On Oct. 25th, The United States Military Academy at West Point announced that their football program will be in the American Athletic Conference starting in the 2024-2025 Academic Year. Up until now, the United States Military Academy has played football under independent status, not belonging to an individual conference for football since 2005. This is the system that Notre Dame football famously plays under. All other sports that are sponsored by the United States Military Academy would not move to the American but will stay in their respective conferences. This move is similar to that of the United States Naval Academy, the rival school of West Point, which moved to a conference in 2015.
Schools in the American that will sponsor football in the 2024-2025 year will be East Carolina University, Florida Atlantic University, Rice University, Temple University, Tulane University, United States Military Academy, United States Naval Academy, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Memphis, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, University of North Texas, University of South Florida, University of Texas at San Antonio, and the University of Tulsa. With such a broad spectrum of competition that spans across the eastern and central part of the United States, Army will have ample competition in a growing conference.
In the announcement of Army moving to the American, the conference stated that the Army-Navy Game will continue as a non-conference game, because of both academics will be in the American as of the 2024-2025 Athletic Year. However, if both Army and Navy are in the top two after conference play, they will compete for the Conference title for the number one seed, then play the traditional Army-Navy Game at a neutral site. This could open up the possibility of two Army-Navy Games being played in the same year.
To continue a tradition that has been around since 1890, Army and Navy will face off with each other in Gillette Stadium Foxboro, Massachusetts for the 2023 edition. FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland will host the 2024 game between the two academies. In 2025, both Academies will be heading to Baltimore, Maryland at M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens. As this year’s rendition of the Army-Navy games approaches, fans and players of both programs will see the end of a symbolic battle between service branches and the birth of a game that may become more than just bragging rights.