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Rumors Swirl that Kennesaw State Could Soon Leave FCS, Join C-USA

The Owls began playing football in the FCS in 2015.

Kennesaw State v Cincinnati Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Next year, Conference USA will be growing when they add current FCS members Sam Houston and Jacksonville State. The two programs announced their intentions to depart for the conference last year. Now, talk is popping up around social media that Kennesaw State could soon be following in those same footsteps.

On Friday afternoon, ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported on Twitter that the Owls may be a favorite to join C-USA as early as 2024. Of course nothing is official yet and neither the university nor C-USA have made any public statement. Nonetheless, there’s still lots to ponder on what it could mean for KSU and the FCS if this were to come to fruition.

Kennesaw State’s football program is only eight years old, as they began playing in 2015. Since then, the Owls have been one of the more successful FCS teams, making the playoffs four times and winning three conference titles as members of the Big South. The team has an overall record of 64-21 with a 5-4 record in the postseason.

Despite popular belief, though, there’s more than merit that goes into an FCS-to-FBS move. Location is a huge factor and KSU is in valuable C-USA territory in Kennesaw, GA.

One big question mark, however, is what Kennesaw State would do to meet current FBS membership requirements. As of right now, Fifth Third Bank Stadium, where the Owls play their home games, only seats just over 8,000. The NCAA dictates that FBS teams must average an attendance of 15,000 over a two-year span.

If the Owls do indeed leave, they will leave behind the ASUN conference which would be down to just four members as aforementioned Jacksonville State is leaving the league as well. The ASUN currently has an alliance with the WAC (which is losing Sam Houston) so membership requirements for an AQ playoff bid will not be affected.

With the addition, C-USA would be up to ten members. KSU would join the likes of FIU, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee, UTEP and Western Kentucky along with future members Jacksonville State, Liberty, New Mexico State and Sam Houston. Current members Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, Rice, UAB and UTSA are planning to leave for the AAC in 2023.

Right now this is all hearsay but if recent college football has taught us anything it’s that things can and do change in a hurry. Time will tell but, there is likely merit to these rumors.