College football realignment: Conference changes for 2024 take effect Monday

By Kevin Kelley -

College football realignment rolls on again this year, primarily due to the demise of the Pac-12. On Monday, July 1, most conference changes for the 2024 season officially take effect.

Two years ago, the UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans each announced that they were leaving the Pac-12 and joining the Big Ten Conference. After losing two tentpole programs and unable to secure a new media rights deal, the Pac-12 then lost the Colorado Buffaloes to the Big 12 Conference.

The flood gates would then open as seven more Pac-12 programs announced moves to either the ACC (Cal and Stanford), Big 12 (Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah) or Big Ten (Oregon and Washington).

Two other massive changes in the latest round of college football realignment include the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns leaving the Big 12 for the SEC.

Other changes this season include the Army Black Knights joining The American, SMU joining the ACC, and Kennesaw State moving up from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and joining Conference USA.

Below is a look at the conference alignment for the Football Bowl Subdivision in 2024:


Leaving: None

Joining: California, SMU, Stanford

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

Note: The two Pac-12 schools don’t officially become members of the ACC until August 2 due to television contracts.


Leaving: SMU

Joining: Army

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

The Army Black Knights are set to join the American Athletic Conference beginning with the 2024 season, which marks the end of their 19-season run as an FBS Independent.

BIG 12

Leaving: Oklahoma, Texas

Joining: Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Utah

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

Note: The four Pac-12 schools don’t officially become members of the Big 12 until August 2 due to television contracts.


Leaving: None

Joining: Oregon, UCLA, USC, Washington

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


Leaving: None

Joining: Kennesaw State (from FCS)

2024 Lineup (10): FIU, Jacksonville State, Kennesaw State, Liberty, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee, New Mexico State, Sam Houston, UTEP, WKU

Delaware and Missouri State are set to move up from the FCS and join Conference USA in 2025.


Leaving: Army

Joining: None

2024 Lineup (3): Notre Dame, UConn, UMass

UMass will return to the MAC as a full member beginning with the 2025 season.


Leaving: None

Joining: None

2024 Lineup (12): Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Miami (Ohio), Northern Illinois, Ohio, Toledo, Western Michigan

The MAC has maintained the same 12 members since UMass departed after the 2015 season. However, UMass will return to the conference in 2025.


Leaving: None

Joining: None

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

The Mountain West retains its 12 members for the 2024 season, but signed a scheduling agreement with the only remaining members of the Pac-12, Oregon State and Washington State.

Each Mountain West team will play either Oregon State or Washington State, but the contests will not count as conference games for the Mountain West teams, and neither Pac-12 school is eligible to play in the Mountain West Championship Game.


Leaving: Arizona, Arizona State, California, Colorado, Oregon, Stanford, Utah, UCLA, USC, Washington

Joining: None

2024 Lineup (2): Oregon State, Washington State

The Pac-12 loses 10 of its members to other conferences, with only Oregon State and Washington State remaining. It’s not yet clear whether the conference will attempt to rebuild its ranks or enter into any further agreements with the Mountain West.


Leaving: None

Joining: Oklahoma, Texas

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

Arguably the top conference in college football gets better in 2025 with the addition of Oklahoma and Texas from the Big 12. The 2025 season will also be the first for the conference without divisions.


Leaving: None

Joining: None

2024 Lineup (14): Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, James Madison, Louisiana, Marshall, Old Dominion, South Alabama, Southern Miss, Texas State, Troy, ULM

The Sun Belt is the only FBS conference to retain a divisional structure (East and West).

As mentioned above, Kennesaw State is moving up from the FCS to the FBS and joining Conference USA for the 2024 season. But those aren’t the only changes in the Football Championship Subdivision.

Two teams from the Big South Conference are on the move on Monday, as Bryant joins the Coastal Athletic Association (CAA) and Robert Morris returns to the Northeast Conference (NEC).

The NEC also adds Mercyhurst from Division II on Monday. The additions of Mercyhurst and Robert Morris fill the void left by Merrimack and Sacred Heart, who each begin play as FCS Independents this season.

Other changes in the FCS include West Georgia moving up from Division II and joining the United Athletic Conference (UAC), while Western Illinois moves from the Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC) to the Big South-OVC Football Association.

Additionally, Stephen F. Austin officially rejoins the Southland Conference on Monday following three seasons in the United Athletic Conference (formerly known as the WAC and WAC-ASUN Challenge).

Next season, Delaware and Missouri State will depart the FCS ranks for the FBS and Conference USA. 2025 will also see UTRGV play its first season of football in the Southland Conference, while Richmond’s football program will depart the CAA and join the Patriot League.

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Comments (28)

Indeed, having Arizona, Kansas, Houston and WVU all in the same conference sounds like a Final Four from decades ago!

Here are changes I like to see in College Football.

1. Notre Dame-USC rivalry play in September to honor Big Ten OOC schedule.

2. UCLA-USC play every Thanksgiving weekend.

3. SEC go to nine game Conference three OOC schedule Georgia play SEC opponent like South Carolina on Thanksgiving weekend & continue annual OOC Georgia Tech & switch Georgia-Georgia Tech play in September.

August 2nd, 2024?

I bet these Unis. are @ every 1 of their new Conferences Meetings this month.

If they’re not, that wouldn’t bode well for their motivation to integrate successfully with such geographic distances for B18g10, ACC & B16g 12 Universities.
The SouthEast Conf. has the only borders with geographic proximity for all 16 members.
Washington State & Oregon State have the Hurdles of early season games VS Trust 5 rivals & other Trust Unis. in September.
Look @ the rates of 1 loss or undefeated seasons from recent Independents & Unis. joining lower Conferences. New Mexico State Uni. Aggies, University of Idaho Vandals, Liberty Uni. Flames, Uni. of Massachusetts Minutemen, Brigham Young Uni. Cougars, Uni. Of Connecticut Huskies have all had multiple loss seasons leading to obscurity.

Dan, expect to see the last weekend before the SEC conference championship continue to have OOC games like UGa-GT, FSU-UF, USCar-Clemson, UK-UofL because they don’t affect the SEC standings and often one team is already set….
It’s likely that’s how we get Mizzou-KU and OU-OkState back… as last week OOCs.

A little reported side effect of large 16 to 18 team conferences without divisions. You could have 3 Undfeated teams in conference play in the same conference. Take for example the ACC this year.

Preseason #11 Florida St could go undefeated (again) in conference play.
#13 NC State could go undefeated and they do not play Florida St.
Louisville could also go undefeated as they do not play Florida St and NC State.

Clemson would have to loose to all three teams this year.

Notre Dame plays Florida St and Louisville but they are Out of Conference game.

If this occurs how does the conference pick the two teams who make the Conference Champion?

Dan-ke for the research, Tom,
It may happen, if not in 2024 then later. If it did happen, the effected Conference’s scrambling & selecting the fairest 1 of all to represent them would reveal the most powerful special interests ruining… I mean running… the ‘Atlantic’ CC.
The spinning of their Equity Solution Tiebreakers would be informative & sad.

It’s actually exceedingly unlikely to occur (what odds are you putting on all of FSU, NCSU, and Louisville going undefeated?), and in any case, with the expanded playoffs, it kind of doesn’t matter as they’d all make the playoffs anyway.

Z-Man is right that the PAC escapees are bound until August 2 due to the media rights running through August 1. Except USC and UCLA who negotiated their exits effective now….
Not that it matters much to the battered corpse of a horse called the PAC 2.
Although if Wazzu and OSU would just make UConn football an offer, it could be the Pacific & Atlantic Conference, PAC 3.

Hahahaha – very astute
resuscitate the former 1900 – 1930 dominant national Supermarket name
‘A & P’ 3
Anacronym meant Atlantic & Pacific

You noticed. :) yeah the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company reference was intentional. Years ago when the PAC should have absorbed A&M, Texas, OU, and a couple more, they could have become the Premier Athletic Conference. Who knew they’d end up the Pathetic Athletic Conference.
Kevin has added notes on the XII and ACC about August 2, but I’m still quite amused that technically right now only USC and UCLA are seated at the B1G table… Oregon and Washington are still at the new kid table until August 2nd. Someone remind me still again how they pulled off getting in? The SEC (j/k) and ACC wanted them, right?

Your Pacific & Atlantic Conference 3 for Tea Company was the best Acronym.

I meant 2 say “Acronym” in my response.

When I was in Deutsch-land in the late 80s or early 90s; a company had bought the Deutsch-land national rights to the phrase “A & P”.
Under the A. & P. Phrase the retailer used the words “attractive” & “the right price”
“Attrakt-iv & Preis-wert” auf Deutsch.

I enjoyed the reference.

David I am full supporter of SEC 9 game conference 3 OOC schedule it’s difficult to predict what is going to happen & I have zero concerns over it & would be happy to accept changes & I would like to see Georgia-South Carolina & Kentucky-Florida play every Thanksgiving weekend & still have Georgia-Georgia Tech,Kentucky-Louisville,Florida-Florida State & South Carolina-Clemson they will make fantastic games in September.
I am A Fan of Big Ten scheduling formula and I like how they do OOC games in September & really like how they do games on Thanksgiving weekend especially Northwestern-Illinois & Michigan-Ohio State & only very minor situation is to have UCLA-USC play EVERY Thanksgiving not just odd number years & that main reason I want Notre Dame-USC start playing in September plus to honor Big 10 OOC guidelines also Big 12 likes September OOC games & remaining Conference games just like Big Ten & SEC have that capability to do so.

Yes, as an Auburn grad I’m totally wanting 9 conference games, and at least one regional OOC P4 rival, played the last weekend with the exception of the Egg Bowl, Iron Bowl, and what should be named in memory of those who died, the Bonfire Bowl, between UT and A&M on the last weekend where each is a “state battle”. Games like these are helpful because it’s always regardless of the record there’s State honors on the line… I won’t object if you want to also have Arkansas versus LSU on the final weekend in the battle for the boot, and if Tennessee considers Vanderbilt a state rival, that too. But I’d sure like to see Missouri play Kansas and OU take OkState on that last weekend, which gives the SEC a pretty awesome looking final weekend before the conference championship and the first round….

How SEC Rivalry Week should go:

South Carolina faces Clemson
Georgia faces Georgia Tech
Florida faces Florida State
Alabama and Auburn face each other
Ole Miss and Mississippi State face each other
Tennessee and Vanderbilt face each other
Kentucky faces Louisville
Missouri faces Kansas
Oklahoma faces Oklahoma State
Arkansas and LSU face each other
Texas and Texas A&M face each other

Dog Big 12 would like to do all Conference games on Thanksgiving weekend however Oklahoma State-Oklahoma Bedlam & Missouri-Kansas Border War would make fantastic games in September when most OOC are to be played & I really like to see more in-state & border OOC games they would fit nicely with three game set.

cant wait for the Ducks & Dawgs to see their helmets filled with mucus after OSU/WSU are done with them this September !

Here is My Georgia Bulldogs OOC games in 2026

9/5 Western Kentucky

9/12 Georgia Tech

9/19 at Louisville

South Carolina will be played on Thanksgiving weekend.