona State, California, Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, Southern California, UCLA, Utah, Washington, Washington State.

2024 (2): Oregon State, Washington State.

SEC

1996 (12): Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt.

2023 (14): Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt.

2024 (16): Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt.

AMERICAN ATHLETIC

2013 (10, first season): Central Florida, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Houston, Louisville, Memphis, Rutgers, SMU, South Florida, Temple.

2023 (14): Charlotte, East Carolina, Florida Atlantic, Memphis, Navy, North Texas, Rice, SMU, South Florida, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa, UAB, UTSA.

2024 (14): Army, Charlotte, East Carolina, Florida Atlantic, Memphis, Navy, North Texas, Rice, South Florida, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa, UAB, UTSA.

CONFERENCE USA

1996 (6): Cincinnati, Houston, Louisville, Memphis, Southern Mississippi, Tulane.

2023 (9): Florida International, Jacksonville State, Liberty, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee State, New Mexico State, Sam Houston State, UTEP, Western Kentucky.

2024 (10): Florida International, Jacksonville State, Kennesaw State, Liberty, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee State, New Mexico State, Sam Houston State, UTEP, Western Kentucky.

2025 (11): Delaware, Florida International, Jacksonville State, Kennesaw State, Liberty, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee State, New Mexico State, Sam Houston State, UTEP, Western Kentucky.

MID-AMERICAN

1996 (10): Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Miami (Ohio), Ohio, Toledo, Western Michigan.

2023 (12): Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Miami (Ohio), Ohio, Northern Illinois, Toledo, Western Michigan.

2025 (13): Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Massachusetts, Miami (Ohio), Ohio, Northern Illinois, Toledo, Western Michigan.

BIG WEST/WAC/MOUNTAIN WEST

1996 (Big West, 6): Boise State, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico State, North Texas, Utah State.

1996 (WAC, 16): Air Force, BYU, Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawaii, New Mexico, Rice, San Diego State, San Jose State, SMU, TCU, Tulsa, UNLV, Utah, UTEP, Wyoming.

2024 (MWC, 12): Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, San Diego State, San Jose State, UNLV, Utah State, Wyoming.

SUN BELT

2001 (7, first season): Arkansas State, Idaho, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Middle Tennessee State, New Mexico State, North Texas.

2024 (14): Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, James Madison, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Marshall, Old Dominion, South Alabama, Southern Mississippi, Texas State, Troy.

INDEPENDENTS

1996 (11): Arkansas State, Army, Central Florida, East Carolina, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana Tech, Navy, Northern Illinois, Notre Dame, UAB.

2023 (4): Army, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Notre Dame.

2024 (3): Connecticut, Massachusetts, Notre Dame.

2025 (2): Connecticut, Notre Dame.

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