With so much conference realignment going on, I tested myself to see how many of the 133 FBS teams I could correctly place into their proper conference for 2023.
If you want to play along, no cheating. No googling. There are 10 conferences, plus independents. See how many you can come up with in each conference.
To keep it interesting, I alternated between Power Five and Group of Five conferences. Here’s how I did.
My guess: Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest
My score: 14/14
I had to dig deep to remember Louisville – a nomad that, just during my lifetime, has been an independent, then a member of Conference USA, the Big East and now the ACC. The ACC remains relevant, but I struggle to summarize its brand, other than to say: There’s a few football schools, more that care about basketball, a few that care about neither, and Notre Dame is the annoying neighbor who pops in.
My guess: East Carolina, Florida Atlantic, Memphis, Navy, North Texas, UAB, South Florida, SMU, Tulane, Tulsa
My score: 10/14. My listed teams are correct, but I only remembered three AAC newcomers. I omitted Charlotte, Rice and Texas San-Antonio. I still had Rice and UTSA in Conference USA. I forgot Charlotte entirely. I also left out Temple.
My score: 14/14
Tougher would have been recollecting how the Big Ten’s now-defunct Legends and Leaders divisions were aligned. Is it better to be considered a legend or leader? I never knew. The Big Ten grew from 11 to 14 by adding Nebraska, then Maryland and Rutgers. I’ve thought the trio of Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska would have made more sense.
My guess: Abilene Christian, Jacksonville State, Lamar, Rice, Sam Houston State, Texas-San Antonio, UTEP, Western Kentucky
My score: 4/9. I made a mess here. The CUSA’s nine teams in 2023 are: Florida International, Jacksonville State, Liberty, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee State, New Mexico State, Sam Houston, UTEP and WKU.
The league lacks an identity. Only one CUSA program in 2023 was in the conference in 2012. Maybe, I’m ahead of my time in elevating ACU and Lamar from FCS to CUSA.
My guess: Baylor, BYU, Cincinnati, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Houston, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech, UCF, West Virginia
My score: 14/14
Imagine telling a college sports fan in 1983 that BYU, West Virginia, Texas and Central Florida (then a Division II program) would call the same conference home, 40 years later. Two things I mourn most from realignment: The destruction of the old Big East, a basketball delight, and the soon-to-be unrecognizable state of the Big 12, after OU and Texas depart next summer. Has there ever been a more fun football conference than the 2008 Big 12? Seven Big 12 quarterbacks threw for more than 3,000 yards that season.
My guess: Akron, Ball State, Buffalo, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Miami (Ohio), Northern Illinois, Ohio, Toledo, Western Michigan, Youngstown State
My score: 11/12
What I missed: I forgot Kent State and incorrectly swapped in YSU, an FCS program.
I enjoy midweek MACtion, and my strong marks reflect my Midwest roots. To spur my memory, I considered Kentucky’s usual nonconference opponents.
My guess: Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, Southern Cal, UCLA, Utah, Washington, Washington State
My score: 12/12
Most of this conference dates to the Pac-8. I’m a night owl, so I’ve watched a lot of Pac-12 After Dark and suffered through Bill Walton’s inane musings during late-night hoops broadcasts. Southern Cal and UCLA are on their way out. Seeing USC represent the Big Ten in a Rose Bowl will be strange. Stranger will be seeing UCLA play Rutgers in conference hoops. Strangest will be 13-time national champion UCLA softball competing in the Big Ten. In parts of the Midwest, softball season is otherwise known as winter.
My guess: Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, Nevada, New Mexico, New Mexico State, San Diego State, San Jose State, UNLV, Utah State, Wyoming
My score: 11/12
What I got wrong: Hawaii is the Mountain West’s 12th team. New Mexico State, a former independent, has joined C-USA.
In true night-owl form, I an eye on Mountain West games while I wind down on fall Saturdays after covering an SEC game. But, my preferred the version of the MWC included BYU, Utah and TCU.
My guess: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
My score: 14/14
The SEC’s 14-team iteration made Luke Combs pretend Missouri is a Southern state in his song “South on Ya” for the SEC Network. Although I’ll miss the old Big 12, I welcome a portion of the band reconvening in the SEC, when OU and Texas reunite with Texas A&M and Missouri. The SEC will be more entertaining than ever.
My guess: Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Marshall, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee State, South Alabama, Southern Miss, Texas State, Troy
My score: 12/14
What I got wrong: James Madison and Old Dominion are in the Sun Belt, not Louisiana Tech and Middle Tennessee State.
I appreciate the “Fun Belt,” so I’m disappointed I didn't score better. I mistakenly uprooted Louisiana Tech and MTSU from C-USA, and I forgot James Madison and ODU. Apologies to the state of Virginia.
My guess: Army, Notre Dame, Massachusetts, UConn
My score: 4/4
I wonder if some sportsbook offers this futures bet: Will Army or Notre Dame will be college football’s last independent standing?
Total score: 120/133 (90.2%)
At least I scored better than I did in physical education as a high school freshman, when my middling bowling average resulted in a B-plus letter grade.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY NETWORK: College football realignment quiz: Match FBS schools with conference