Report: Conference USA to Add 4 New Schools Including Liberty, New Mexico State

Conference USA, which is set to lose up to 11 of 14 schools as the college football landscape undergoes a major realignment over the next few years, is reportedly likely to add four new schools.

Those schools are Liberty, New Mexico State, Jacksonville State and Sam Houston State, according to The Action Network.

The schools leaving Conference USA include Florida Atlantic, Charlotte, North Texas, UTSA, Rice, UAB, Marshall, ODU, Southern Miss, and likely, Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky. The final two are reportedly heading to the MAC, but the move is not final.

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Of the four reported additions to Conference USA, Liberty and New Mexico State each sponsor women’s-only swimming and diving programs, while Jacksonville State and Sam Houston State do not have swimming and diving teams.

Liberty is the most significant move in terms of both football and swimming ramifications. The school competes as an independent in football, but has recently ranked in the AP Top 25 — as high as 17th last season — and secured a bowl game in three straight seasons. In swimming, Liberty and FGCU have a strong rivalry in the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association, tying for first at the 2021 conference championships.

New Mexico State’s swim and dive team competes in the Western Athletic Conference. The team took second at the 2021 WAC Championships.

Assuming the moves are approved, nothing would change in the immediate future. Most of the realignment moves throughout college sports are slated to take place over the next few years, but all by the start of the 2025 school year. As noted by The Action Network, since Texas and Oklahoma announced their bombshell exit from the Big 12 to SEC, 22 schools in total have announced moves.

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Swim like a fish drink like a fish
1 year ago

I heard liberty makes the students cover up in their swim suits to be modest

1 year ago

We were all waiting for this!! Time for the Flames to be racing in the big time. Keep chasing us!! Time for Coach Jake to show the world what Liberty U is all about!!

#conferenceChamps_in_2years !! #goFlames #FalwellRocks #michaelandrews_student

Reply to  PowerTower
1 year ago

From a swimming perspective, not sure Conference USA is anymore big time than their current conference. They had a good thing going FGCU. Now they’ll just have to get that going with another Florida school (FIU).

1 year ago

As far as I’ve heard, Rice is moving to the AAC, not the Big 12.

Reply to  HJones
1 year ago


About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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