AAC Daily with Commissioner Mike Aresco


(Alan Tran) #1

Really enjoyed today’s episode. Great questions from fans and great responses from our commissioner.


(Chris) #2

Did Mike announce that he is taking the cfp to court?


(Patrick) #3

Recap:

  • Didn’t expect the Catholic 7 to leave, but the ACC taking Louisville was the catalyst for them leaving. Catholic 7 didn’t want to deal with the football realignment issues.
  • Bill Polian told him that he thought that the new AAC would be better than the old Big East
  • Folks thought that losing Boise State would be the doom for the conference and that losing Boise State and SDSU would kill the regional appeal of the new conference. Also thought that more schools would leave
  • Lot of the schools stepped up, mentions Houston’s rise
  • Exchanged the Big East name for money
  • Had nothing when the AAC started
  • First TV deal was all about exposure. Sacrificed money for it
  • 3 of 5 years, have claimed the G5 spot in the NY6
  • Good in basketball (UCONN champions in men’s and women’s) and olympic sports
  • Wasn’t going to give Boise State a special deal like they got in the MWC. Proven to be right.
  • Doesn’t think the AAC is a G5 conference, but that’s the world we live in
  • Kudos to admin at the schools for continuing to hire good coaches with the high turnover
  • No plans to expand and not actively looking. Think 12 is a good number. Big 12 has 10 and is a “power conference” and the Pac 12 has 12.
  • Expansion should only be done if you can expand your reach or monetary capability. Have to split the pie more ways if you add
  • BYU was in and out of the mix at some points. Can’t tell what they are thinking, but the current membership isn’t interested in expansion.
  • Thought they would lose schools to the Big 12; lot of schools calling. Were prepared to stay at 10 if they couldn’t find the right members.
  • No talks about expansion right now. Mainly focused on next TV deal.
  • Focused on becoming a P6. All problems are mainly due to being in G5.
  • Feel that they have the strongest team every year, but the committee doesn’t always agree
  • Most P5 schools don’t play in the playoffs or the NY6 bowls. Same schools every year. 2/3 of the P5 never gets to compete for those bowls.
  • AAC has seen different schools jump up every year.
  • Mentions UCF only being ranked 14th and that’s a problem with the system and a continuing problem going forward
  • Helped by Thursday/Friday games, but want more games televised on Saturday
  • Not like the MAC though, most games are on Saturday
  • Not asking teams to play more than 1 or 2 games during the week each year
  • Great exposure during the week for schools that get to play, especially Friday since not up against NFL
  • Compares AAC to JetBlue; not Delta or United
  • Would like to see more games on ESPN or ESPN2 on Saturdays
  • Picked up a few windows when B1G split between Fox/ESPN
  • 40 games over the past view years that have had over a million viewers
  • Can’t watch a better game than UCF/USF
  • Praises big wins the last few years including last year’s UH wins over OU and Louisville
  • Mentions needing an online component to get where they want to get with the money in the next media contract
  • Definitely looking at different options for digital packages.
  • Love relationship with ESPN; would imagine if they stay with ESPN there will be a digital component with them (ESPN3)
  • Primarily, you want a mass audience for TV
  • Key is content. If you have good content, people will find you
  • Friday’s game shows what the conference can be
  • UCF should be just as good next year, USF should be good, SMU rising, Houston is loaded, Memphis should still be good, mentions the rest are rising
  • If league continues to have a good product, the league should be in good shape with the next contract
  • No mandate for scheduling. Do encourage scheduling 2 of OOC games being P5 schools.
  • Like to play 24 games against P5 (half). Only 17 or 18 games this year.
  • 30-6 against other G5 schools this season. 3 of the 6 losses were by a FG or less and 5 of the last 6 were by lower tier teams
  • Even games against FCS schools are usually against top-tier teams
  • Got to play against P5, at least half should be against P5
  • P5 conferences aren’t killing themselves with their OOC scheduling. They get the benefit of the doubt though.
  • Keep making point to committee that AAC schools should belong
  • Have to believe that you’ll get to the P6, get to the playoffs. There will always be doubters.
  • Gotta get better attendance
  • Close to paying coaches what P5 does
  • Not contemplating any legal action
  • As long as viewed as G5, will struggle with the committee
  • Fighting perception of when the conference started. Lot of folks want to dismiss last 5 years of progress and big wins
  • Feel that conference is P6. Have gained traction with media and fans
  • Will be more aggressive in the future when the time is right
  • First opportunity that exists, will attempt to get a contract with a NY6 bowl
  • UCF has better players than most P5s
  • Laughs that if an AAC team loses to Syracuse, Pitt, or Iowa State they wouldn’t even be ranked, but P5 teams are currently in projected playoff spots. Different standard, usually strength of schedule.
  • Like to see P5 teams go play Navy in Annapolis and see if they can win there. Give us credit for that.
  • Need to get credit for close losses to strong P5 teams like P5 teams do.
  • Focus on TV and committee is on P5, needs to change
  • Thinks that fans would appreciate if new blood and schools were in the mix instead of constantly shuffling the same schools. Mentions ratings from UCF/USF show that people are watching.
  • Considered Neutral site games for CCG, but not ready to play at neutral site and get crowd that they need. Geography is a big problem on that front. Also be playing in big stadiums that the conference wouldn’t be able to fill.
  • Pac 12 has struggled filling the stadium for neutral site games and the ACC did for many years as well.
  • Where would they even be able to play a neutral site CCG for the AAC?
  • Gives teams incentive to be close to the top and grab home field for the CCG
  • Very realistic about who the conference is, but the world has changed. Old days, CFB didn’t have room for a lot of the schools in the conference, but things are changing. 30-40 years ago, FSU, Miami, Va Tech, and Louisville weren’t viable big schools and look at them now.
  • If AAC can continue to build like they have and because of TV, opportunity to join the other conferences in the new world. Mentions UCF beating Baylor, Houston beating FSU, OU,a nd Louisville, 15 draft picks compared to 14 for the Big 12.
  • Can’t always get 5 star kids, but can get 4, 3, and 2 star kids that get coached up. Mentions Sutton getting drafted this year, Oliver next year, Bortles in the past. Mentions that half the Houston team that was so good is in the NFL.
  • Baker Mayfield may be a great player, but Feguson and Milton can play with him and are better than most of the guys getting notoriety.
  • Speed in the UCF/USF game Friday was faster than most games on TV
  • Build won’t happen overnight, but they will continue pushing
  • Fans can help by taking to social media and promote conference and write letters to the powers that be in CFB. Need to attend games and watch on TV. Take pride in the school, the conference, and their strengths.
  • Nobody on the Houston team last year was worried about big bad OU or Lousville. None of the players on the field are scared of other teams. Teams will continue to compete and fans need to recognize that and promote it
  • Building football takes time and success won’t happen overnight. Need players, coaches, admin to all be aligned and fans to get on board
  • Thinks AAC CCG will be high scoring, but doesn’t have a preference. Should be a great game Saturday