American Athletic Conference announces the addition of six schools

By Kevin Kelley -

The American Athletic Conference has approved the addition of six schools, Commissioner Mike Aresco announced on Thursday.

The six schools, which were previously reported by Yahoo Sports, are the Charlotte 49ers, Florida Atlantic Owls, North Texas Mean Green, Rice Owls, UAB Blazers, and UTSA Roadrunners. All six universities will be moving to the American from Conference USA.

“On behalf of the American Athletic Conference presidents, I look forward to years of healthy competition with our six new members,” said Michael Fitts, President of Tulane University and Chair of The American’s Board of Directors. “I am confident that we have not only added fine institutions that share our collective ambition for national success, but we have done so in a deliberate and sensible way that will contribute to the long-term future of the conference.”

With the addition of six new schools for football, the American will expand to a 14-team conference, likely beginning with the 2023 season. The six new schools will join East Carolina, Memphis, Navy, SMU, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa, and USF.

“I am extremely pleased to welcome these six outstanding universities to the American Athletic Conference,” said Aresco. “This is a strategic expansion that accomplishes a number of goals as we take the conference into its second decade. We are adding excellent institutions that are established in major cities and have invested in competing at the highest level. We have enhanced geographical concentration which will especially help the conference’s men’s and women’s basketball and Olympic sports teams. And we will continue to provide valuable inventory to our major media rights partner, ESPN, which will feature our members on the most prominent platforms in sports media. Additionally, we increase the value in live content options for CBS Sports, which features selected men’s basketball games from the conference.”

The American will lose the Cincinnati Bearcats, Houston Cougars, and UCF Knights beginning with the 2023 season. Those three schools finalized their move to the Big 12 Conference last month.

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Comments (3)

With Marshall and USM headed to the SBC, I think we can say farewell to CUSA…
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All that will be left will be UTEP, MTSU, WKU, FIU, ODU, and La Tech.
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UTEP is in a large city but I guess the MW won’t bid them until the Big XII follows on to 14 and tags Boise and Memphis. Or the PAC does something like add Colorado St and UNLV.
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La Tech has no chance ULM and Louisiana letting them into the SBC.
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So if the SBC offers two more to go to 14 in football: MTSU and FIU seem more likely to return… although the MAC would be smart to get MTSU and WKU.

Chatter in Virginia is that the SBC might also grab ODU and pull up JMU from FCS. That would get them to 14 teams and continue their trend of adding successful FCS programs (App. State, GA Southern, Coastal). JMU declined an invitation from the SBC back in 2013 when App. State and GA Southern joined.

https://richmond.com/sports/college/jmu-liberty-odu-could-be-moving-to-new-conferences/article_b09517b7-94f9-5e87-ac46-5466b7c64aee.html

Same article says that CUSA is having discussions with JMU and Liberty. I think with the SBC’s recent success, they will win out.

starting in 2024 would be easier on re-structuring any OOC football games, if needed, and lessen whatever early exit fee is in place.