After five years, American Athletic Conference finds stability but enters crucial stage

(Patrick) #1

Subscription article, but it’s a pretty good rundown of where the AAC sits right now.

“I’m not sure these 14-team conferences want to get any bigger,” Aresco said. “I don’t think that whole Pac-12 going to 16 makes much sense in the current climate. The Big 12 seems happy, got a team in the Playoff, is making a lot of money per team. I have a feeling things might look this way a decade from now. There’s more stability.”

The AAC has been a success far quicker than even Aresco envisioned. Before South Florida athletic director Mark Harlan left USF for the athletic director job at Utah, he told The Athletic that AAC meetings were as positive and optimistic as he’d ever seen in the league — though his departure a few days later illustrated the conference’s difficult position.

The AAC has a vision, but TV negotiations over the next year will determine if it will have an opportunity to reach it.

“I don’t know how the first five years of our conference could have gone any better, with across-the-board success, particularly in football,” White said. “Whether you look at television ratings, competitive success, New Year’s Day bowl wins, we’ve way outperformed.

“I think our current deal is way undervalued, and everybody understands that. We’re all really confident we’ll get a much more significant television deal that puts us on par with where we should be, with the Power 6 conferences.”

(Cristian) #2

Way to say you’re stuck with what we give you for another decade.


I like the AAC. I like the schools in the AAC and I like how all the schools are pulling together for the betterment of the conference as opposed to having prima donna schools like most other conferences have. I would be perfectly happy with the current AAC being our long term home IF we can get significantly more money with the next TV contract.


Considering how many teams sent applications to the big 12 when they had the expansion farce, I’m not sure all the aac teams are necessarily pulling together as opposed to trying to do well so they are attractive enough to jump ship.

(Mike Higdon) #5

I’m with you Coog51. I have enjoyed our conference and the games are surely competitive. Those who think we are above the AAC have no basis for it. How many times have we won the conference championship? How many times have we steamrolled our competition? Even in 2015 when we did win the conference, several of our wins were by the skin of our teeth. I have seen a lot of good football in our conference. Our conference’s record OOC has been pretty dang good as well.

(David) #6

I think there is more than one mindset in wanting to join the P5. I do not think UH is too good for the AAC by any means. It’s the best G5 conference but I also recognize that P5 money brings a more stable financial future for the athletic department. That is why I want a P5 invite: for the resources, for 8 games against P5 opponents rather than 2 to 4 and for the bowl opportunities. It’s not because I feel UH is too good for the AAC competition.

I also think that “big money” contracts are a thing of the past. I fear UH was left out of the height of college football payouts. The P5 money will still be better than G5 money but I will be surprised if anyone is ready to top the current contracts…except for maybe the SEC.

(steve saxenian) #7

The conference doesn’t matter. It’s the $35 million dollars each school gets annually because of the affiliation that matters. I’d play in the Florida Grapefruit League if it paid that kind of money

(James Duncan) #8

In addition I’d like to see AAC get greater bowl access (preferably a guaranteed NY6 for its champ), and as an extension more of the blue blood programs willing to play the top tier AAC teams regularly in OOC games.

(User was banned for sending threatening/abusive messages.) #9

(Aidan Bynum) #10

Im with you outside the $$ and bowl access id rather play Southland schools


I think we will be in the $12 million per school neighborhood.


Unless another serious bidder steps up we will be in the 2 - 4 million per school. ESPN has no intention of paying us what we are worth but rather how little they can get away with. Don’t get me wrong, UH is worth $20 to $30 million and if we were in a P5 we would be worth $40 to $50 million.

(gpropes) #13

It’s beyond me why anyone thinks that the AAC will get anything more than what the market will bear.

I think we’ll get a better deal, but this idea that the AAC will get $10mm per school because we “deserve” it is loony.

(Cristian) #14

If by bear you mean “growth” or the high ceiling we and everyone has then i think 10-15 million would be justifiable. I heard Aresco on the 3/5 videos and i think hes shoothing to get out of the G4 dynamic for branding. If hes serious about being P6 he NEEDS to get in the 10’s. There’s no way around it. Imagine we restructure our deal and continue making 3-4M (idk what the difference is right now) more than the rest of the G4 we might as well hide under a rock from the embarrassment.

(Chris) #15

The AAC is not the answer. It is a P5 invite. We are working toward that goal. As far as playing against prima-donnas? That is the case for every league. USC vs UCLA or Auburn vs Alabama are rivalries. They can’t stand each other. So what? It makes for a lively competition. Nothing points to an increase in our tv revenues. What makes you think we will get more money? Because you and I think so? We have not so far. A good business principal is to anticipate the end of a contract. Sign a new deal even before the current contract expires. aresco can talk all he wants but his P6 talk is to appease some fans. The reality is that we are stuck in the slow lane while all of the P5 Schools breaking the speed limit. Yes, they should get a ticket but they don’t because they control the cops. On the other end we have to go to traffic School. It is as if the media are giving us a favor because they show our games. I only trust our leaders to get us in the fast lane.


Ratings, eyeballs and performance on the court/field. The AAC is going to get a big raise and I personally think it will be in the $10-12 million per school range.