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Missouri State moves up to Conference USA in 2025 from FCS, becoming 12th football member

NCAA Arkansas Missouri St Baseball
Posted at 10:34 AM, May 10, 2024

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Missouri State will move up to the highest tier of Division I college football and join Conference USA in 2025, the league announced Friday.

Missouri State will become the 12th full member of CUSA and the third school to move up from the Championship Subdivision to the Bowl Subdivision and join the league over the next two seasons.

Conference USA is adding Kennesaw State this season and Delaware is set to join in 2025.

Missouri State is a longtime member of the Missouri Valley Conference and has been competing in FCS/I-AA since 1981. The Bears have reached the NCAA playoffs four times, including most recently in 2020 and '21 under then-coach Bobby Petrino.

“The institution boasts a great tradition in athletics and academics that will strengthen and further position our membership for long term success in the national landscape," CUSA Commissioner Judy MacLeod said.

Conference USA lost six members to the American Athletic Conference and have rebuilt by adding former independents such as Liberty and New Mexico State and former FCS schools Sam Houston State and Jacksonville State last year.

The rest of Conference USA includes Louisiana Tech, Western Kentucky, Middle Tennessee State, UTEP and Florida International