I’m also glad that the AAC is making a push for inclusion and promoting itself. Mike Aresco has a good case to make on behalf of the AAC primarily due to a core group of schools committed to infrastructure and winning against P5 programs and winning bowl games.
It should also be noted however, that those core programs made those commitments and investments in order to move up and out of the AAC, but since that avenue seems to be closed for the foreseeable future, the AAC has certainly benefited and is using those returns to make a case for the conference. That’s good.
Aresco has had a tough job to move this conference forward - especially after the total chaos that created it years ago. I still believe that Tulane and Tulsa were pure panic moves, two tiny schools that have virtually no sports relevance whatsoever and should probably be members of the Sun Belt Conference.
Overall, I think the AAC marketing effort can succeed if UH, USF, UCF, Cincy, Memphis and Navy continue to be relevant, win the P5 games on their schedules and grab that NY6 Bowl date on a regular basis. I honestly don’t think the AAC will be a P6, but it has a slim chance of becoming an official buffer conference that gets paid far less than the P5 schools, but far more than the other G4 conference programs.