The last round of realignment appears to have allowed Liberty to be independent for the foreseeable future.
The American Athletic Conference, which lost Cincinnati, Houston and UCF to the Big 12, attacked Conference USA by eliminating six teams in this league from the group of five. North Texas, Rice, UTSA, UAB, FAU and Charlotte will join AAC in the near future.
Several media have reported that Liberty was initially in talks with C-USA, but those talks likely ended after Friday’s announcement of the Sun Belt Conference’s expansion.
The Sun Belt would bring Southern Mississippi, Marshall and Old Dominion from C-USA, and FCS James Madison will be the fourth team added to the league.
He leaves C-USA with West Kentucky, Middle Tennessee, CRF, Louisiana Tech and UTEP as members in a league that is still distant which would require extensive travel for all sports.
“Obviously, Conference USA has a lot to do, and it is possible that there are other movements beyond that,” McCaw said. “We will explore any option that we believe will improve our athletic program and provide our coaches and student-athletes with better opportunities.”
Liberty has been studying conference realignment away from home since 2013, when the Flames began exploring the transition from FCS to FBS.