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AAC at a crossroads: "We’re trying to figure out what our strategy is going to be."
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jedclampett Offline
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Post: #1
AAC at a crossroads: "We’re trying to figure out what our strategy is going to be."
AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco Believes The College Football Playoff Will Expand

“There will be discussions coming up in a few weeks at the CFP meetings. Do I think some proposals will be made regarding an expanded playoff – yes. Do I think down the road it could well happen – yes.”

"As I’ve said too many times to count, the playoff is 100% going to expand. It’s absolutely going to happen. Now, when will it happen? I have no idea..."

AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco on playoff expansion

— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) April 7, 2021

https://dailycaller.com/2021/04/07/aac-c...ly-expand/

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Aresco declares American Conference is "at a crossroads"
OwlsDaily Mar 15, 8:32 PM

“In terms of the conference, we’re at a crossroads, I’ll be honest with you,” Aresco said. “We’ve got to get out of the Group of Five."

"...we are at a turning point. We have to get out of this situation we’re in. We just don’t want that to continue...we obviously want to be part of that autonomy group..."

"...we’re trying to figure out what our strategy is going to be."

https://247sports.com/college/temple/Art...162486095/

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A key component of the strategy that the Commissioner Aresco said that the conference is "trying to figure out" is a strategy to "get back to 12 schools," and quite possibly an expansion to 14 schools.

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AAC commish 1-on-1: Mike Aresco talks football expansion to possibly 14 teams, concern over COVID-19 impact on basketball

Football possibly expanding to 14 teams

While Aresco declined to discuss specifics on what schools the conference may look to add, he did provide a possible indicator of the future of the football conference.

“Our goal is to get back to 12 [teams],” Aresco said. “... And if down the road, there’s an opportunity to go to 14, why wouldn’t we at least think about it?"

“We are going to be a factor. We are going to be a P6 conference. I’m totally convinced we’re going to make it.”

The newsworthy item there is that the conference could look to expand to as many as 14 football schools.

https://www.dallasnews.com/sports/smu-mu...ll-season/

.

It seems likely that a lot of the frustration that the Commissioner Aresco describe in his March press conference was triggered by the fact that Boise State turned down the opportunity to join the American as a FB-only member, and by the indications he has gotten that a proposal to expand the CFP isn't likely to pass during the Spring 2021 meetings.

.

Q: Why has the conference reached the conclusion that it important for the conference to "get back to 12?" Is it just that the AAC has ony received a temporary waiver permitting a conference championship game without returning to divisional play?

A: The main reason is that the conference needs another strong football and basketball program so that it can make a stronger case that it is a football and basketball power conference.

That's the only way that it can make the case that it is significantly stronger than the other G5 conferences.

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(This post was last modified: 04-16-2021 04:58 PM by jedclampett.)
04-16-2021 04:34 PM
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jedclampett Offline
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RE: AAC at a crossroads: "We’re trying to figure out what our strategy is going ...
.

This will clarify why the AAC needs to add another good football school to achieve football power conference and "autonomy" status:

The P5 conferences have had an average of 3.6 football teams per conference in the Final AP Top 25 in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

In comparison, the AAC has only had an average of 2.33 football teams in the Final AP Top 25 over the past three seasons.


Moreover, three G5 conferences and the small group of FB independents had as many or more teams in the Final Top 25 than the AAC had in 2020.

.

If Boise State had been a member of the AAC for the past three seasons, the AAC would have had an average of 3.0 teams per year in the Final AP Top 25 in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

That would have put the AAC clearly ahead of the other G5 conferences with respect to football, and would have bolstered its claims to be at least a football power conference.

.


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(This post was last modified: 04-16-2021 04:54 PM by jedclampett.)
04-16-2021 04:42 PM
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geosnooker2000 Offline
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RE: AAC at a crossroads: "We’re trying to figure out what our strategy is going to be."
Good assessment of the problem/possible solution. The key will be, can we distribute the likely stronger teams evenly cross-division so that they are less likely to give each other losses until the conference championship game. THIS is a major reason we need to get back to at least 12. Divisions protects the stronger teams.
04-16-2021 04:45 PM
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jedclampett Offline
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RE: AAC at a crossroads: "We’re trying to figure out what our strategy is going ...
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There wouldn't be such a pressing need to come up with a new and different strategy on the football side of the ledger if the AAC would be willing to reconsider the option of adding Boise St. as an all-sports member.

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It isn't clear whether they've considered ways to economize on travel expenses for basketball and olympic sports, but there is a way to cut travel costs that they may wish to consider (see next post).

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(This post was last modified: 04-16-2021 05:44 PM by jedclampett.)
04-16-2021 04:56 PM
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jedclampett Offline
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RE: AAC at a crossroads: "We’re trying to figure out what our strategy is going ...
.

This is how the travel costs for basketball and olympic sports could be cut sufficiently to make it possible for the AAC leadership to reverse their decision and grant Boise State the opportunity to join as an all-sports member:

1) Return to divisional play in football.

--This is expected to occur within two years, regardless, when the temporary NCAA waiver permitting non-divisional play expands.

--Each team would play 5 divisional games and only 3 cross-divisional games per year. East division teams would only have to fly to Boise once every four years.

2) Initiate divisional scheduling in basketball and olympic sports.

--Rather than playing 20 conference games, which cuts two games from the OOC schedule and requires the easternmost and westernmost teams to take multiple long-distance flights each year, each team would play 10 divisional games and 6 cross-divisional games.

--Major cost savings would result from limiting the number of cross-divisional basketball and olympic sports events to 1 per opponent/per season.

--Thus, for example, the east coast basketball teams would only have to fly to Boise once every other year, and vice versa.

--Reducing the number of conference games to 16 per season would enable teams to schedule more OOC games with nearby regional opponents, which could stimulate regional interest, boost home attendance, and give the teams' fans more drive-able games to see their teams play on the road, as well as further cutting the number of long distance flights with their costs.

--Another advantage to playing more OOC basketball games is that it would give AAC teams the opportunity to prove their ability to compete with teams from other conferences. This would come in handy when the NCAA tournament selection committee meets each year.

3) Arrange tournament-style quadruple-header weekend competitions for all winter sports teams. Travel costs to and from Boise could be cut still further by making special arrangements to have all winter sports teams travel together on the same plane to play the most distant cross-divisional opponents (Boise, in particular), quadruple-header style over the course of a weekend.

--For example, men's and women's basketball could be played back to back in a double-header.

--It's likely that Boise would agree to making such an adjustment if it was set forth as a condition for joining the conference, because while it would require making special arrangements on both ends, it would lower their travel costs, as well.


......................................................................................................

The divisions would be set up somewhat like this:

West:..........................East:

Houston.......................UCF
Tulsa...........................USF
SMU............................Cincy
Boise...........................ECU
Navy*..........................Temple
Tulane^.......................Memphis

*Wichita State would take Navy's place in basketball/olympic sports.

^Apparently, Tulane would play in the West, because Navy's preference is to play in the West division alongside SMU, Tulsa, and Tulane.


......................................................................................................
.
(This post was last modified: 04-16-2021 05:59 PM by jedclampett.)
04-16-2021 05:10 PM
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Memphis Yankee Online
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Post: #6
RE: AAC at a crossroads: "We’re trying to figure out what our strategy is going ...
(04-16-2021 05:10 PM)jedclampett Wrote:  .

This is how the travel costs for basketball and olympic sports could be cut sufficiently to make it possible for the AAC leadership to reverse their decision and grant Boise State the opportunity to join as an all-sports member:

1) Return to divisional play in football.

--This is expected to occur within two years, regardless, when the temporary NCAA waiver permitting non-divisional play expands.

--Each team would play 5 divisional games and only 3 cross-divisional games per year. East division teams would only have to fly to Boise once every four years.

2) Initiate divisional scheduling in basketball and olympic sports.

--Rather than playing 20 conference games, which cuts two games from the OOC schedule and requires the easternmost and westernmost teams to take multiple long-distance flights each year, each team would play 10 divisional games and 6 cross-divisional games.

--Major cost savings would result from limiting the number of cross-divisional basketball and olympic sports events to 1 per opponent/per season.

--Thus, for example, the east coast basketball teams would only have to fly to Boise once every other year, and vice versa.

--Reducing the number of conference games to 16 per season would enable teams to schedule more OOC games with nearby regional opponents, which could stimulate regional interest, boost home attendance, and give the teams' fans more drive-able games to see their teams play on the road, as well as further cutting the number of long distance flights with their costs.

--Another advantage to playing more OOC basketball games is that it would give AAC teams the opportunity to prove their ability to compete with teams from other conferences. This would come in handy when the NCAA tournament selection committee meets each year.

3) Arrange tournament-style quadruple-header weekend competitions for all winter sports teams. Travel costs to and from Boise could be cut still further by making special arrangements to have all winter sports teams travel together on the same plane to play the most distant cross-divisional opponents (Boise, in particular), quadruple-header style over the course of a weekend.

--For example, men's and women's basketball could be played back to back in a double-header.

--It's likely that Boise would agree to making such an adjustment if it was set forth as a condition for joining the conference, because while it would require making special arrangements on both ends, it would lower their travel costs, as well.


......................................................................................................

The divisions would be set up somewhat like this:

West:..........................East:

Houston.......................UCF
Tulsa...........................USF
SMU............................Cincy
Boise...........................ECU
Navy*..........................Temple
Tulane^.......................Memphis

*Wichita State would take Navy's place in basketball/olympic sports.

^Apparently, Tulane would play in the West, because Navy's preference is to play in the West division alongside SMU, Tulsa, and Tulane.


......................................................................................................
.

The four last conference champs are all in one division. I don't like Moving Memphis east.
04-16-2021 06:09 PM
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Post: #7
RE: AAC at a crossroads: "We’re trying to figure out what our strategy is going to be."
Meh.
I think this post is founded on an overemphasis of couple of minutes amidst a 46 minute press conference, in response to a question. Commissioner Aresco didn't call a separate press conference to declare that we are at a crossroads.
I think it is off base to say that these remarks in the scheduled presser leading into the AAC MBB tourney championship reflects some NEW frustration or changed perspective on Commissioner Aresco's part.

The specific remarks about separation from the G4 are nothing new -- for example, from a year ago, May 2020, Commissioner Aresco on the USF "Bull Speed Ahead" podcast made the exact same points:
https://www.tampabay.com/sports/college/...x/2324288/

I just don't see that the overall message is much different from earlier.

Specifically "crossroads" has been used by Aresco going back to 2013, UCF's two great years, UConn's departure, and December 2020 using it in reference to the CFP committee's slight of Cincinnati.

That's actually a good thing - the conference's message has been consistent for years now (the P6 campaign was launched after the BigXII expansion traveshamockery in late 2016). It's a good thing to think strategically, and set a course, and not be over-reactive to every small shift in the wind.

The idea that these remarks are some kind of directional change is in itself an over-reaction.

That's my opinion. Your mileage may vary.
04-16-2021 06:16 PM
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mustangxc Offline
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Post: #8
RE: AAC at a crossroads: "We’re trying to figure out what our strategy is going ...
(04-16-2021 06:09 PM)Memphis Yankee Wrote:  
(04-16-2021 05:10 PM)jedclampett Wrote:  .

This is how the travel costs for basketball and olympic sports could be cut sufficiently to make it possible for the AAC leadership to reverse their decision and grant Boise State the opportunity to join as an all-sports member:

1) Return to divisional play in football.

--This is expected to occur within two years, regardless, when the temporary NCAA waiver permitting non-divisional play expands.

--Each team would play 5 divisional games and only 3 cross-divisional games per year. East division teams would only have to fly to Boise once every four years.

2) Initiate divisional scheduling in basketball and olympic sports.

--Rather than playing 20 conference games, which cuts two games from the OOC schedule and requires the easternmost and westernmost teams to take multiple long-distance flights each year, each team would play 10 divisional games and 6 cross-divisional games.

--Major cost savings would result from limiting the number of cross-divisional basketball and olympic sports events to 1 per opponent/per season.

--Thus, for example, the east coast basketball teams would only have to fly to Boise once every other year, and vice versa.

--Reducing the number of conference games to 16 per season would enable teams to schedule more OOC games with nearby regional opponents, which could stimulate regional interest, boost home attendance, and give the teams' fans more drive-able games to see their teams play on the road, as well as further cutting the number of long distance flights with their costs.

--Another advantage to playing more OOC basketball games is that it would give AAC teams the opportunity to prove their ability to compete with teams from other conferences. This would come in handy when the NCAA tournament selection committee meets each year.

3) Arrange tournament-style quadruple-header weekend competitions for all winter sports teams. Travel costs to and from Boise could be cut still further by making special arrangements to have all winter sports teams travel together on the same plane to play the most distant cross-divisional opponents (Boise, in particular), quadruple-header style over the course of a weekend.

--For example, men's and women's basketball could be played back to back in a double-header.

--It's likely that Boise would agree to making such an adjustment if it was set forth as a condition for joining the conference, because while it would require making special arrangements on both ends, it would lower their travel costs, as well.


......................................................................................................

The divisions would be set up somewhat like this:

West:..........................East:

Houston.......................UCF
Tulsa...........................USF
SMU............................Cincy
Boise...........................ECU
Navy*..........................Temple
Tulane^.......................Memphis

*Wichita State would take Navy's place in basketball/olympic sports.

^Apparently, Tulane would play in the West, because Navy's preference is to play in the West division alongside SMU, Tulsa, and Tulane.


......................................................................................................
.

The four last conference champs are all in one division. I don't like Moving Memphis east.

The conference division power rankings almost always have the West being the stronger conference and it really isn't close. While the East may have had the conference champion in recent years, the depth is in the West teams. I don't think those divisions would be too disparate especially once Houston gets back on track.
04-16-2021 06:18 PM
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RE: AAC at a crossroads: "We’re trying to figure out what our strategy is going ...
(04-16-2021 06:16 PM)slhNavy91 Wrote:  Meh.
I think this post is founded on an overemphasis of couple of minutes amidst a 46 minute press conference, in response to a question. Commissioner Aresco didn't call a separate press conference to declare that we are at a crossroads.
I think it is off base to say that these remarks in the scheduled presser leading into the AAC MBB tourney championship reflects some NEW frustration or changed perspective on Commissioner Aresco's part.

The specific remarks about separation from the G4 are nothing new -- for example, from a year ago, May 2020, Commissioner Aresco on the USF "Bull Speed Ahead" podcast made the exact same points:
https://www.tampabay.com/sports/college/...x/2324288/

I just don't see that the overall message is much different from earlier.

Specifically "crossroads" has been used by Aresco going back to 2013, UCF's two great years, UConn's departure, and December 2020 using it in reference to the CFP committee's slight of Cincinnati.

That's actually a good thing - the conference's message has been consistent for years now (the P6 campaign was launched after the BigXII expansion traveshamockery in late 2016). It's a good thing to think strategically, and set a course, and not be over-reactive to every small shift in the wind.

The idea that these remarks are some kind of directional change is in itself an over-reaction.

That's my opinion. Your mileage may vary.

100% agree. Making mountains out of mud.
04-16-2021 06:22 PM
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Post: #10
RE: AAC at a crossroads: "We’re trying to figure out what our strategy is going to be."
The only new ground in those comments when they were uttered is the idea of going to 14 is acceptable. And even thats not all that new because it was an option when the AAC was still the Big East.
04-16-2021 06:37 PM
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RE: AAC at a crossroads: "We’re trying to figure out what our strategy is going ...
(04-16-2021 06:22 PM)TripleA Wrote:  
(04-16-2021 06:16 PM)slhNavy91 Wrote:  Meh.
I think this post is founded on an overemphasis of couple of minutes amidst a 46 minute press conference, in response to a question. Commissioner Aresco didn't call a separate press conference to declare that we are at a crossroads.
I think it is off base to say that these remarks in the scheduled presser leading into the AAC MBB tourney championship reflects some NEW frustration or changed perspective on Commissioner Aresco's part.

The specific remarks about separation from the G4 are nothing new -- for example, from a year ago, May 2020, Commissioner Aresco on the USF "Bull Speed Ahead" podcast made the exact same points:
https://www.tampabay.com/sports/college/...x/2324288/

I just don't see that the overall message is much different from earlier.

Specifically "crossroads" has been used by Aresco going back to 2013, UCF's two great years, UConn's departure, and December 2020 using it in reference to the CFP committee's slight of Cincinnati.

That's actually a good thing - the conference's message has been consistent for years now (the P6 campaign was launched after the BigXII expansion traveshamockery in late 2016). It's a good thing to think strategically, and set a course, and not be over-reactive to every small shift in the wind.

The idea that these remarks are some kind of directional change is in itself an over-reaction.

That's my opinion. Your mileage may vary.

100% agree. Making mountains out of mud.

Agree with both!!
04-16-2021 08:38 PM
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RE: AAC at a crossroads: "We’re trying to figure out what our strategy is going ...
(04-16-2021 06:37 PM)Attackcoog Wrote:  The only new ground in those comments when they were uttered is the idea of going to 14 is acceptable. And ...that was an option when the AAC was still the Big East.

True, it was an option when the AAC was still the Big East, but it was an option that never went anywhere.

As I see it, the unexpected announcement that an expansion to 14 is being actively considered was a real game-changer, and a sign that the AAC is finally getting serious about pursuing power-conference status.

Even the shift away from being "perfectly happy" with staying at 11 to a strong intention to "get back to 12" was a game-changer.

The only question that remains is whether the conference is willing to both "talk the talk" and "walk the walk." I hope the answer is yes!

.
04-16-2021 09:07 PM
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slhNavy91 Online
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RE: AAC at a crossroads: "We’re trying to figure out what our strategy is going ...
(04-16-2021 09:07 PM)jedclampett Wrote:  
(04-16-2021 06:37 PM)Attackcoog Wrote:  The only new ground in those comments when they were uttered is the idea of going to 14 is acceptable. And ...that was an option when the AAC was still the Big East.

True, it was an option when the AAC was still the Big East, but it was an option that never went anywhere.

As I see it, the unexpected announcement that an expansion to 14 is being actively considered was a real game-changer, and a sign that the AAC is finally getting serious about pursuing power-conference status.

Even the shift away from being "perfectly happy" with staying at 11 to a strong intention to "get back to 12" was a game-changer.

The only question that remains is whether the conference is willing to both "talk the talk" and "walk the walk." I hope the answer is yes!

.

These couple of minutes in response to a press question were not a game changer. This was in keeping with the conference's / commisioner's messaging for a year and more.
04-16-2021 09:11 PM
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RE: AAC at a crossroads: "We’re trying to figure out what our strategy is going ...
(04-16-2021 09:11 PM)slhNavy91 Wrote:  
(04-16-2021 09:07 PM)jedclampett Wrote:  
(04-16-2021 06:37 PM)Attackcoog Wrote:  The only new ground in those comments when they were uttered is the idea of going to 14 is acceptable. And ...that was an option when the AAC was still the Big East.

True, it was an option when the AAC was still the Big East, but it was an option that never went anywhere.

As I see it, the unexpected announcement that an expansion to 14 is being actively considered was a real game-changer, and a sign that the AAC is finally getting serious about pursuing power-conference status.

Even the shift away from being "perfectly happy" with staying at 11 to a strong intention to "get back to 12" was a game-changer.

The only question that remains is whether the conference is willing to both "talk the talk" and "walk the walk." I hope the answer is yes!

.

These couple of minutes in response to a press question were not a game changer. This was in keeping with the conference's / commisioner's messaging for a year and more.

Exactly, he has said same thing in past.
I think the key will be the CFP expansion
And I think the league will expand when that is announced, probably to 14 and the league gets into an arrangement in the next CFP contract were the league is recognized as in between 5he P5 and G4 in CFP money and bowl access.
04-16-2021 09:17 PM
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AAC at a crossroads: "We’re trying to figure out what our strategy is going to be."
(04-16-2021 06:16 PM)slhNavy91 Wrote:  Meh.
I think this post is founded on an overemphasis of couple of minutes amidst a 46 minute press conference, in response to a question. Commissioner Aresco didn't call a separate press conference to declare that we are at a crossroads.
I think it is off base to say that these remarks in the scheduled presser leading into the AAC MBB tourney championship reflects some NEW frustration or changed perspective on Commissioner Aresco's part.

The specific remarks about separation from the G4 are nothing new -- for example, from a year ago, May 2020, Commissioner Aresco on the USF "Bull Speed Ahead" podcast made the exact same points:
https://www.tampabay.com/sports/college/...x/2324288/

I just don't see that the overall message is much different from earlier.

The idea that these remarks are some kind of directional change is in itself an over-reaction.

That's my opinion. Your mileage may vary.


I'm not sure why some of you are focusing on whether there or not there has been a change in direction.

Perhaps it is, and perhaps it isn't, but that's not what this thread is about.

Moreover, it's not like anyone is blaming them for deciding to expand when they had maintained for well over a year that expanding was the very last thing on their minds, since they were happy sticking with 11 teams per sport and had no interest in replacing UConn.

Perhaps some of you guys had inside knowledge that the AAC was already planning to replace UConn all along and were also thinking of expanding.

If you had such inside knowledge, then indeed, I must be wrong in thinking that they had finally changed their minds and decided to replace UConn and expand.

.

Maybe you had some privileged position and were sworn to secrecy. That is 100% possible, and if you had to keep it under your hats, you'll get no criticism from me.

In fact, I'll just assume that since you've signaled that there's been no change of direction, and that you weren't the least bit surprised, that you weren't surprised, because you knew this was the situation all along, even though the rest of us clearly didn't.

.

The term "crossroads" may not have been significant, but the use of that term isn't pivotal to the discussion in any way - - it's just a figure of speech.

.


I'll just tell you why I have viewed it as a change of direction, and we'll leave it at that.

1) After UConn announced their departure, the Commissioner announced publicly that the conference was fine and dandy with going with 11 teams. He made it abundantly clear that the conference did not intend to take any action to replace UConn. He did say that he would be available to any schools that might wish to contact him, but he also made it clear that there were only a very small number of schools that the conference would consider as potential members.

2) There was no indication whatsoever that the conference had become more interested in replacing UConn until the news about the Boise emails broke, followed by the Commissioner's January, 2021 remarks, when he finally made the statement about wanting "to get back to 12."

3) During the months and year-plus following UConn's departure announcement Commissioner Aresco never said anything about the possibility that the conference might expand. The idea of a conference expansion has been bandied about for a long time on the message boards, but the concept was never mentioned by the Commissioner until he suddenly dropped that bombshell in his January, 2021 interview (see above).

.

But, if you all already knew that the conference was going to replace UConn and was dead set on it for months and months even though they never said anything about it publicly, and if you already knew that the conference had been considering an expansion to 14 schools, well then, of course it wasn't a surprise to you!

But, as I've said, it doesn't matter, because the purpose of this thread is to try to present ideas as to how the Conference could achieve its strategic objectives.

So let's not sidetrack this thread and try to turn it into nitpicking about whether any of this news was a surprise or not.

.

The topic of this thread is trying to help the Commissioner and the AAC with some ideas about what he said:

"We’re trying to figure out what our strategy is going to be."

The reason that I tried to suggest a way forward is that Aresco didn't say that the AAC "WAS TRYING" to figure out what they strategy is going to be.

He said the the AAC "IS TRYING" "to figure out what our strategy is going to be."

Just to make it clear - - he's not talking about something that happened 1 or 2 or 5 or 6 years ago.

The Commissioner is talking about a very current strategic challenge for him and the conference, and he made it crystal clear that the situation is very frustrating, because he used the word "frustrating" or "frustration" more than once in his interviews and press conferences.

So this is a current challenge, and the Commissioner has said that it's very frustrating, and thus it makes sense for fans to try to offer some suggestions if they can think of anything that might be helpful.

So let's talk about that - - which is what this thread was written for - - not a debate about whether the idea of replacing UConn or possibly expanding represents "a change of direction" of not.


.

Let's not let this thread get sidetracked by quibbling about how new the idea of expanding may or may not be.
04-cheers

.
(This post was last modified: 04-16-2021 09:53 PM by jedclampett.)
04-16-2021 09:44 PM
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jedclampett Offline
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Post: #16
RE: AAC at a crossroads: "We’re trying to figure out what our strategy is going ...
(04-16-2021 06:37 PM)Attackcoog Wrote:  The only new ground in those comments when they were uttered is the idea of going to 14 is acceptable. ... that was an option when the AAC was still the Big East.

I get it - - you're trying to down the significance of his statement, and that's ok with me. I would just point out that:

Even though it it was always "an option," it's not something that the Commissioner had ever talked about publicly before January 21st

.

Nevertheless, if you consider that to be the only new ground in the Commissioner's comments, then I gather that you didn't find this statement by the Commissioner to be the least bit newsworthy or interesting:

"We’re trying to figure out what our strategy is going to be."

.

If you didn't find that noteworthy, I can only assume that you're enough of an AAC insider to have known that this has been the situation for quite some time now, and if you were, then it might not have been news to you.

.

It was news to me, however, and that's why I created this thread - - to try to present some helpful ideas about the kinds of strategies that might be implemented successfully.

.
04-16-2021 10:09 PM
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Post: #17
RE: AAC at a crossroads: "We’re trying to figure out what our strategy is going ...
(04-16-2021 09:07 PM)jedclampett Wrote:  
(04-16-2021 06:37 PM)Attackcoog Wrote:  The only new ground in those comments when they were uttered is the idea of going to 14 is acceptable. And ...that was an option when the AAC was still the Big East.

True, it was an option when the AAC was still the Big East, but it was an option that never went anywhere.

As I see it, the unexpected announcement that an expansion to 14 is being actively considered was a real game-changer, and a sign that the AAC is finally getting serious about pursuing power-conference status.

Even the shift away from being "perfectly happy" with staying at 11 to a strong intention to "get back to 12" was a game-changer.

The only question that remains is whether the conference is willing to both "talk the talk" and "walk the walk." I hope the answer is yes!

.

The AAC has made no announcement of any kind that indicates the conference has gone into active expansion mode. The statement we prefer 12 is just that---a statement indicating we prefer 12 for football. No surprise there as we’ve always “preferred” getting back to 12—but ONLY IF #12 ADDS VALUE. Aresco also says 14 is possible—but the same caveat exists (going to 14 must add value). Nothing in any of these Aresco statements even so much as hints at any sudden desperate urgency to get back to 12. It’s simply expressing the AAC leadership preference for going back to divisions and the obvious fact it’s easier to schedule with an even number of schools.

I would also add that when Aresco spoke of the AAC being "at a crossroads"---the subject matter at hand was the desire that the AAC NOT be lumped in with the G4. Aresco felt the AAC had outgrown being included in that G5 grouping. If you listen to the actual interview, during the several minutes Aresco addresses the "AAC at a crossroads" theme---expansion was never mentioned—-Replacing UConn was never mentioned—-Realignment was never mentioned.

The reality has been plainly stated numerous times by Aresco (I know Ive heard him say it plenty of times). If he has said it once he’s said it a million times—(paraphrased) "We are not actively looking to expand—but we remain “alert” to possibilities." Thats it. If a great opportunity involving a team we covet appears on the horizon—we are ready to act. Until then—we have no interest in settling for some project addition that does not on day one bring substantial value to the conference. We know who we want and so does everyone else (there are only a few choices that add value). We arent chasing anyone. We arent settling for "best available" at this time. Its just that simple. We are not actively seeking expansion candidates---but we remain alert to possible changes in the realignment landscape.
(This post was last modified: 04-17-2021 03:25 AM by Attackcoog.)
04-16-2021 10:28 PM
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Post: #18
RE: AAC at a crossroads: "We’re trying to figure out what our strategy is going ...
(04-16-2021 10:28 PM)Attackcoog Wrote:  
(04-16-2021 09:07 PM)jedclampett Wrote:  
(04-16-2021 06:37 PM)Attackcoog Wrote:  The only new ground in those comments when they were uttered is the idea of going to 14 is acceptable. And ...that was an option when the AAC was still the Big East.

True, it was an option when the AAC was still the Big East, but it was an option that never went anywhere.

As I see it, the unexpected announcement that an expansion to 14 is being actively considered was a real game-changer, and a sign that the AAC is finally getting serious about pursuing power-conference status.

Even the shift away from being "perfectly happy" with staying at 11 to a strong intention to "get back to 12" was a game-changer.

The only question that remains is whether the conference is willing to both "talk the talk" and "walk the walk." I hope the answer is yes!

.

The AAC has made no announcement of any kind that indicates the conference has gone into active expansion mode. The statement we prefer 12 is just that---a statement indicating we prefer 12 for football. No surprise there as we’ve always “preferred” getting back to 12—but ONLY IF #12 ADDS VALUE. Aresco also says 14 is possible—but the same caveat exists (going to 14 must add value). Nothing in any of these Aresco statements even so much as hints at any sudden desperate urgency to get back to 12. It’s simply expressing the AAC leadership preference for going back to divisions and the obvious fact it’s easier to schedule with an even number of schools.

I would also add that when Aresco spoke of the AAC being "at a crossroads"---the subject matter at hand was the desire that the AAC NOT be lumped in with the G4. Aresco felt the AAC had outgrown being included in that G5 grouping. If you listen to the actual interview, during the several minutes Aresco addresses the "AAC at a crossroads" theme---expansion was never mentioned—-Replacing UConn was never mentioned—-Realignment was never mentioned.

The reality has been plainly stated numerous times by Aresco (I know Ive heard him say it plenty of times). If he has said it once he’s said it a million times—(paraphrased) "We are not actively looking to expand—but we remain “alert” to possibilities." Thats it. If a great opportunity involving a team we covet appears on the horizon—we are ready to act. Until then—we have no interest in settling for some project addition that does not on day one bring substantial value to the conference. We know who we want and so does everyone else (there are only a few choices that add value). We arent chasing anyone. We arent settling for "best available" at this time. Its just that simple. We are not actively seeking expansion candidates---but we remain alert to possible changes in the realignment landscape.

I've always respected your depth of understanding and knowledge about the history and overall situation, and I consider this message board very fortunate to have you here clarifying things.

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The way you've described the historical background, it's not surprising at all that the conference has shown no particular urgency to take any dramatic steps toward replacing UConn, much less expansion.

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For most of the history of college sports, most conferences have done just that - - they've maintain consistent membership, and have moved slowly when it comes to adding teams.

That's exactly what a conference would be expected to do if it had no aspirations to become an autonomous/power conference.

.

However, the American does have aspirations to become an autonomous/power conference.

Thus, the prevailing attitude for a long period - - that they were in no particular hurry to replace UConn revealed an apparent lack of interest in doing anything substantive to advance the conference's strategic plan.

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It sounds like what you're saying now is that we shouldn't take the Commissioner's statements about wanting to "get back to 12" as an indication that the conference is going to go out of their way to make something like that happen.

"If it happens, it happens; if it doesn't, it doesn't." It sounds like that might be the prevailing attitude as it's now being described.

Yet, there is still the fact that the Commissioner's decision to make a public statement about wanting to "get back to 12" came shortly after the news broke about the Boise St. emails disclosing how close they came to joining the AAC in late 2020.

.
04-17-2021 07:31 AM
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Post: #19
RE: AAC at a crossroads: "We’re trying to figure out what our strategy is going to be."
For me, of course expansion is important but the heart of the P5 discussion is the bowl agreement with the NY6 bowls.

If the playoff expands does that create pressure on the Peach Bowl or Fiesta Bowl to secure a contracted opponent? At what point is the AAC Champion a more attractive opponent than than At-Large bid?

If you believe expanding to 6 teams only adds another SEC team every season. You don’t need a contract with the AAC because the At-Large SEC opponent is more likely to bring more money every season.

I don’t see a point in the near future where the AAC Champ is consistently more lucrative than an At Large opponent. Maybe if the PAC was consistently sending 2 teams to the playoff and the Peach was getting saddled with the PAC runner-up team, that might be the tipping point. I would assume the odds of that are pretty low.

Big12 will expand before AAC locks in a contract with a NY6 bowl.
(This post was last modified: 04-17-2021 08:56 AM by ArmoredUpKnight.)
04-17-2021 08:49 AM
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Post: #20
RE: AAC at a crossroads: "We’re trying to figure out what our strategy is going ...
If becoming P6 means a major bowl and revenue > $20 M, it's never going to happen.

What the AAC and its members should do are things that are possible including getting more money for each school. There are ways of doing that. Additions are not one of them.

There are maybe one or two schools that might affect income of AAC schools, but no such school is joining. If Gonzaga joined it might affect revenue of existing schools, but that assumes it would continue high level performance and not negatively affect existing schools. Memphis might have been invited to the NCAAT in 2021 if WSU had not joined. WSU will be positive long term, but it is not all joy.

The AAC and its members cannot do anything to achieve >= $20 M per school. There are steps that can raise viewership and associated revenue by a few million per school. Incidentally, those steps would make the AAC more appealing to potential additions.
(This post was last modified: 04-17-2021 09:07 AM by HoustonRocks.)
04-17-2021 08:56 AM
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