LSU football vs the American Athletic Conference
The American Athletic Conference was formed after conference realignment put a dent in the structure of the Big East. The AAC did not retain the old Big East’s ‘Power 6’ status, but they have enjoyed much success. But, of course, UCF claimed a national title after finishing undefeated in 2017. Then, Cincinnati became the first Group 5 team to earn a College Football Playoff berth in 2022.
However, both programs have moved onto the Big 12, resulting in a new crop of AAC programs. As such, LSU football has not played most of the conference’s current teams.
Charlotte 49ers: Charlotte’s football program started in FCS in 2013, followed quickly by a move to FBS in 2015. The 49ers departed C-USA for the AAC following the 2022 season, in which they finished 3-9.
Florida Atlantic Owls: Florida Atlantic has emerged as somewhat of a head coaches’ rehab program in recent years. Lane Kiffin led the Owls from 2017-19, leveraging the role to his current gig as Ole Miss head coach. Willie Taggart attempted to follow suit but was fired after the 2022 season. Former Texas head coach Tom Herman is now responsible for FAU’s program.
Memphis Tigers: Memphis is an older program that jumped to FBS in 1996. The Tigers achieved much success under Justin Fuente and Mike Norvell. Their best finish was 12-1 under Norvell in 2019.
Navy Midshipmen: LSU football will play Army on October 21, 2023, in their 2nd game against a service academy in program history. Suffice it to say; the Tigers and Midshipmen have never squared off on the field. Regardless, Navy will enter 2023 with a new head coach (Brian Newberry) for the first time since 2007.
South Florida Bulls: South Florida will play Alabama in 2023 but has yet to play LSU football. Alabama will travel to Tampa and play a road game against the Bulls, but inside (what will be a packed) Raymond James Stadium. It’s a scenario the Tigers may agree to in the future considering the significance of program exposure in the state of Florida.
Temple Owls: Temple is Philadelphia’s resident college football program that plays its home games at Lincoln Financial Field. Former Texas assistant Stan Drayton took over as Owls’ head coach in 2022. They finished 3-9 last season.
Tulsa Golden Hurricane: Tulsa has played college football since 1895 and joined the AAC in 2014. The Golden Hurricane was led by head coach Phillip Montgomery circa 2015. Former Ohio State offensive coordinator Ken Wilson takes over for 2023.
UTSA Roadrunners: UTSA played their first football season in 2011 under former Miami head coach Larry Coker. Currently, Jeff Traylor has the Roadrunners playing legit football. UTSA moves to the AAC after finishing 11-3 and winning the C-USA title in 2022. LSU football is scheduled to play UTSA on September 11, 2027.