Last Updated: Mar 04, 2013 1:10 PM
Another off-season means more college football conference realignment. Below are all of the changes along with their potential impact on college fantasy football. As you will see, 17 schools are shifting conferences, and there are two new additions to the mix (bringing the FBS total to 126).
Moving from Big East to ACC
College Fantasy Football impact: Slight downgrade for Pitt and 'Cuse fantasy prospects as both schools will see an upgrade in the elite defenses they will face in the ACC. However, they should be able to compete at close to the same level they did in the Big East in most games. It's not like they are joining the SEC.
Moving from C-USA to Big East:
CFF impact: Well, the obvious impact here will be for those BCS-only college fantasy leagues that still include the Big East in their player pool. For those leagues, there are four new schools to chew on. On the other end of the spectrum, those of us in All-FBS leagues are sad to see the break-up of C-USA, a hotbed for fantasy prospects and terrible defenses year-in and year-out.
Moving from Sun Belt to C-USA:
CFF impact: At least C-USA moved quickly to replace the four schools that bolted for the Big East. The five Sun Belt schools are a downgrade in competition for some of the C-USA holdovers like Marshall, East Carolina and Tulsa. Look for those perennial conference fantasy powers to feast on the newbies.
Moving from WAC to C-USA:
CFF impact: Kind of a parallel move for Tech, who should continue to be fantasy relevant in C-USA.
Moving from WAC to Mountain West:
SAN JOSE STATE
CFF impact: Just when the Aggies and Spartans were becoming fantasy relevant, the WAC folds. It's too bad as they will likely find the sledding to be tougher in the Mountain West. To add to the challenge, both schools are replacing their head coaches, which is a whole other issue in itself.
Moving from WAC to Sun Belt:
CFF impact: Minimal. Texas State is still in the infancy stages of building their program.
Moving from WAC to Independent:
NEW MEXICO STATE
CFF impact: After the conference musical chairs ended, these two ugly ducklings were left standing with no home. So they went Independent. Both schools are scrambling to cobble together a schedule for next fall. At first glance, the Vandals slate looks pretty tough. New Mexico State still has some holes to fill on their calendar.
***TWO NEW FBS TEAMS***
GEORGIA STATE - will be in Sun Belt this year
OLD DOMINION - will be an Independent this year
CFF Impact: The team to watch here is clearly Old Dominion. They went 11-2 last fall behind a juggernaut of an offense. Their sophomore QB Taylor Heinicke (pictured) won the Walter Payton Award - the equivalent of the Heisman Trophy in the FCS - after a sensational season in which he threw for 5,076 yards and accounted for 55 total touchdowns. The Old Dominion schedule still has a major FCS flavor, with nice matchups against Norfolk State, Rhode Island, Howard, The Citadel, Liberty, and UNC Charlotte. Don't ignore Heinicke this fall.
Georgia State, on the other hand, went 1-10 last fall (including a 53-27 loss to Old Dominion, a 38-14 spanking by UTSA, and a 51-13 drubbing by Tennessee). Their defense was a trainwreck. Those of you in Sun Belt leagues will want to exploit this matchup whenever possible. The Panthers face West Virginia and Alabama in non-conference play, by the way. Good luck with that.