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Conference USA Commissioner Seeks to Expand to 12 Teams

  • Commissioner Judy MacLeod would “ideally” expand Conference USA to 12 teams.
  • The league currently has nine members, with Kennesaw State joining as its 10th next year.
The league currently has nine members, with Kennesaw State joining as its 10th next year.
Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

Commissioner Judy MacLeod expects Conference USA to eventually expand to 12 teams as realignment continues to upheave college football and broader NCAA sports.

“It all depends on who and the fit. We really feel the 10 are together, but ideally, we’d rather be at 12, probably,” MacLeod told The Athletic. “But we’ll make those decisions along the way.”

Kennesaw State, currently in the FCS-level ASUN Conference, will join the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) next year moving to Conference USA, becoming its 10th member. The Athletic reports that Missouri State, Eastern Kentucky, and Tarleton State are among the candidates for C-USA expansion. 

“We look at everything from institutional characteristics to the athletic program, alignment of the university and where athletics fits, competitiveness, commitment, academics, compliance,” MacLeod said. “Everything’s going to be a factor. It’s hard to say one thing tips the scale. But obviously, we need people to come in ready to compete and have a plan and be committed.”

This year saw six former C-USA members (Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, Rice, UAB, and UTSA) all depart for the American Athletic Conference. 

C-USA’s current nine-member schools include Jacksonville State, Sam Houston, Louisiana Tech, Liberty, Florida International, Middle Tennessee, New Mexico State, University of Texas at El Paso, and Western Kentucky. 

Colorado recently triggered the biggest move to shake the college landscape, as it will reportedly leave the Pac-12 to join the Big 12 in 2024.

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