You can’t just anoint the AAC as being a power conference. At least as far as revenue is concerned . But looking at football performance, yes a case could be made. The case could be made stronger by factors (e.g more scheduling with P5 powers) beyond AAC control (the AAC can’t force recalcitrant P5 powers to play AAC programs!)
Financially, Big 12 is paying $38 million per team in 2017! When AAC gets close to that amount then we can call it a “legitimate” Power conference. Until then it’s just another underpaid, overperforming Power Conference wannabe! The worst performing P5, Pac is paying close to $30 million.