Editor’s note: This post has been updated as of Sunday, November 20, 2022. Note that this list only reflects changes in effect beginning with the 2023-24 academic year. A list of changes for the 2021-22 changes can be found here while the changes for the current 2022-23 academic year can be found here. This article will be updated throughout the current academic year as more changes become known.

The calendar has shifted to July and with it is a new academic year. That means we can begin looking to the future for the changes happening for the next academic year in 2023-24. We will list the known changes for Division 1, Division 2, Division 3, and the NAIA below. This list will not include previous years’ changes from 2021-22, 2020-21, or earlier realignment moves.

If you are looking for a specific division and additional information, click here for Division 1here for Division 2here for Division 3, and here for NAIA. Clicking the new conference for the school in question (3rd column in the table) will take you directly to the day of the update, which will provide additional information. Tip for mobile users: you can scroll to the right to find additional columns shown in the table.

TeamOld ConferenceNew ConferenceFirst season in
New Conference
Notes
Anderson UniversitySAC (D2)SAC (D2)2024-25Starting football program
Arizona ChristianSooner Athletic (NAIA)Frontier (NAIA)2023-24Football only move
Austin CollegeASC (D3)SCAC (D3)2024-25Football only move
Bismarck StateN/ANorth Star (NAIA)TBD2-Year college; will become 4 year college and join NAIA
BYUWCC / FBS Independent (D1)Big 12 (D1)2023-24
Calvin UniversityN/AMIAA (D3)TBDAdding football program
Campbell UniversityBig South (D1)CAA (D1)2023-24
Carlow UniversityNAIA / USCAATBD (D3)TBD
Catholic UniversityNEWMAC (D3)Landmark (D3)2023-24Football only move
Centenary CollegeN/ASCAC (D3)2024-25Reviving football program
CharlotteC-USA (D1)AAC (D1)2023-24
CincinnatiAAC (D1)Big 12 (D1)2023-24
Eastern UniversityN/AMiddle Atlantic (D3)2023-24Added Club Football in 2022; will have full tream in 2023
Evangel UniversityHAAC (NAIA)KCAC (NAIA)2023-24
Florida AtlanticC-USA (D1)AAC (D1)2023-24
HartfordAmerica East (D1)CCC (D3)2023-24
Hilbert CollegeIndependent (D3)Empire 8 (D3)2024-25Football only move
HoustonAAC (D1)Big 12 (D1)2023-24
Iowa WesleyanCAC (NAIA)AMC (NAIA)2023-24Football and wrestling not going to AMC
IUPUCN/ARiver States (NAIA)2023-24Was previous part of IUPUI
IUPUIHorizon League (D1)Horizon League (D1)2024-25Splitting into 2 campuses
Jacksonville StateASUN (D1)C-USA (D1)2023-24
JuniataCentennial (D3)Landmark (D3)2023-24Football only move
Kennesaw StateASUN (D1)C-USA (D1)2024-25Reported move
Keystone CollegeECFC (D3)Landmark (D3)2023-24Football only move
Lamar UniversityWAC (D1)Southland (D1)2022-23Originally planned to return to Southland in 2023-24
Lesley UniversityNECC (D3)NAC (D3)2023-24
LibertyASUN / FBS Independent (D1)C-USA (D1)2023-24
Lycoming CollegeMAC Freedom (D3)Landmark (D3)2023-24
Lyon CollegeAMC (NAIA)SLIAC (D3)
Football: SCAC (D3)
2023-24
Football 2024-25
Football will join SCAC in 2024
Maine MaritimeFootball Dropped in 2020NAC (D3)TBDAttempting to bring football back
McMurry UniversityASC (D3)SCAC (D3)2024-25
Menlo CollegeGSAC (NAIA)PacWest (D2)2024-25
Mills CollegeC2C (D3)Merging with Northeastern2023-24
MoravianCentennial (D3)Landmark (D3)2023-24Football only move
Murray StateOVC (D1)MVFC (D1)2023-24Football only move
New Mexico StateWAC / FBS Independent (D1)C-USA (D1)2023-24
North Carolina A&TBig South (D1)CAA (D1)2023-24Football only move
North TexasC-USA (D1)AAC (D1)2023-24
OklahomaBig 12 (D1)SEC (D1)2024-25?
PikevilleMid-South (NAIA)Appalachian Athletic Conference (NAIA)2023-24
Point UniversityAppalachian Athletic Conference (NAIA)SSAC (NAIA)2023-24
Post UniversityN/ATBD (D2)TBDFootball upgrading from Sprint team to full D2 program
RiceC-USA (D1)AAC (D1)2023-24
Sam Houston StateWAC (D1)C-USA (D1)2023-24
Schreiner UniversityN/ASCAC (D3)2026-27New football program with start date of 2025 or 2026
Shawnee StateMid-South (NAIA)River States (NAIA)2023-24
Sierra Nevada UniversityCal Pac (NAIA)Became part of University of Nevada, Reno (D1)Athletics TBD
Simpson UniversityN/ATBD (NAIA)2024-25Adding football program
Southwestern (TX)ASC (D3)SAA (D3) in 2023-24
SCAC (D3) by 2026
2023-24
2026-27
Football only moves
SUNY MaritimeECFC (D3)NEWMAC (D3)2023-24
SUNY MorrisvilleUnited East (D3)NAC (D3)2023-24Football TBD
SusquehannaCentennial (D3)Landmark (D3)2023-24Football only move
Tennessee SouthernMid-South (NAIA)SSAC (NAIA)2023-24
TexasBig 12 (D1)SEC (D1)2024-25?
Texas LutheranASC (D3)SCAC (D3)2026-27Will move to SCAC no later than 2026 season
Thomas UniversitySun Conference (NAIA)SSAC (NAIA)2023-24
Trinity (TX)SAA (D3)SCAC (D3)2026-27Will move to SCAC no later than 2026 season
UABC-USA (D1)AAC (D1)2023-24
UCFAAC (D1)Big 12 (D1)2023-24
UCLAPac-12 (D1)Big Ten (D1)2024-25
University of the Virgin IslandsCAC (NAIA)GCAC (NAIA)2023-24
USCPac-12 (D1)Big Ten (D1)2024-25
UT Rio Grande ValleyWAC (D1)WAC (D1)2025-26Football starting in 2025
UTSAC-USA (D1)AAC (D1)2023-24
WhittierSCIAC (D3)None2023-24Dropping football
Wilkes UniversityMAC Freedom (D3)Landmark (D3)2023-24

Division 1

7/1/22 Update: We will kick off this summary with the two biggest news stories in recent realignment memory: Oklahoma and Texas will move to the SEC no later than the 2025-26 academic year although they could join a year earlier in 2024-25. The other seismic shift was the duo of UCLA and USC announcing they are leaving the Pac-12 to join the Big Ten starting with the 2024-25 academic year.

BYU will be joining the Big 12 conference starting with the 2023-24 academic year alongside the three AAC teams Central Florida, Cincinnati, and Houston. With the AAC needing to reload after losing 3 members, they opted to raid Conference USA for 6 members: Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, Rice, UAB, and UTSA. Those 6 are moving to the AAC starting with the 2023-24 academic year.

Hartford announced in May 2021 that they would drop from Division I to compete at the Division III level starting in 2023. That timeline is subject to approval from the NCAA with the expected full D3 membership to start in the 2025-26 academic year. Hartford will join the Commonwealth Coast Conference starting in 2023-24.

Conference USA will welcome four new members with two FBS independents and two FCS teams joining the conference. Liberty and New Mexico State will leave FBS independent status to become members of C-USA. The two FCS teams moving up will be Jacksonville State from the ASUN and Sam Houston State from the WAC. All four schools will join beginning with the 2023-24 academic year.

Lamar University decided its foray into the WAC wasn’t the right decision and will head back to the Southland Conference after two seasons. Lamar joined the WAC in the 2021-22 academic year and will return to the Southland for the 2023-24 academic year. Incarnate Word also decided to not leave for the WAC and will remain in the Southland Conference.

Murray State’s football program will join the MVFC starting with the 2023-24 season. The Racers’ other sports have already moved to the similarly named but separate conference of the Missouri Valley this year. In a similar vein, North Carolina A&T will move its football program from the Big South to the CAA in 2023-24. NCAT is already a member of the CAA in all other sports but wanted to help the Big South keep its FCS Playoff automatic qualifier spot for the 2022 season.

student referendum to increase fees was passed at UT-Rio Grande Valley, which puts the school one step closer to starting football. The final step before football becomes officially sponsored by the school is a vote from the Board of Regents, which will happen in early 2022. The football program is likely to start playing in 2024 or 2025.

Chicago State left the Western Athletic Conference after the 2021-22 academic year but there has been no indication of which conference they will be headed to – if any. The Division I path forward for Chicago State has many obstacles.

7/11/22 Update: Lamar University announced they would rejoin the Southland Conference in 2022 – a year earlier than originally planned. The move leaves the WAC with only 6 members for 2022.

8/3/22 Update: Campbell University announced they are leaving the Big South to join the Colonial Athletic Association starting in 2023. The CAA will have 15 football-playing members in 2023 with the recent string of new members.

8/25/22 Update: IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis) will be splitting into 2 separate universities by the start of the 2024-25 academic year. Indiana University will keep the Indianapolis campus location and change the name to Indiana University Indianapolis. Indiana University Indianapolis will retain the IUPUI athletics program and nickname of the Jaguars.

10/7/22 Update: Pete Thamel reported that Kennesaw State will leave the ASUN to join C-USA starting in 2024. Kennesaw State has seen a rapid rise in the FCS ranks with a successful football program, a topic discussed previously on this website.

10/14/22 Update: The report from Pete Thamel a week prior was confirmed with Conference USA announcing Kennesaw State as a future member beginning in 2024-25.

11/9/22 Update: The University of New Orleans will not be adding football, women’s golf, women’s soccer, or a marching band after students rejected a proposal 69% to 31%. UNO’s potential football team would have joined the Southland Conference.

11/18/22 Update: The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley made it official that football will begin in 2025. The Vaqueros will automatically be eligible for the WAC championship and postseason in 2025. In addition, the school announced it added women’s swimming and diving to its sports offerings with the first season in the fall of 2024.

Division 2

7/1/22 Update: Anderson University (South Carolina) will be adding football with the intent to join the South Atlantic Conference starting with the 2024-25 season.

Post University (Waterbury, Connecticut) announced an intention to become a Division II member in football. They will be moving from a sprint football team into a to-be-determined Division II conference in the future. The Eagles are a member of the Division 2 Central Athletic Collegiate Conference (CACC), which does not sponsor football. 2022 will mark the 2nd year that Post has fielded a full-sized football team.

11/1/2022 Update: Menlo College (Atherton, California) is looking to become an NCAA member by the 2024-25 season. Menlo is currently a member of the NAIA’s Golden State Athletic Conference after joining the GSAC in 2015. The university is seeking to find more regional scheduling partners as a member of the Division 2 PacWest conference along with scheduling additional teams from the California Collegiate Athletic Association.

Division 3

7/1/22 Update: Carlow University announced plans to move up to the Division 3 level although a definitive timeline has not been established. Carlow is currently a member of the USCAA and NAIA for its various athletics teams.

Centenary College (Shreveport, Louisiana) announced they will bring back football starting with the 2024-25 season. Centenary had a football program from 1894 through 1941 and again in the 1960s but scrapped the sport. The school is a member of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference in most sports. The SCAC does not sponsor football, which means Centenary will have to find a different home for that sport.

The North Atlantic Conference will be expanding for the 2023-24 academic year with two new members. Lesley University (Cambridge, Massachusetts) will move from the New England Collegiate Conference while SUNY Morrisville will leave the United East Conference (the football team is currently in the Empire 8 conference, a sport the NAC does not sponsor).

Mills College – based in Oakland, California – announced it would no longer be a degree-granting institution but this later changed to a merger with Northeastern University out of Boston, Massachusetts. No sports will be sponsored by Mills following the 2022-23 academic year.

Southwestern University (Georgetown, Texas) announced a move from the American Southwest Conference to the Southern Athletic Association in a football-only move starting with the 2023-24 academic year. They will be the tenth football member of the SAA when they join in 2023 and will have some company as an affiliate member. Trinity University (San Antonio) has been an affiliate member of football since 2017.

SUNY Maritime will leave the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference to become a member of the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference. They will join the NEWMAC starting with the 2023-24 season.

The Landmark Conference announced they would add football as a conference sport starting with the 2023-24 season. Two schools – Wilkes University (Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania) and Lycoming College (Williamsport, Pennsylvania) – will become full members while Keystone College (Factoryville, Pennsylvania) will join as an affiliate football member. Those three will join current Landmark members Catholic University (leaving NEWMAC) and the three Centennial Conference departees Juniata, Moravian, and Susquehanna.

8/25/22 Update: Lyon College (Batesville, Arkansas) will make the transition from NAIA to Division 3 starting in 2023. The Scots will be a member of the American Midwest Conference at the NAIA level in 2022 before moving to the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in 2023-24. Lyon will become fully eligible D3 members in 2025-26 provided they meet the requirements set by the NCAA.

9/24/22 Update: Hilbert College (Hamburg, New York) will leave its current football independent status to join the Empire 8 starting in the 2024-25 academic year. Hilbert started its football program in 2022 but did not announce a conference affiliation for the program at the time. The school’s main conference – the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference – does not sponsor football but the school will continue to house most of its sports in the AMCC.

10/30/22 Update: Calvin University (Grand Rapids, Michigan) – currently a member of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association – is adding a football program. The school said football would be added in 2023 but D3Football believes 2025 is a more realistic timeline after a stadium is constructed.

Eastern University (St. Davids, Pennsylvania) started a club football program for 2022 and the football team will join the Middle Atlantic Conference in 2023. Maine Maritime is attempting to restart its football team after shutting it down during the pandemic. The school announced in October 2022 that it raised $56,000 in an effort to bring the football team back. The $56,000 is approximately 10% of its target as they seek to raise the funding in time for the 2023 season.

11/1/22 Update: McMurry University (Abilene, Texas) will leave the American Southwest Conference and join the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference at the start of the 2024-25 academic year. McMurry was a member of the ASC twice with the first stint coming in 1996 through 2012. They left to join Division 2‘s Heartland Conference but ended up moving back to Division 3 and re-joining the ASC for the 2014-15 academic year.

11/14/22 Update: It was a sad day as it was announced by a coach that Whittier College will drop the football program, which means that the 2022 season was its final one. Whittier College is a member of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) and the football program once had a player by the name of Richard Nixon.

11/20/22 Update: There will be a new automatic bid for the Division 3 Playoffs beginning in 2026 with the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference’s decision to reinstate football starting in 2024. As previously mentioned, McMurry will move its football team from the American Southwest Conference to the SCAC. They will be joined by Austin College (from the ASC), Centenary College (Louisiana; reinstating football), and Lyon College (from the NAIA’s American Midwest Conference) in 2024.

By 2026, the SCAC will also welcome Southwestern University (ASC football affiliate), Texas Lutheran (ASC football affiliate), and Trinity (SAA football affiliate). To make this a bit more confusing, Southwestern has previously announced they are leaving the ASC for the SAA beginning in 2023. Also joining these teams by 2026 is Schreiner University, which will be a new football team per the SCAC’s release.

To recap, the SCAC will have 7 members by 2026: Austin College, Centenary College, Lyon College, Schreiner University, Southwestern University, Texas Luthern, and Trinity (TX).

NAIA

7/1/22 Update: Bismarck State is planning to join the NAIA in the future although it has yet to set a definite timetable for the move. Bismarck State is currently a two-year college but will transition to a 4-year college along with the move to NAIA. The logical destination for Bismarck is the North Star Athletic Association.

Evangel University (Springfield, Missouri) will have a new home in 2023-24 when they become members of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. Evangel will play the 2022-23 season as a member of the Heart of America Athletic Conference, which they joined in 1987.

Sierra Nevada University will become part of the University of Nevada, Reno as part of an agreement between the two schools. SNU participates at the NAIA level in the Cal Pac Conference. Nevada and SNY have informed the U.S. Department of Education that the ownership change went into effect on July 1, 2022 but decisions regarding the sports programs at SNU have yet to be made.

Tennessee Southern (Pulaski, Tennessee) is rejoining the Southern States Athletic Conference in 2023-24 after spending three years in the Mid-South Conference. UT Southern has undergone quite a transformation in the last five years with a name change from Martin Methodist College to the current name of UT Southern after they joined the University of Tennessee system. UT Southern was previously part of the SSAC from 2013 through 2020.

Thomas University (Thomasville, Georgia) will leave The Sun Conference for a majority of sports and join the Southern States Athletic Conference beginning in 2023-24. The Night Hawks will field a football team starting in 2023 as well.

8/25/22 Update: Point University (West Point, Georgia) will become a member of the Southern States Athletic Conference starting in the 2023-24 academic year. The Skyhawks will remain members of the Appalachian Athletic Conference for 2022-23 and play football in the Mid-South Conference this year. As of this update, the SSAC does not sponsor football meaning Point University could continue to play football in the AAC in the future.

9/11/22 Update: Arizona Christian University (Glendale, Arizona) will move its football program from the Sooner Athletic Conference to the Frontier Conference starting with the 2023-24 academic year. ACU joined the Central States Football League in 2015 before the CSFL associate football membership moved en masse to the Sooner Athletic Conference in 2018.

9/18/22 Update: Shawnee State (Portsmouth, Ohio) will move from the Mid-South Conference to the River States Conference beginning with the 2023-24 academic year.

9/28/22 Update: Simpson University (Redding, California) has decided to add a football program to its athletics offerings. The school plans to scrimmage for the 2023 season followed by a full season in 2024. It is not yet known which conference they will join at the NAIA level.

10/7/22 Update: The University of Pikeville (Pikeville, Kentucky) will leave the Mid-South Conference to join the Appalachian Athletic Conference beginning in 2023-24. UPIKE has been a member of the Mid-South since 2000 and the conference has seen 3 other members leave or announce their intention to leave. Thomas More left for Division 2 in 2022 while Shawnee State and Tennessee Southern are leaving in 2023 while Wilberforce was the only team to join the MSC in the past year.

10/29/22 Update: The previously announced split of IUPUI into separate campuses of Indianapolis and Columbus has a slight update for IUPUC. The Columbus location will become a member of the River States Conference starting in 2023. Starting in 2022, IUPUC participated at the NAIA level in men’s and women’s cross country, softball, and baseball while they will add men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball into the mix for 2023.

11/4/22 Update: The University of the Virgin Islands will join the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference beginning in 2023-24. UVI has been a member of the NAIA’s independent conference the Continental Athletic Conference.

11/16/22 Update: Iowa Wesleyan has found a new home for a majority of its athletics starting in 2023-24. The Tigers will return to the American Midwest Conference after previously being a member from 1993 through 1995. IWU currently is a member of the Continental Athletic Conference, which is comprised of the NAIA independent schools. Football will remain in the North Star Athletic Association and Wrestling will say in the Heart of America Athletic Conference.

Photo courtesy of USC Athletics

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