It's official. Liberty University plans to leave the Big South and join a Football Bowl Subdivision conference within the immediate future.
At a press conference Monday, University President Jerry Falwell Jr. saying his father's dream from a sermon in 1974 has finally become a realistic possibility for the Flames.
"One day we were going to play Southern Cal, Notre Dame, I forget what other schools he mentioned, maybe Alabama in football and back then it just seemed like a pipe dream," said Falwell Jr.
In a move that seems primarily to be football driven, Liberty Athletic Director Jeff Barber made it clear this move ideally is about improving athletics as a whole.
"We are looking to move our entire sports program into an FBS conference. The rule is you have to have eight schools play in all sports to be an FBS conference, certainly our intention and our goal is to bring all 20 sports," said Barber.
Liberty officials must now await an invitation from an FBS conference. They do not plan on joining any of the BCS leagues such as the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big XII, Pac-12 or the SEC. That leaves five conferences as a possible destination for all-sports affiliation: the MAC, Sunbelt, Conference-USA, Mountain West or WAC.
"Liberty is a university that is national, national in scope, national in its destiny I believe and because of that we're not limiting ourselves to a geographic region of Virginia, Pennsylvania, whatever, North Carolina. We're willing and really would like to be in a national conference that would span all 50 states," Barber said.
Bill Carr headed the consultant group for Liberty as the school researched a possible move up the ladder in college athletics. What he found was a school ready for the transition.
"There's really been no school more prepared for its major athletics initiative than Liberty and Liberty is prepared in every sense of the word for this move," said Carr.
To further emphasize Carr's point, Falwell said if Liberty is extended an invitation, they would make a decision within 48 hours, something most FCS level schools cannot offer.
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