Charlotte among six schools joining American Athletic Conference

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 22, 2021

By Ralph D. Russo

AP College Football Writer

Major college football is settling into a strange period with lame duck memberships and frayed allegiances that could last another season or even two as conferences sort out the latest shifts and turns of realignment.

The American Athletic Conference on Thursday became the latest to act in the trickle down effect from Texas and Oklahoma’s announced move to the Southeastern Conference. The American is adding UAB, UTSA, Rice, North Texas, Charlotte and Florida Atlantic to replace three schools that are leaving for the Big 12 Conference —- eventually.

“I think they will definitely take great advantage of the exposure and the platforms that are going to be provided by this conference,” AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco said. “So we look forward, down the road, and we’re not certain when they’re going to come in yet. That’s still to be decided.”

The AAC doesn’t have room for the newcomers until the outgoing schools have left. Those within the AAC believe 2023 is a realistic target for the transition to a 14-team conference. But it all starts with Texas and Oklahoma. The Longhorns and Sooners are contractually obligated to the Big 12 until July 2025. The SEC has made it clear that while it is looking forward to having Texas and OU on board, the league is also fine with waiting until then.

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