Liberty is set to play their first season in the Conference USA this fall. Which football team should be their in-conference rival?

Liberty, and all of their fans, anxiously await the official start of the Conference USA era of Liberty University athletics, which begins July 1, less than two months from now. The first football schedule of this new, exciting era was released earlier this year. Liberty will play their first CUSA conference slate beginning September 2023.

With no Coastal Carolina in CUSA, or another obvious rival like a James Madison or Old Dominion, Liberty needs an in-conference rival. It’s not an easy answer, who should it be?

There are a few options.

Western Kentucky

WKU and the Flames are expected to compete at the top of CUSA in football immediately. The Hilltoppers, despite being nearly 500 miles away, will be the closest CUSA school to Liberty this season. Those two reasons are enough to make a compelling case to be a a rival but does it have staying power?

Kennesaw State

Kennesaw State doesn’t move to CUSA for another year, but when they do the Owls will immediately be a prime contender to become the main rival for Liberty. The Owls and Flames, as members of the ASUN, have frequently been competing at the top of the conference standings in most sports. Liberty also has a nice alumni base in the Atlanta area and KSU will become the closest CUSA member to Liberty. Plus, Kennesaw has had a very strong football program at the FCS level in recent years. If that translates to the FBS, this could become Liberty’s biggest rival.


FIU and Liberty seem like they are two completely different schools with different philosophies. Does that make a good possibility for a rival? One is in Miami and one in Lynchburg, Virginia, could you have two different locations? Plus, FIU doesn’t have a logical rival in CUSA anymore as the other Florida schools have departed.

Louisiana Tech

The Bulldogs have traditionally been one of the stronger programs in CUSA. Could they grow into a rival of the Flames despite the great distance between the two schools?

What are your thoughts, who should be Liberty’s biggest rival in CUSA?