Google
Home Top 125 Polls Picks/Scores Feature Picks Odds PreGame PostGame Standings Bowls History Teams Links News Forum Season Preview More...

News


2013 College Football Conference Realignment

CollegeFootballPoll.com
November 19, 2012 (Updated 5/30/13)

Tulsa announced on April 2 that it will join the American Athletic Conference (formerly the Big East), beginning with the 2014 season. A day later, the Big East announced its new name which was a forced occurrence after the Big East's seven catholic school members withdrew and took the Big East name with them.

East Carolina announced on March 27 that it will join the AAC in all sports in 2014. It had previously announced it would join in football only. The league had pilfered Tulane and East Carolina from CUSA to replace its own most recent losses of Rutgers to the Big Ten and Louisville to the ACC. The ACC acted on Louisville when it lost Maryland to the Big Ten. All of those moves will happen in 2014.

The Big East's final meltdown began when Pittsburgh and Syracuse announced their defections to the ACC, preceding Rutgers' announcement. The league is expected to field the following 11 schools for football in 2014: Cincinnati, Connecticut, East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, SMU, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa, UCF and USF. The U.S. Naval Academy will become a football-only member in 2015 to give the league 12 teams and set the stage for a playoff game.

The Big Ten later announced (April 28) that it will begin a 9-game conference slate in 2016. When Maryland and Rutgers are added in 2014, the conference will re-name its divisions "East" and "West", dropping its "Legends" and "Leaders" identities. The East will contain Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers. The West will consist of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin. Schools will play six division games plus two against teams from the other division in 2014 and 2015. In 2016, they’ll play three cross-division games.

Georgia Southern and Appalachian State announced on March 27 that they will move up from the FCS to the FBS as new members of the Sun Belt in 2014. Both would be eligible for the conference title in 2014 and bowl eligible in 2015.

Idaho and New Mexico State announced March that they, too, will join the Sun Belt in 2014 after competing as an independent for the 2013 season. As existing FBS programs, both schools would immediately be eligible for the conference title and the bowl season.

The additions will give the Sun Belt 12 teams in 2014. Sun Belt Commissioner Karl Benson said, "Having these two FBS programs join the league .... gives us the ability to host a conference football championship game should we choose to so."

FAU and Middle Tennessee announced on January 22 that they would join CUSA a year earlier than anticipated. Originally, both schools were to swap leagues for the 2014 season, but will now make their moves in time for their respective 2013 football campaign.

San Diego State on January 16 announced it will not move to the Big East and will, instead, remain in the Mountain West. Boise State made a similar announcement on New Year's Eve. Both teams had agreed to join the Big East when that conference still had an automatic qualifying bid to the BCS, but that situation changed with the advent of a playoff structure to be implemented in 2014 that relegated it to a "group of five" conferences with the Mountain West, MAC, Conference USA and Sun Belt.

The Mountain West will have two six-team divisions and will stage a championship contest between the two division winners beginning in 2013. The new football alignments will feature Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, New Mexico, Utah State and Wyoming in the Mountain Division and Fresno State, Hawaii, Nevada, San Diego State, San Jose State and UNLV in the West Division. The inaugural football championship will be played December 7 at the home stadium of the school with the highest BCS ranking.

CUSA announced on Thursday (November 29) that it had swiped two more teams from the Sun Belt. Middle Tennessee and FAU will join in 2014. FIU and North Texas move from the Sun Belt to CUSA next year.

The team rosters of seven conferences will be affected by realignment in 2013 and the ranks of the Football Bowl Subdivision will increase from 124 schools to 125 as the Sun Belt welcomes Georgia State. It will stretch to 128 in 2014 when Georgia Southern and Appalachian State enter the Sun Belt, and Old Dominion enters CUSA. In 2015, UNC-Charlotte is scheduled to join CUSA to become the 129th FBS member.

See the 2013 makeup of each conference here.

ACC

ACC
2013
In: Pittsburgh and Syracuse from the Big East.

2014
In: Louisville from American Athletic Conference in 2014.
Out: Maryland to the Big Ten.

American Athletic Conference

AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE (formerly Big East)
2013
In: Houston, Memphis, SMU and UCF from CUSA.
Out: Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the ACC.
Note: The Big East adopts a new name in 2013 after the league's multiple catholic schools split. The conference retains its automatic entry into the BCS bowls this year.

2014
In: East Carolina, Tulane and Tulsa from CUSA.
Out: Louisville to the ACC. Rutgers to the Big Ten.

2015
In: Navy from the Independents.

Big Ten

BIG TEN
2014
In: Maryland from the ACC; Rutgers from the American Athletic Conference.
Note: The Big Ten will begin a 9-game conference slate in 2016, playing all 6 schools from its own division and 3 cross-divisional games. When Maryland and Rutgers are added in 2014, the conference will re-name its divisions "East" and "West", dropping its "Legends" and "Leaders" identities. The East will contain Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers. The West will consist of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin.

Big 12

BIG 12
No new changes announced at this time.

CUSA
CUSA
2013
In: FAU, FIU, Middle Tennessee and North Texas from the Sun Belt; WAC orphans Louisiana Tech and UTSA.
Out: Houston, Memphis, SMU and UCF to the American Athletic Conference.
Note: CUSA will have two 7-team divisions. The West will contain Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Rice, Tulsa, UTEP, UTSA and Tulane. The East will contain FAU, FIU East Carolina, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, Southern Miss and UAB. Each team will play eight conference games, including two teams from the opposite division.

2014
Out: East Carolina, Tulane and Tulsa to the American Athletic Conference.
In: OId Dominion from the FCS, Western Kentucky from the Sun Belt.

2015
In: UNC-Charlotte from the FCS.

NCAA

INDEPENDENTS
2013
In: WAC orphans Idaho and New Mexico State

2014
Out: Idaho and New Mexico State to the Sun Belt

2015
Out: Navy to the American Athletic Conference

MAC

MAC
No new changes announced at this time.

MWC

MOUNTAIN WEST
2013
In: WAC orphans San Jose State and Utah State
Note: The Mountain West will have two six-team divisions and will stage a championship contest between the two division winners beginning in 2013. The new football alignments will feature Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, New Mexico, Utah State and Wyoming in the Mountain Division and Fresno State, Hawaii, Nevada, San Diego State, San Jose State and UNLV in the West Division. The inaugural football championship will be played December 7 at the home stadium of the school with the highest BCS ranking.

Pac 12

PAC-12
No new changes announced at this time.

SEC

SEC
No new changes announced at this time.

Sun Belt

SUN BELT
2013
In: Georgia State from FCS; Texas State from WAC
Out: FAU, FIU, Middle Tennessee and North Texas to CUSA

2014
In: Georgia Southern and Appalachian State from FCS. Also, Idaho and New Mexico State from the defunct WAC. Both are competing as independents in 2013.
Out: Western Kentucky to CUSA.

WAC

WAC
2013
Will no longer sanction college football