Thanks to the merry-go-round of college football teams in new conferences, the Alabama Crimson Tide will welcome two new teams to the SEC. Next year, the Tide and the rest of the SEC will face the Missouri Tigers and the Texas A&M Aggies.
Since all the major conferences are stealing teams from each other that has resulted in the other major conferences stealing from the minor conferences. The domino effect is that the small conferences are now scrambling for teams and have to resort to inviting FCS schools to join the FBS.
There will be four new FBS schools in 2012 and a fifth team in 2013.
University of Massachusetts AmherstThe University of Massachusetts Amherst--more commonly known as UMass--will be joining the Mid-American Conference. The MAC's one defecting team was the Temple Owls. The first game that UMass plays as a FBS school will be at the University of Connecticut. The schedule also includes non-conference games against Indiana and Michigan before its first MAC conference game at Miami of Ohio. UMass has been right around .500--23-22 to be exact--in the Colonial Athletic Association the last four seasons, so it will be interesting to see how they will compete against a higher level of talent.
University of South AlabamaThe South Alabama Jaguars are in a period of transitioning from their current conference to the Sun Belt conference. In 2012, South Alabama will compete in Sun Belt conference games, but it will not be eligible for winning the conference or bowl games until 2013. South Alabama is an interesting case because its football program just started in 2009. The Jaguars went 7-0 and outscored its opponents by a score of 321-41 in 2009 and went 10-0 by outscoring its opponents by a score of 413-130 in 2010. South Alabama played its first game against a FBS school last season in a 35-13 loss at NC State.
Texas State University-San MarcosTexas State has been playing football since 1904. Most notably, the Bobcats were a part of the Southland Conference from 1987 to 2010 before becoming an independent in 2011. Texas State has has won 14 conference championships in three different conferences and won the Division II national championship in 1981 and 1982 under coach Jim Wacker. The Bobcats' current head coach is Dennis Franchione, and Texas State will be joining the Western Athletic Conference in 2012.
University of Texas-San AntonioThe UTSA Roadrunners are one of the rivals of the Texas State Bobcats and will be joining them in the WAC Conference in 2012. The current UTSA head coach is former Miami coach Larry Coker. The Roadrunners have played just one season of college football, going 4-6. The Roadrunners played their first game against Northeastern, and the 56,783 fans in attendance made it the highest-attended game from a team playing its first season in the FCS.
Georgia State UniversityGeorgia State will not join the FBS in 2012 but will be joining in 2013, so I thought I would include it as well. The Georgia State Panthers launched their football program in 2008. Their first and only coach to date has been former Georgia Tech, Alabama and Kentucky coach Bill Curry. Georgia State did not play its first football game until 2010, which was a 41-7 victory. The Panthers' first game against a FBS school was a 63-7 loss against Alabama. In two seasons as a FCS Independent, Georgia State had a record of 9-13. The Panthers will be joining the Sun Belt Conference.
Sources:Official Site of Texas State Football Official Site of UTSA Football Official Site of Georgia State Football
Lee Andrew Henderson has lived for more than 30 years in the state of Alabama. Surrounded by Alabama and Auburn fans he is constantly immersed with the team schools, the rivalry, the SEC and college football in general. Lee Andrew Henderson can be found on Twitter @LeeAHenderson .