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Every Conference Realignment Move Entering 2024 FBS College Football Season

Mar 28, 2024, 2:13 PM

Conference Realignment, College Football, 2024 Season...

College football will experience extensive change in the 2024 season due to conference realignment. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)

(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Conference realignment has caused significant changes to college football for the 2024 season.

Every Power Four conference has new members joining their respective leagues. One former power conference is down to two members.

On top of all the conference realignment, the College Football Playoff is expanding from four teams to 12 for the 2024 season. For the first time in the sport, conference championships create a direct path to playing for a national championship.

The Playoff will take the five highest-rated conference champions and seven at-large bids.

Conference realignment changes for the 2024 College Football season

Here is a breakdown by conference to get you up to speed on all of the realignment moves that go into effect in 2024.

American Athletic (AAC)

Adding: Army West Point (Football-only)

Lost: SMU (ACC)

Since the AAC was established in 2013, the league has lost seven of its original 10 members. The last defection came from SMU, who bolted for the ACC.

Notably, the AAC added the Army to its league as a football-only member. The Black Knights have been playing football since 1890 and they’ve only had seven previous seasons in a league (Conference USA, 1998-2004). Aside from that, they have historically always been an Independent.

Adding Army gives the AAC the Army-Navy football game at the end of the season every December.

ACC

Adding: Cal, Stanford, SMU

Lost: None

Regarding future conference realignment, all eyes are on the ACC. Two members (Clemson and Florida State) are suing the league over the media rights.

The ACC added Cal, Stanford, and SMU to increase its membership if it loses institutions in future conference realignment moves. The Mustangs will receive no media payouts, while Cal and Stanford will receive reduced shares.

Big 12

Adding: Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Utah

Lost: Oklahoma (SEC), Texas (SEC)

Once left for dead after Oklahoma and Texas announced they were leaving for the SEC in 2021, the Big 12 moves forward with a 16-team league. In 2023, the conference welcomed BYU, UCF, Cincinnati, and Houston. This fall, they will bring in the “Four Corner” programs from the Pac-12 in Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, and Utah.

Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark called the additions of the “Four Corner” schools the “best-case scenario” for his league.

Big Ten

Adding: USC, UCLA, Oregon, Washington

Lost: None

The Big Ten shocked the college landscape by adding USC and UCLA in the summer of 2022. Then the Big Ten put the Pac-12 to rest by adding Oregon and Washington one year later.

The Big Ten will have 18 members with no divisions and their conference championship game will feature the top two teams in the overall standings.

Conference USA

Adding: Kennesaw State

Lost: None

The Owls of Kennesaw State, from Kennesaw, Georgia, will join the FBS ranks in their 10th season as a program. The Owls were previously part of the Big South, ASUN, and Independents in the FCS ranks before jumping into Conference USA.

In 2025, Conference USA will add Delaware.

Independents

Adding: None

Lost: Army West Point (AAC)

The Independents continue to dwindle after Army bolts for the AAC. In 2025, UMass leaves for the MAC.

MAC

Adding: None

Lost: None

The MAC, one of the most stable conferences outside of the power conference structure, has not changed for the 2024 season. Nine of the MAC’s institutions have been members for over 50 years.

However, the MAC will welcome UMass back into the fold beginning in 2025. The Minutemen were previously in the MAC for football from 2012 to 2015.

Mountain West

Adding: None

Lost: None

The Mountain West has made no conference realignment changes. However, it did add a scheduling agreement with Oregon State and Washington State, the last remaining institutions from the Pac-12.

Oregon State and Washington State are not eligible for the Mountain West Championship Game.

Pac-12

Adding: None

Lost: Arizona (Big 12), Arizona State (Big 12), Cal (ACC), Colorado (Big 12), Oregon (Big Ten), Stanford (ACC), UCLA (Big Ten), Utah (Big 12), USC (Big Ten), Washington (Big Ten)

The Pac-12 will continue to operate as a two-team conference with Oregon State and Washington State. Both schools lined up scheduling partnerships with the Mountain West Conference and are viewed as Independents regarding the College Football Playoff.

SEC

Adding: Oklahoma, Texas

Lost: None

Three years ago, when the SEC added Oklahoma and Texas, it set off a seismic ripple effect in conference realignment. After all of the changes, the Sooners and Longhorns are now set to join the league, featuring 16 members.

Divisions are gone in the SEC, but the eight-game conference schedule remains for the 2024 and 2025 seasons.

Sun Belt

Adding: None

Lost: None

The Sun Belt has no changes to its membership entering the 2024 season.

Number of teams in each FBS conference for the 2024 season

AAC: 14

ACC: 17

Big 12: 16

Big Ten: 18

Conference USA: 10

Independents: 3

MAC: 12

Mountain West: 12

Pac-12: 2

SEC: 16

Sun Belt: 14

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and hosts the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X: @Mitch_Harper.

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Every Conference Realignment Move Entering 2024 FBS College Football Season