Delaware to move up to FBS level and join Conference USA in 2025

STATE COLLEGE, PA - SEPTEMBER 09: A detailed view of a Delaware Fightin Blue Hens logo on a football before the game between the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Delaware Fightin Blue Hens at Beaver Stadium on September 9, 2023 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Delaware is moving up to the top level of college football in 2025. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

The University of Delaware is moving to the top level of college football.

Conference USA announced Tuesday that Delaware will be joining the conference in 2025. The move makes Delaware the 134th school to play college football at the FBS level.

Delaware currently competes in the Colonial Athletic Association at the FCS level and is 9-3 after a 36-34 win over Lafayette in the first round of the FCS playoffs. The Blue Hens play at Montana in the second round Dec. 2.

The school has won five Division II national titles and won the FCS championship in 2003.

“Just like our football team, the whole University of Delaware, is on the rise,” Delaware president Dennis Assanis said in a statement. “UD ranks among the nation’s leading public research institutions and is recognized nationally for delivering exceptional professional outcomes for our students. Joining Conference USA will help increase our visibility to shine a light on our excellent academic programs, our ground-breaking research initiatives and our enduring impact on our community and the world.”

Delaware will be the third school to make the jump from FCS to Conference USA in recent years. Jacksonville State and Sam Houston are currently in their first season at the FBS level. They joined Conference USA as the conference scrambled to add teams and stay intact following the latest round of conference realignment.

The Blue Hens' move up to the FBS level means there will be just seven states in the U.S. that don't have a team at the top level of college football: Alaska, Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

When Delaware joins Conference USA, the conference will have 10 football teams. Liberty and New Mexico State are set to play Friday for the conference title.