Conference USA officially announces addition of Delaware in 2025

By Kevin Kelley -

Conference USA has officially announced the addition of the Delaware Blue Hens in 2025, which will bring CUSA’s membership to 11 schools.

“Adding the University of Delaware is a tremendous opportunity for Conference USA as we strategically position ourselves for continued success,” Commissioner Judy MacLeod said.  “We are excited to add the state’s flagship university with its rich history in athletics and academics and look forward to our partnership with President Dennis Assanis, Director of Athletics Chrissi Rawak and their leadership group.”

According to the release, Blue Hens athletics teams that will compete in Conference USA include football, baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, men’s and women’s golf, women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, track & field, and volleyball.

“The opportunity to join Conference USA is an incredibly proud moment for our entire university,” Director of Athletics, Community, and Campus Recreation Chrissi Rawak said. “With this step forward, we will continue to offer an incredible student-athlete experience and elevate the visibility of all that is remarkable about UD. We couldn’t be more excited for the entire state of Delaware and how this will bring the 302 together.”

News of Delaware’s move up from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) was reported Monday by Brett McMurphy of The Action Network.

The move up to the FBS from the FCS will cost the Blue Hens a $5 million application fee, which was previously only $5,000 under NCAA bylaws.

“Thanks to our recently opened Whitney Athletic Center and improvements to Delaware Stadium and other facilities, we are confident that we have the infrastructure in place at UD to compete with the very best in college football and simultaneously witness the growth of our other intercollegiate programs in the department,” Rawak said. “UD Athletics continues to ascend, and Blue Hen football is prepared to take the next step and lead the way.”

Delaware has been a member of the Coastal Athletic Association (CAA; formerly known as Colonial Athletic Association) since the 2007 season. Prior to joining the CAA, the Blue Hens competed in the Atlantic 10 Conference from 1997 through 2006.

Delaware finished the 2023 regular-season 8-3 overall and 6-2 in CAA play. The Blue Hens received an at-large bid to the 2023 FCS Playoffs and defeated the Lafayette Leopards at home in the first round, 36-34. Next up is a second-round contest on the road at the second-seeded Montana Grizzlies on Saturday, Dec. 2.

Beginning in 2025, CUSA will include Delaware, FIU, Jacksonville State, Kennesaw State (joins in 2024), Liberty, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee, New Mexico State, Sam Houston, UTEP, and Western Kentucky.

Future Delaware Football Schedules

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Comments (7)

Why stop at 11? Add a 12th school for scheduling purposes, and the ability to divide into divisions once again.

McNeese would be a perfect candidate.

The divisions can be:

Kennesaw State
Middle Tennessee
Western Kentucky

Jacksonville State
Louisiana Tech
New Mexico State
Sam Houston

(while MTSU and WKU are west of JSU, the former two are in the East together to keep their rivalry going)

Hi Z-Man,

Kennesaw State Uni. Owls have to show that they can even compete in 2024 as an 85 scholarship Program.

Sam Houston State U. Bearkats had 2ea 85 scholarship wins in their 2023 season in ConferenceUSA.

The Blue Hens will have to endure a 2024 Season in Limbo, not allowed to access the 2024 63ea scholarship 24 Team Playoffs because they will have more than 63 scholarship Players.

KSU Owls made zero $$ in 2023 & generated zero publicity for its Record. Its Record was 3 – 6.
2 of those Wins were against Division 2 Teams.

Hi Z-Man,
Correction to my earlier post about the Limbo of the Owls Season.
I apologize for getting KSU Owls 2023 record against Division 2 Programs wrong.

The Owls 2023 Record registered 3 Wins vs Division 2 Teams, not 2 wins.

Their 6 losses were vs. Five 63 scholarship Franchises & 1st Year transitioner Sam Houston St. Uni..

McNeese isn’t going to find $5 million lying around. It and NW State and SELA aren’t ever going FBS. They’re state institutions and the state already feels well represented in FBS with LSU, UL, and ULM.

Stopping at 11 indeed is just a rest stop. The addition of Delaware suggests CUSA is seriously trying to add value such that UMass and UConn football would join.
If anything standing by in case Washington State and Oregon State need FBS games… That’s the deal to make for the next year….