College football realignment took another twist on Tuesday night. One of the foremost service academies in the country has jumped to a conference after nearly two decades of independence. The United States Military Academy has a new home in the rebuilt AAC. Yahoo Sports’ Ross Dellenger was on the news first.
The move was mooted to be in the works for some time, according to numerous reports. Dellenger reports that Army will join as a football-only member, starting next season. USMA was previously a member of another Group of 6, Conference USA before leaving in 2004.
Who’s in the AAC? What is the AAC?
Army’s addition to the conference, now brings 14 schools slated to play in the revamped league. This Group of 6 league has programs like UTSA, USF, Tulane, Charlotte, and Temple. Interestingly, the AAC also has the Naval Academy. Mike Aresco is the commissioner. There is a three-way tie for first place this season between undefeated SMU, Tulane, and UTSA. The conference championship game is played on the top seed’s campus.
What happens to Army-Navy?
The nation’s most storied and beloved rivalry isn’t going anywhere. As seen below, the rivalry continues but won’t count in the league standings. Should both teams qualify for the conference championship game, they will play again.
As part of a potential agreement with the league, Army would continue its annual rivalry game with Navy on the traditional date on the second weekend of December. The game will not count in the conference standings, and the two schools will not play in the regular season. However, they could meet in the conference championship game as the top two finishers in the regular season, Aresco said, and then would play again in the Army-Navy Game.Ross Delleger, Yahoo Sports
What’s next in realignment?
The defunct Pac-12 is working through its legal issues at present as the Pac-2 soldiers on. The ACC did expand with three programs a few months ago. However, the conference is still ripe for the picking as Florida State has expressed its disappointment in the conference vociferously. Could the ACC be next on the chopping block as its powers cast glances elsewhere? After the fate of the Atlantic Coast Conference is determined, expect the realignment drama to largely settle down in the Power 5.