By RALPH D. RUSSO, AP College Football Writer
Six Conference USA schools, including UAB, Texas-San Antonio and Florida Atlantic, have applied to become members of the American Athletic Conference and are expected to be accepted by the end of the week, according to two people familiar with the process.
Rice, North Texas and Charlotte also applied for membership, people who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity said on Wednesday as the league was not yet ready to hand in on expansion plans. public.
The American was on the hunt for new members after three of its top performing schools, Cincinnati, Houston and Central Florida, announced in September that they would join the Big 12.
Those measures are expected to happen by the 2023 football season, and the American hopes to have his six new members in place when the leaving schools leave.
The end result would be a 14 team conference, with four schools in Texas – the three new members and SMU.
The Americans have targeted schools based on large media markets and fertile recruiting territory for football.
UAB has been C-USA’s most consistent winner in recent seasons, playing three straight league games and winning two. It was a remarkable rebound for a program that ended after the 2014 season but returned to competition in 2017.
FAU, located in Boca Raton, won the Conference USA titles in 2017 and ’19 under then-coach Lane Kiffin.
North Texas, based in Denton, played for a C-USA title in 2017.
UTSA is a relatively new major college football program. The Roadrunners’ first season was 2011, but they have already played two bowl games and are currently undefeated and ranked No.24 in the AP poll.
Charlotte is also a newcomer to the highest level of Division I football, having joined in 2013.
Rice, a Houston-based private school, has the longest history of major college football competition among the six schools heading to America. Owls were once a member of the Southwestern Conference with schools such as Texas and Arkansas.
C-USA was a frequent target when the American, formerly the Grand Est, had to reconstitute itself. Once the final realignment moves are complete, 12 of the 14 US members will be former members of C-USA.
Conference USA will only have eight members: Old Dominion, UTEP, Southern Miss, Marshall, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee, Florida International and Western Kentucky.
Follow Ralph D. Russo on https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen on http://www.appodcasts.com
More AP College Football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25. Sign up for the AP College Football Newsletter: https://apnews.com/cfbtop25
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.