Sports

American Athletic Conference expands to 14 teams for football, adding six Conference USA programs

The American Athletic Convention on Thursday introduced that six new applications will be part of the league, increasing it to fifteen members total with 14 football-playing companions. Charlotte, FAU, North Texas, Rice, UAB and UTSA — all present members of Convention USA — despatched in functions to hitch the AAC which have formally been permitted by the convention’s 9 remaining applications.

“On behalf of the American Athletic Convention presidents, I sit up for years of wholesome competitors with our six new members,” mentioned Michael Fitts, Tulane president and AAC Board of Administrators chairman. “I’m assured that we’ve not solely added effective establishments that share our collective ambition for nationwide success, however we’ve finished so in a deliberate and smart manner that may contribute to the long-term way forward for the convention.”

Although a proper begin date just isn’t but recognized for the six new applications, the hope is they are going to all start competing within the AAC at first of the 2023 season, sources inform CBS Sports activities’ Matt Norlander. 

“There is a ton of shifting components. A lot has to do with when the three departing colleges go away,” a supply instructed Norlander.

Cincinnati, Houston and UCF are all leaving the AAC for the Huge 12 at a yet-to-be-determined date. The Huge 12, in the meantime, is not sure concerning the departure timeline of Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC, although the league publicly said that it expects these groups to stay with the convention for his or her full phrases via the 2024 season.

UAB and FAU have captured the final 4 Convention USA championships, whereas UTSA entered the AP High 25 for the primary time in program historical past in Week 8. North Texas gained 9 video games in 2017 and 2018, whereas Rice gained the convention in 2013. Charlotte solely began FBS soccer in 2015 and has a 13-12 document in three seasons beneath coach Will Healy. 

The AAC’s transfer provides the league a powerful foothold in Texas with North Texas, Rice and UTSA becoming a member of SMU to offer the league 4 establishments within the Lone Star State. The transfer additionally doubles down on growth into main markets, together with Charlotte, San Antonio, Birmingham and Houston. Current colleges, in the meantime, sit in Dallas, Memphis, Tulsa, Tampa and New Orleans. 

Attending to 14 groups provides the league some buffer in case of further realignment. 

“We do need to get again to both 10 or 12 [schools],” AAC commissioner Mike Aresco instructed the Orlando Sentinel in September. “We’ve some good candidates, and we’re solely coping with candidates who’ve approached us — who’ve expressed an curiosity in us. It is continuing, and I am fairly assured we’ll find yourself as a powerful convention and our aim is to be even stronger than earlier than.” 

Dropping its three prime establishments to the Huge 12 makes it unlikely that the brand new AAC will match the prevailing $7 million every program will get yearly for tv rights payout regardless of including six new members. Nonetheless, it will likely be a big step up from the roughly $500,000 paid to Convention USA groups.

Strikes by Cincinnati, Houston and UCF kicked off a significant realignment shift inside the Group of 5 ranks. The AAC reportedly courted 4 colleges from the Mountain West — Air Pressure, Boise State, Colorado State and San Diego State — however all finally determined to face pat. MWC commissioner Craig Thompson mentioned this week that the convention does not plan to expand and can stay at 12 members. 

Standing by just isn’t the M.O. for different Group of 5 conferences, nevertheless. The Solar Belt is within the midst of exploring expansion, reportedly focusing on Southern Miss, Marshall and Previous Dominion from Convention USA, together with FCS James Madison. Nonetheless, Convention USA has additionally focused James Madison. Ought to the Dukes decide to hitch C-USA, sources inform CBS Sports activities’ Dennis Dodd that Marshall and Previous Dominion would doubtless keep. 

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https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/information/american-athletic-conference-expands-to-14-teams-for-football-adding-six-conference-usa-programs/ | American Athletic Convention expands to 14 groups for soccer, including six Convention USA applications

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