ETSU welcomed officials from the Southern Conference on campus Thursday.
The SoCon presidents will meet next week in Hilton Head, SC to vote on adding ETSU.
The Bucs are former SoCon members. They left after dropping their football program in 2003.
With the football program restarting in 2015, the SoCon is a likely landing spot.
"That's one of the things we are trying to do in the Southern Conference is strengthen rivalries," Southern Conference Commissioner John Iamarino told News 5 WCYB.
"You would be resurrecting the Chattanooga-ETSU rivalry, the rivalry with Western Carolina. Wofford and Furman are not that far away. Rivalries are very important to conferences like ours and we want to strengthen that."
Also Thursday, ETSU Director of Athletics Richard Sander confirmed with News 5 WCYB that the list of candidates for the football head coaching position has been narrowed to three or four.
An announcement is expected in the next couple weeks.
"We are down to three or four, somewhere in that vicinity," Sander said.