The offseason must be looming because a college football conference realignment report surfaced Friday morning.
Pete Thamel of ESPN tweeted a bombshell report about a potentially emerging conference. Ten different schools from the FCS plan to move up to FBS to create a new conference. Thamel tweeted, “Ten schools have come to an agreement to form a new football-only conference with the stated goal of moving from FCS to FBS ‘at the earliest practicable date.'”
Sources: Ten schools have come to an agreement to form a new football-only conference with the stated goal of moving from FCS to FBS “at the earliest practicable date.” https://t.co/GBEfuuW8VH
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) December 9, 2022
The report from Thamel specifically cites the schools by name. They come from the ASUN Conference and the WAC. Thamel wrote, “The schools that have signed on to join the league are WAC football members Stephen F. Austin, Abilene Christian, Utah Tech, Southern Utah and Tarleton State and Atlantic Sun football members Austin Peay, Eastern Kentucky, Central Arkansas, and North Alabama.”
The report also mentioned UT Rio Grande Valley as the likely 10th member of the conference. UTRGV will start a football program soon.
This would be a big shakeup at the Group of 5 levels of the sport mainly as it is only set to be a football-only conference. If conference realignment shakeups of the past are an indicator, the fun has likely just begun.
Reactions to the report from Thamel flew in after it was revealed.
North Alabama is among them. Big news …. https://t.co/W5bDDr6Yg9
— Keith Niebuhr (@On3Keith) December 9, 2022
Big Ten fans already compiling fire takes when an SEC team schedules an FBS game against Tarleton State https://t.co/SSBT6reTyg
— Barrett Sallee 🇺🇸 (@BarrettSallee) December 9, 2022
Southern Utah & Utah Tech are reportedly looking to make the jump to FBS football with 8 other schools… not all that surprising as there have been previous reports that the WAC wanted to make the jump. That would make for five FBS schools in the Beehive State… https://t.co/ltnp8k68H3
— Jake Hatch (Yawk) – Slava Ukraini (@JacobCHatch) December 9, 2022
Spent time this week hearing @SunBelt commish Keith Gill talked about benefits of regional rivalries in his Group of 5 conference, and here we are now talking a potential new conference where the likes of Southern Utah/Utah Tech would be paired with North Alabama/Eastern Kentucky https://t.co/QfQYjX4Aqs
— Austin Karp (@AustinKarp) December 9, 2022
Moving up just in time for the divide between the top and bottom of FBS to get even wider https://t.co/gIuZqqG6R9
— PodKATT (@valleyshook) December 9, 2022
THE MORE THE MERRIER https://t.co/xbjwL5mjFn
— Bill Connelly (@ESPN_BillC) December 9, 2022
The master plan for the WAC to rise from the ashes and take over major college football is coming together nicely. https://t.co/IOp1x0FWmp
— Jack Crosby (@JCrosbyCBS) December 9, 2022