2015 Football Conference Changes Take Effect Today

By Kevin Kelley -

The wave of realignment in college football tapers off this season with only two teams joining a new conference — the Charlotte 49ers and the Navy Midshipmen.

Today, July 1, is the day when each conference move becomes official for the 2015 football season. Let’s take a look at each Football Bowl Subdivision conference and which teams have made a change.


Incoming: None
Outgoing: None
Future Moves: None

The ACC neither adds or loses members for the 2015 season.

American Athletic Conference

Incoming: Navy
Outgoing: None
Future Moves: None

Navy joins the American Athletic Conference season today after 134 years as an Independent. With Navy’s addition, the conference splits into two six-team divisions:

East: UCF, Cincinnati, UConn, East Carolina, USF, Temple

West: Houston, Memphis, Navy, SMU, Tulane, Tulsa

Big 12

Incoming: None
Outgoing: None
Future moves: None

The Big 12 neither adds or loses members for the 2015 season.

Big Ten

Incoming: None
Outgoing: None
Future moves: None

The Big Ten neither adds or loses members for the 2015 season.

Conference USA

Incoming: Charlotte
Outgoing: UAB
Future moves: UAB (Incoming, 2016 or 2017)

The Charlotte 49ers join Conference USA today after moving up from the Football Championship Subdivision. Charlotte, which just started their program in 2013, will be eligible for the C-USA title this season and bowl eligible following the 2016 season.

UAB is out after shutting down their football program last year before reinstating it in June. The question now is when will the Blazers take the field again. It could be in 2016, but 2017 is more likely. For now, Charlotte takes UAB’s place in the conference’s East Division.

Old Dominion, which joined C-USA in 2014, will be eligible for a bowl this season.

Here is a look at the Conference USA division setup in 2015:

East: Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, FIU, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, Old Dominion, Western Kentucky

West: Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Rice, Southern Miss, UTEP, UTSA

FBS Independents

Incoming: None
Outgoing: Navy (to AAC)
Future moves (2016): UMass (incoming)

Although not technically a conference, one team that was an FBS Independent in 2014 is moving into a conference in 2015 — Navy to the American.

UMass, which has been a football-only member of the MAC, will become an FBS Independent in 2016 and could remain there for a few seasons.

Mid-American Conference (MAC)

Incoming: None
Outgoing: None
Future moves (2016): UMass (outgoing)

The MAC will drop down to 12 members when UMass departs after the 2015 season.

Mountain West Conference (MWC)

Incoming: None
Outgoing: None
Future moves: None

The MWC neither adds or loses members for the 2015 season.


Incoming: None
Outgoing: None
Future moves: None

The Pac-12 neither adds or loses members for the 2015 season.


Incoming: None
Outgoing: None
Future moves: None

The SEC neither adds or loses members for the 2015 season.

Sun Belt Conference (SBC)

Incoming: None
Outgoing: None
Future moves: None

The Sun Belt, which added four members and lost one last season, remains the same in 2015 with 11 members. The only change this season is that Appalachian State and Georgia Southern both become eligible to play in a postseason bowl game.

  1. Shep
    July 1, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    It’s pretty crazy how many teams have moved up in the last 3-5 years, how much more room will there be for additional teams? Will we see a new conference fairly soon?

    • Josh
      July 1, 2015 at 1:30 pm

      It’s always been crazy. Teams have been moving up for years. Follow that money. In 1995 there were 108 teams in Division 1-A and less than 100 before 1990.

    • David
      July 1, 2015 at 5:36 pm

      In the past 25 years, the population of the United States has increased from 248,709,873 up to 321,160,000. That’s an increase of right at 23%. So, 23% more than 108, is 132. So Division 1 FBS hasn’t even kept up with the population increase. We need four more teams to keep up with population. So, which four FCS schools would be most likely to move up? Which four should move up? There’s an interesting article.
      I’ll go with my 4 most likely: (1) North Dakota State, (2) James Madison, (3) Jacksonville State, (4) Kennesaw State. NDSU’s best bet is after a raid on the MW. The other 3, will probably be welcomed into the Sun Belt any day now.

    • PSUandUHDave
      July 1, 2015 at 9:21 pm

      Raid on the MW? Who is going to raid the MW and for what reason?

    • Biggs
      July 3, 2015 at 10:36 am

      The MW would or could be raided whenever the big 12 decides to expand back to 12 or potentially 14.The PAC 12 could also expand to 14. The reason to expand to 14 over 12 would be to expand TV markets for TV revenue. The reason why the Big 12 doesn’t expand now is that they still have the old TV deal with 10 teams instead of 12. I would say that there is a possibility of another 4 to 6 teams to move up to FBS.
      With/if the PAC 12 and Big 12 expand by a combined 6 schools then chances are they would come from either the MWC or AAC. They in turn would go after MAC or C-USA schools and then they would go after the Sun Belt. The SUN Belt would need to call up FCS members to fill up full member slots.

    • Jeff Moore
      July 5, 2015 at 3:14 pm

      OK I admit I’m prejudice. I have been waiting years now for my little school to move to the show. Jacksonville State University deserves an invite. With UAB taking a vacation for the next year or two would have been the perfect time for the invite to come from Conf. USA . Also consider the Sunbelt > Jax State would be a perfect rival for South Alabama Troy and Georgia State. I’m just an alum & fan, but I sure wish one of the FBS conference would invite this my GREAT school. WHY NOT DAVID!

    • Peach Stealth (@PeachStealth)
      July 6, 2015 at 3:16 pm

      Jeff Moore I don’t think Jax state is going to get an invite
      CUSA only wants schools in big cities. They have Birmingham with UAB. If they took a second Alabama team it would be S Alabama because it’s in Mobile.
      If that happened you might get the Sun Belt but until it does, they don’t want a third Alabama school.

    • Shep
      July 9, 2015 at 10:43 am

      I hear ya Jeff, I’m an alum/fan of a larger school (Michigan State) that won’t be going anywhere, a mid-major (Central Michigan) that also won’t be going anywhere, and a small school (Sam Houston State) that has been playing very well in football/basketball the last few years but is just in too small of a city to move up (although ~1 hour north of Houston) but there’s way too much competition in the area.

  2. james
    July 1, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    why is umass moving out

    • David
      July 1, 2015 at 5:41 pm

      If the MAC hadn’t lost Temple, and had picked up one more major east coast university… perhaps Stony Brook or Albany… UMass could have handled the travel to those places and Buffalo, and dealt with also visiting 2 of Akron, Kent State, Miami, and Ohio each year in a 16-team MAC’s East Division.

    • SB
      July 9, 2015 at 12:47 pm

      Delaware wouldn’t be a bad addition or Villanova as those 2 teams produce NFL players and are in the greater Philly area. Villanova used to be an FBS team if I’m not mistaken and Delaware has been a potential FBS addition for years.

  3. Don Julio
    July 1, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    UMass was football-only. I think MAC wanted all sports or nothing.

    • Phil
      July 1, 2015 at 10:10 pm

      Part of UMass’ football only member contract included as clause where if Temple left the conference could offer UMass a all or nothing choice, either join the conference for all sports or leave when the football only contract was up (after this season). UMass didn’t want to be in the MAC for all sports so they are out for football after this season.

  4. auburn4ever
    July 4, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    I wish Auburn would play Army, Navy, Air Force and South Florida

  5. auburn4ever
    July 4, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    From The Power5Conference, I’d like to see us play Oregon, it would be Michigan State, UCLA and Penn State

  6. Peach Stealth (@PeachStealth)
    July 6, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    I’d like to see new rules for FCS teams moving to FBS. They need to have at least one winning season in the last 3 and a 3 year attendance average of 15,000 or more.
    There is no reason to disqualify first year teams from post season play or not count their statistics.

    • JC16
      July 7, 2015 at 12:06 pm

      I agree, however, to your last point with disqualifying teams in there first season of FBS play I agree except in circumstances like when Old Dominion was a transitional and played 8 FCS schools and 4 FBS (they went 8-4 and probably would have made a good run in the FCS playoffs) was rightly banned from post season play, whereas, teams like Georgia Southern who went straight into the Sun Belt and played a full FBS schedule and won their conference should have been allowed post season play, especially if they are eligible to win their conference. It makes no sense you make the full transition and have that amount of success and be dubbed “champions” to then have to then sit out the post season.