College football realignment always creates a domino effect.
Somebody at the top defects, or schools are poached. Then the depleted conference invites schools from a lesser conference, which leaves said conference also depleted.
Such was the case for the American Athletic, which lost three schools to a the rebuilding Big 12. That’s Houston, Cincinnati, and Central Florida, who will join Independent BYU in replacing Oklahoma and Texas, who took off for the SEC.
Now Temple’s conference is being bolstered with six reinforcements, per ESPN:
Six schools — Florida Atlantic, Charlotte, North Texas, UTSA, Rice and UAB — have accepted invitations to join the American Athletic Conference, the league announced Thursday.
No date has been set for the schools to join the conference, but a source told ESPN that the earliest they could join would be the 2023-24 season.
Once all the announced realignment shuffles out, the additions would give the American 14 teams in football and basketball. The six schools are all leaving Conference USA, leaving it with eight members.
With these additions, the AAC will look like this:
- East Carolina
- your Temple Owls
- South Florida
- North Tejas
- Wichita State (no football)
The Big 12 will look like this:
Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, WVU, Iowa State, Baylor, TCU, Texas Tech, BYU, Cincy, Houston, UCF
And the SEC will look like this:
Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Vandy, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas A&M
Really what this does is it leaves Conference USA trying to figure out what to do next. With all of those schools leaving for the American, CUSA is down to eight teams.
What they should do is just merge with the Sun Belt to create a 16 team conference that would look like this:
Marshall, Western Kentucky, Middle Tennessee, Florida International, Old Dominion, UTEP, Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss, Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Troy, Georgia State, Georgia Southern, Louisiana, Texas State, South Alabama, UL Monroe, Arkansas State
That’s how I’d do it. I’m not a conference commissioner, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.