Group of Five Conferences
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Group of Five Conferences

In college football, the term Group of Five is an informal term which refers to five athletic conferences whose members are part of NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). The five conferences are American Athletic Conference (AAC), Conference USA (C-USA), Mid-American Conference (MAC), Mountain West Conference (MW), and Sun Belt Conference (Sun Belt).[1][2][3][4][5]

The Group of Five conferences are five of the ten conferences in NCAA Division I FBS. The other five FBS conferences are informally known as the Power Five.[1][2][3][5] In addition, a number of schools compete in FBS as independents in football; all except BYU and Notre Dame are considered part of the Group of Five.

The terms Group of Five and Power Five are not formally defined by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and the precise origins of the terms are unknown. However, each of the ten conferences are named in the NCAA's Division I manual.[6][7][8] A notable difference between the Group of Five and Power Five are designated areas of institutional autonomy granted to member institutions of the Power Five conferences. [9][10][11]

The Group of Five is often considered disadvantaged as to the Power Five, as its constituent members do not have similar access to New Year's Six or College Football Playoff bowls. It has historically been an ongoing area of contention among NCAA Division I schools[3] since the BCS era. Since 2014, a team from one of the Group of Five conferences is guaranteed a spot in one of the New Year's Six bowls.[5]

In sports other than football (mainly basketball), conferences outside of the Power Five are known as mid-major conferences.

Current conferences and teams

The ten current FBS conferences are listed below. For the Group of Five, the football members of each conference are also listed.[a] Six of the seven independent NCAA Division I FBS teams (all except full but non-football ACC member Notre Dame) are listed in a third table. (As of the 2020 football season.)

  1. ^ Two Group of Five conferences have full members that do not have football teams. Wichita State is a member of The American, while Little Rock and UT Arlington are Sun Belt members.
2020 Map of Group of Five Teams

 

See also

References

  1. ^ a b McMurphy, Brett (August 7, 2014). "Power Five coaches polled on games". ESPN. Retrieved 2019.
  2. ^ a b McMurphy, Brett (December 29, 2016). "Group of 5 officials considering playoff for non-Power 5 teams". ESPN. Retrieved 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Solomon, Joe (January 2, 2017). "SEC commissioner explains why Group of Five should 'be careful' about playoff idea". CBS Sports. Retrieved 2019.
  4. ^ Walder, Seth; Sabin, Paul (October 4, 2019). "Which teams would reach a Group of 5 College Football Playoff?". ESPN. Retrieved 2019.
  5. ^ a b c Mandel, Stewart (November 12, 2012). "Big East, rest of 'Group of Five' score victory with six-bowl decision". SI.com. Retrieved 2019.
  6. ^ "4.2.1(a) Division I Board of Directors" (PDF). 2019-20 NCAA Division I Manual. July 2019. p. 21. Retrieved 2019.
  7. ^ "4.2.1(a) Division I Board of Directors" (PDF). 2018-19 NCAA Division I Manual. July 2018. p. 21. Retrieved 2019.
  8. ^ "4.2.1(a) Division I Board of Directors" (PDF). 2017-18 NCAA Division I Manual. July 2017. p. 21. Retrieved 2019.
  9. ^ "5.3.2.1 Process for Areas of Autonomy" (PDF). 2019-20 NCAA Division I Manual. July 2019. p. 33. Retrieved 2019.
  10. ^ "5.3.2.1 Process for Areas of Autonomy" (PDF). 2018-19 NCAA Division I Manual. July 2018. p. 33. Retrieved 2019.
  11. ^ "5.3.2.1 Process for Areas of Autonomy" (PDF). 2017-18 NCAA Division I Manual. July 2017. p. 33. Retrieved 2019.



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