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At 14 teams, Will the AAC Maintain Dominance Over the NY6/Access Spot?
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TroyTBoy Offline
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Post: #1
At 14 teams, Will the AAC Maintain Dominance Over the NY6/Access Spot?
Since UCF won the last BCS bowl over the Big 12's Baylor, the American Athletic has consistently maintained its grip on New Years Day, culminating on Cincinnati's bid to the CFP.
Not counting UCF's Fiesta Bowl win over Baylor, in Access Bowl history the current count is: AAC - 6, MAC - 1, MWC - 1.

2014 - Boise State
2015 - Houston
2016 - Western Michigan
2017 - UCF
2018 - UCF
2019 - Memphis
2020 - Cincinnati
2021 - Cincinnati **CFP**

Currently, the AAC is on a 5 consecutive game run. However, 5/6 (if you count the last BCS win) were earned by the three Big 12 programs.

Considering the AAC and Sunbelt have now expanded to 14 teams, the landscape will be remarkably different in the Access/NY6/CFP hunt. The stakes will be even greater when the CFP expands.

That begs the question: Can the AAC maintain that critical Access Bowl dominance that has bolstered its P6 Campaign? Is 14 teams a help or a hinderance? Does scrapping divisions minimize the negative impact of more teams?

IMO, the AAC will STILL keep a tight grasp on the Access bowl. I think its waiver on playing a CCG with less than 12 has showed the Presidents that divisionless play has its advantages and 14 teams will actually HELP the AAC keep a handle on New Years Day.

The key to the AAC's expansion was its agreements with the expansion teams to raise their budgets. Consequently, the AAC now has 14 teams engaged in the Arms Race that will buoy the conference DESPITE the loss of Cincinnati, Houston and UCF.

It can't be understated that the AAC has much better exposure and recruiting geography than any other G5 conference. In essence, it's not really a fair fight. Being able to offer Texas and Florida athletes superior television exposure (and the ability to play often in front of their families) will keep allowing the AAC to edge the MWC/MAC/Belt/CUSA. The AAC also has the superior conference brand name from dominating that NY6 position for so long.


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03-31-2022 06:39 PM
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stever20 Offline
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Post: #2
RE: At 14 teams, Will the AAC Maintain Dominance Over the NY6/Access Spot?
boy this thread is not going to end well. Just know it.

I think it's going to be most years between 3 teams. AAC, MWC, and SBC. Where I think the AAC and SBC have the advantage is I don't think their divisions will take as much out of teams as the MWC will with their brutal home field advantages.
03-31-2022 06:55 PM
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Stugray2 Offline
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RE: At 14 teams, Will the AAC Maintain Dominance Over the NY6/Access Spot?
I think the access spot open up a bit. The AAC lost three of their five strongest programs without similar replacement. Certainly one or two of the new schools coming in will raise their game. But overall I think the MWC is on much more even terms with the AAC, and the SBC is stronger too; if a team can dominate the SBC East they will be in serious contention for that access spot.
03-31-2022 07:01 PM
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Nerdlinger Offline
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RE: At 14 teams, Will the AAC Maintain Dominance Over the NY6/Access Spot?
Seems unlikely, Mike.
03-31-2022 07:33 PM
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Fighting Muskie Offline
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RE: At 14 teams, Will the AAC Maintain Dominance Over the NY6/Access Spot?
I’m not convinced that AAC dominance will persist. The AAC’s quality decreased while the MWC remained constant and the SBC gained some ground against them.

I think that G5 slot is going to be wide open most years
03-31-2022 07:55 PM
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HerdFanGuest Offline
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Post: #6
RE: At 14 teams, Will the AAC Maintain Dominance Over the NY6/Access Spot?
AAC fell back a bit. As long as Memphis is there, they've got a slight edge.
That said, SBC closed the gap, MWC was already on their heels.

Within 3-5 years we'll see more parity in in the NY6 bowl. If Memphis leaves, it'll be a shorter time than that
03-31-2022 07:59 PM
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freshtop Offline
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RE: At 14 teams, Will the AAC Maintain Dominance Over the NY6/Access Spot?
(03-31-2022 07:55 PM)Fighting Muskie Wrote:  I’m not convinced that AAC dominance will persist. The AAC’s quality decreased while the MWC remained constant and the SBC gained some ground against them.

I think that G5 slot is going to be wide open most years

I agree. I think a 0-1 loss team from any G5 will be able to snag the access slot. I think a 2 loss team will probably favor the MWC over the AAC going forward because the MWC will most likely be less diluted than the AAC so the computers will like them a little more. I could see Liberty being a yearly player as well with as much money as they toss at athletics.
03-31-2022 08:01 PM
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Kit-Cat Offline
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RE: At 14 teams, Will the AAC Maintain Dominance Over the NY6/Access Spot?
P6.
03-31-2022 08:17 PM
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inutech Offline
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Post: #9
RE: At 14 teams, Will the AAC Maintain Dominance Over the NY6/Access Spot?
#markets

The answer to the question is no.
03-31-2022 08:35 PM
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Soobahk40050 Offline
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RE: At 14 teams, Will the AAC Maintain Dominance Over the NY6/Access Spot?
More and more I think it is less about conferences and more about individual teams. Memphis, SMU, and USF (if they ever get their act together again) are going to be competing against Colorado St, Boise St, and SDSU in the MWC and maybe Coastal and Louisiana from the Sun Belt. There will be one or two programs on the rise that get into the mix too.
03-31-2022 09:15 PM
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bullet Offline
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RE: At 14 teams, Will the AAC Maintain Dominance Over the NY6/Access Spot?
(03-31-2022 07:01 PM)Stugray2 Wrote:  I think the access spot open up a bit. The AAC lost three of their five strongest programs without similar replacement. Certainly one or two of the new schools coming in will raise their game. But overall I think the MWC is on much more even terms with the AAC, and the SBC is stronger too; if a team can dominate the SBC East they will be in serious contention for that access spot.

I think the AAC and MWC will be more even in that regard.

Sun Belt is still going to need a team to have an exceptional year, just like the MAC and CUSA.
03-31-2022 09:43 PM
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HawaiiMongoose Offline
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Post: #12
RE: At 14 teams, Will the AAC Maintain Dominance Over the NY6/Access Spot?
LOL. No more than CUSA did.
03-31-2022 09:50 PM
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stever20 Offline
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RE: At 14 teams, Will the AAC Maintain Dominance Over the NY6/Access Spot?
(03-31-2022 09:43 PM)bullet Wrote:  
(03-31-2022 07:01 PM)Stugray2 Wrote:  I think the access spot open up a bit. The AAC lost three of their five strongest programs without similar replacement. Certainly one or two of the new schools coming in will raise their game. But overall I think the MWC is on much more even terms with the AAC, and the SBC is stronger too; if a team can dominate the SBC East they will be in serious contention for that access spot.

I think the AAC and MWC will be more even in that regard.

Sun Belt is still going to need a team to have an exceptional year, just like the MAC and CUSA.

totally disagree on the SBC. Just look how high their teams got last year.
03-31-2022 09:55 PM
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46566 Offline
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Post: #14
RE: At 14 teams, Will the AAC Maintain Dominance Over the NY6/Access Spot?
AAC is going to drop back after the loss of teams. If the rumor's are that USF and Memphis are being looked at by the Big 12 (at least USF is) I'd put they're chances taking a nosedive. 14 is a benefit as it increases the chance potentially that 2 teams can go undeafeted in conference and hopefully be ranked at the championship game. Playing 9 conference games gets you 6 in your division plus 3 cross division. If you have 1 permanent cross division opponent then you have 2 rotating games home and away with the other schools over a 6 year period.
03-31-2022 10:15 PM
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freshtop Offline
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RE: At 14 teams, Will the AAC Maintain Dominance Over the NY6/Access Spot?
(03-31-2022 10:15 PM)46566 Wrote:  AAC is going to drop back after the loss of teams. If the rumor's are that USF and Memphis are being looked at by the Big 12 (at least USF is) I'd put they're chances taking a nosedive. 14 is a benefit as it increases the chance potentially that 2 teams can go undeafeted in conference and hopefully be ranked at the championship game. Playing 9 conference games gets you 6 in your division plus 3 cross division. If you have 1 permanent cross division opponent then you have 2 rotating games home and away with the other schools over a 6 year period.

I don't know that 14 greatly improves your chances for the access bowl. I think you end up with a dangerous middle pack of teams that drag each other and potentially the top teams down. The SBC has been able to make a name for itself the past couple seasons because their top teams have been able to distinguish themselves from their conference mates. That is a lot harder to do in a 14 team league in my opinion, because I think you are more likely to have teams good enough to play spoiler year in and year out.
03-31-2022 10:22 PM
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quo vadis Offline
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RE: At 14 teams, Will the AAC Maintain Dominance Over the NY6/Access Spot?
(03-31-2022 06:39 PM)TroyTBoy Wrote:  (Snip)

It can't be understated that the AAC has much better exposure and recruiting geography than any other G5 conference. In essence, it's not really a fair fight. Being able to offer Texas and Florida athletes superior television exposure (and the ability to play often in front of their families) will keep allowing the AAC to edge the MWC/MAC/Belt/CUSA. The AAC also has the superior conference brand name from dominating that NY6 position for so long.

The thing is, though, the "AAC" hasn't been dominating in recent years, its top teams have.

E.g., in the last four seasons, 2018-2021, four seasons in which an AAC team got the Access/CFP spot every year, the AAC finished as the top overall G5 conference in the CFP only twice, with the MW finishing first twice as well. And in reality it was probably MW 2, AAC 1, SBC 1, because the SBC probably had the best 2020 year, the computers just don't reflect it because of incomplete data. The AAC probably hasn't been the best G5 conference since 2019.

So it hasn't really been the "deep strength" of the AAC, the bedrock systemic advantages of exposure, TV money, and recruiting that you point to, that have made the difference, as those things have not added up to being a dominant conference. What has mattered is that the AAC has produced the top teams, the undefeated teams in UCF and Cincy.

And heck, that could be a product of *lack* of internal strength, as it is easier to go unbeaten against softer competition rather than tougher competition. There seems to have been a big drop-off between the top AAC team, the unbeaten Cincy/UCF type teams, and the next batch.

So lopping off the top of the AAC, as the Big 12 did, could mean there's nobody below to replace those super-teams.
(This post was last modified: 03-31-2022 10:35 PM by quo vadis.)
03-31-2022 10:33 PM
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46566 Offline
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RE: At 14 teams, Will the AAC Maintain Dominance Over the NY6/Access Spot?
(03-31-2022 10:22 PM)freshtop Wrote:  
(03-31-2022 10:15 PM)46566 Wrote:  AAC is going to drop back after the loss of teams. If the rumor's are that USF and Memphis are being looked at by the Big 12 (at least USF is) I'd put they're chances taking a nosedive. 14 is a benefit as it increases the chance potentially that 2 teams can go undeafeted in conference and hopefully be ranked at the championship game. Playing 9 conference games gets you 6 in your division plus 3 cross division. If you have 1 permanent cross division opponent then you have 2 rotating games home and away with the other schools over a 6 year period.

I don't know that 14 greatly improves your chances for the access bowl. I think you end up with a dangerous middle pack of teams that drag each other and potentially the top teams down. The SBC has been able to make a name for itself the past couple seasons because their top teams have been able to distinguish themselves from their conference mates. That is a lot harder to do in a 14 team league in my opinion, because I think you are more likely to have teams good enough to play spoiler year in and year out.

It's honestly the same with 12. Under 12 it's going to be 5 division games plus 3 cross division game switching every year. Going to 14 true gives you 7 permanent games but gives you a rotation of 6 teams you at most see 1 pair twice in a 4 year period unless it's the championship. At ten your playing everyone every year and are guaranteed to have a 1 loss team in the championship game regardless.
03-31-2022 10:39 PM
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BullsFanInTX Offline
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Post: #18
RE: At 14 teams, Will the AAC Maintain Dominance Over the NY6/Access Spot?
Could UAB and UTSA help fill the gap left by the 3 schools leaving to B12. AAC hopes so.
03-31-2022 10:57 PM
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slhNavy91 Offline
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RE: At 14 teams, Will the AAC Maintain Dominance Over the NY6/Access Spot?
Here's another way to look at it...

The AAC's ownership of the non-contract-bowl-conference slot in the CFP NY6 slot has been because of depth. It was Houston and then it was UCF, and when it wasn't UCF it was Memphis, and when it wasn't Memphis, it was Cincinnati, and the teams that were contending in the CCG like Temple and Navy and Tulsa were also in the CFP NY6 conversation.
You'll notice I mentioned just as many "stayers" as "leavers" in that. The CFP committee has respected the AAC for the last 8 years.

Let's look at total appearances in the CFP committee rankings (in some ways that's more significant than AP/Coaches Poll starting after preseason bias has been dispensed with)
The Four Teams joining the Big12 have 54 appearances in the CFP rankings
The future AAC has 47 appearances in the CFP rankings
The current/future mwc has 37 appearances in the CFP rankings
The future Sun Belt has 24 appearances in the CFP rankings
The once and future MAC has 6 appearances in the CFP rankings
Liberty gives future CUSA 2 appearances in the CFP rankings

Okay, slh, that's kind of close between the future AAC, the mwc, and the future Sun Belt...yeah, til you take out Boise's 21. Without Boise, the future AAC has 47 appearances in the CFP rankings and three mwc, four future SBC, 2016 WMU, and Liberty have 48 combined.
HALF of the future AAC have earned the CFP committee's respect to get ranked. Seven future AAC, and ten G4s including Boise.


Here are the program totals for the four joining the Big12, the future AAC (bolded) and all the G4s:
Boise 21
Cincinnati 19
Memphis 16
Navy 12

BYU 12
UCF 12
Houston 11
SDSU 7
Louisiana 7
Temple 6
Fresno 6
App State 6
Coastal Carolina 6
WMU 6
Tulsa 5
Marshall 5
SMU 4
UTSA 3

Liberty 2
ECU 1
SJSU 1

Huh. The only program moving to the Big12 better than Memphis or Navy is Cincinnati. BYU and UCF trail Memphis and are equal to Navy. Boise exceeds Memphis and Navy, but otherwise...nope, none of the G4s and that's before we pull in Temple, SMU, Tulsa etc.

Guaranteed that we'll keep up the dominance? No.
Pretty solid chance? Yes.
04-01-2022 12:02 AM
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templefootballfan Offline
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RE: At 14 teams, Will the AAC Maintain Dominance Over the NY6/Access Spot?
no
04-01-2022 02:35 AM
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