Three and Out - It's moving day in FBS
It's July 1, which means moving day in college football is officially here. As Brett McMurphy points out, by 2014 more than one-third of the FBS ranks will have moved conferences since Nebraska and Colorado left the Big 12 after the 2010 season.
1. The creation of the American Athletic Conference becomes official today, which means the Big East as a football brand is dead and gone. Though the league was torn apart in its later years, hold a good thought for the conference that produced two Miami national championship teams, college football's original Dual Threat Quarterback That Keeps Defensive Coordinators Up at Night and Rich Rodriguez's almost national champions at West Virginia.
The football branch of the Western Athletic Conference also shut down as of midnight. Like the Big East, the WAC became unrecognizable from its glory days, but no league did more in the 1980's and 1990's to bring the passing game to the forefront of college football. For all intents and purposes, the WAC trademarked the 48-41 shootout which has become commonplace today.
2. The American isn't the only conference welcoming new members today. San Jose State and Utah State have joined the Mountain West, North Texas, Louisiana Tech, UTSA, Middle Tennessee, Florida Atlantic and Florida International jump aboard Conference USA, and Texas State and Georgia State are now Sun Belt members. Thanks to the disintegration of the WAC, Idaho and New Mexico State begin a year of reluctant independence. Today is a gleefully quiet one in the Big 12 where, after a three-year period in which four schools left and two schools joined, the conference's roster remains stagnant at ten.
3. This isn't the end of the realignment carousel, however. The first year will also be the last year in the American for Rutgers and Louisville, bound for the Big Ten and ACC, while Maryland is beginning its swan song in the ACC. East Carolina, Tulsa and Tulane will join the American next year (with Navy joining in 2015), while Western Kentucky and Old Dominion will take their spots in Conference USA in 2014, with Charlotte following a year later. (Old Dominion and Charlotte joined C-USA in non-football sports today). Appalachian State and Georgia Southern will jump from FCS to the Sun Belt in 2014, while Idaho and New Mexico State will return to the Sun Belt after a year in no man's land.
Judging from the photo below, the rest of the ACC is going to make sure Maryland's final year in the conference is a long one.