To some, this year’s shift in conference membership is just the undercard to next year’s realignment main event. Yes, come July 2024, Big 12 flagships Oklahoma and Texas join the SEC, and Pac-12 staples USC and UCLA enter the Big Ten. Still, it’s hard to overlook the significant turnover taking place in the college football landscape this time around as 14 programs officially swap league affiliation.
Changing conferences with eyes on greener pastures can be a difficult ordeal. Just ask San Diego State, which seemed primed to make a Power Five jump, but will remain in the Mountain West for the time being as uncertainty abounds with the Pac-12’s murky media rights negotiations.
The 14 programs that are changing conference hands today come from all walks of life. From tradition-rich programs to Football Bowl Subdivision upstarts, this round of conference realignment features a little bit of everything. Some programs are at last breaking into the FBS after spending years — decades, in some cases — at the lower levels of college football. Some are leaving behind an era of independence. And others finally make a long-awaited jump to the Power Five ranks via invitations to the Big 12 Conference.
Here’s a look at every new FBS conference member.
Previous conference: FBS independent | New conference: Big 12
BYU football hasn’t been in a conference since 2010. The Cougars were no stranger to Power Five competition during that stretch of independence, which should help them acclimate to their new home. BYU was treated to an appetizer of Big 12 play over the past two seasons, splitting a home-and-home series with Baylor. A healthy portion of BYU’s history can be traced back to the Western Athletic Conference (1962-98) and the defunct Skyline…