IRVING, Texas — The new-look American Athletic Conference will not use divisions and play an eight-game league football schedule when it expands to 14 teams next season, the league announced.
The scheduling model was approved for use the next four seasons (2023-26) by the American’s athletic directors.
The American will continue to go division-less and match the top two teams in the regular-season conference standings in its championship game.
The AAC is losing three of its current 11 members to the Big 12 next year, but adding six new schools from Conference USA.
Replacing Houston, Central Florida and Cincinnati will be UAB, Florida Atlantic, Charlotte, UTSA, Rice and North Texas.
The plan calls for the 14 teams to face each other at least twice during the four-year cycle – once at home and once on the road.
The schedule also will include six annual matchups: North Texas-SMU; UAB-Memphis; Rice-UTSA; Charlotte-East Carolina; Florida Atlantic-South Florida; and Navy-Temple.
A full schedule with game dates for next season will be announced after the 2022 season.
SEATTLE – Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. said Sunday he will return to the school for his sixth and final season of eligibility in 2023.
Penix announced his decision on social media and it was a surprising one at that. Penix was the national leader in passing this season, throwing for 4,354 yards and led Washington’s turnaround. The No. 12-ranked Huskies went 10-2 in the regular season, finished tied for second in the Pac-12 and will face No. 21 Texas in the Alamo Bowl.
Penix will have a chance at setting Washington’s single-season record for yards passing in the bowl game. He also threw 29 touchdowns this season. Because of his performance this season, Penix saw his NFL draft stock rise to where he was being expected to be a second-day pick at the latest.
In his announcement, Penix wrote, “As I look back on this special season we had, I realized there were so many great moments and things to celebrate, but I KNOW there is so much for out there for this team and the job is still not finished. I can’t wait to be playing in Husky Stadium for the 2023 season!”
Penix started his career at Indiana and showed flashes of stardom while also battling injuries. He transferred to Washington after the 2021 season, a move that reunited him with new Huskies’ coach Kalen DeBoer, who was Penix’s offensive coordinator for one season at Indiana.
DENTON, Texas – Bowl-bound North Texas has fired coach Seth Littrell, who went 44-44 over seven seasons.
University president Neal Smatresk said Sunday night that the decision to make the move came after a thorough assessment of the program.
The Mean Green are 7-6 this season after losing 48-27 to UTSA in the Conference USA championship game Friday night.
Phil Bennett, their defensive coordinator the past two seasons, was named interim head coach. North Texas plays Boise State in the Frisco Bowl on Dec. 17.
The 44-year-old Littrell had one year left on his contract in what was his first head coaching job. He was the youngest coach in Conference USA and one of the youngest at the FBS level when he arrived after two seasons as offensive coordinator at North Carolina with UNT coming off a 1-11 season at the time.
While the Mean Green are going to their sixth bowl since Littrell first got there, they haven’t won any of those yet. The bowl in his debut season came after only five wins since there weren’t enough bowl-eligible teams to fill all of the slots. Consecutive nine-win seasons followed in 2017 and 2018, but they then had three consecutive losing records before this year.
North Texas also has an interim athletic director after Wren Baker was named as West Virginia’s AD last week.
Smatresk said Jared Mosley, the chief operating officer of UNT athletics, will serve as interim AD. The university is working with a search firm to find Baker’s successor.