AAC delusions

There has been a lot of discussion on this board about the AAC absorbing some of the BigXII and becoming a power conference. Such discussion is not surprising, as this scenario would punish the BigXII for its shenanigans in 2016, punish Baylor for its shenanigans in 1994, and obliterate the conference that has been harming our athletics programs since 1995.

There also has been a lot of discussion in the sports media about this scenario. Such discussion is not surprising, either, because sports media increasingly is about controversy and spectacle rather than substance.

Unfortunately, as much as I would like to destroy the BigXII and play in an enhanced AAC, I just don’t see it happening, and here’s why. The BigXII has a lucrative media contract, a “Power 5” reputation, and a shortage of schools, while the AAC has none of these things.

Imagine that neither conference existed and that there simply was a list of current AAC schools and remaining BigXII schools from which to build a conference. Building even a 16 team conference would mean that some schools would be left out. Which schools would make the most sense to leave out, given geographic footprint, media market, and athletic prowess? Probably these: East Carolina (media market, athletic prowess), Temple (geographic footprint, athletic prowess), Navy (geographic footprint, football only), Wichita State (basketball only), Tulane (athletic prowess). Yes, many BigXII schools lack media markets, but they make up for it in other ways. I can’t see leaving some of them out while keeping some of these AAC schools in, nor do I see a way of shedding some AAC schools to absorb more BigXII schools.

Given all of this, I am hopeful but also fearful for UH. It would not surprise me to see the BigXII add four schools: Memphis, Cincinnati, Central Florida, South Florida. That would be disastrous for us.

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you forgot one thing the Big12 is made of small markets that no other conference wants. Who is going to pay them tv money? Fox? NBC? CBS ? for sure, not ESPN. Take your crap some where else please.


He actually did mention the small markets. He just didn’t mention how it is that they make up for those small markets.

Agree with Pearland.

Our existing Metro Markets have 40 million people.

The Remainder 8 has Lubbock, Waco, Stillwater, etc.

Thank you for this new and innovative viewpoint.

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You are possibly right if the little 8 had the courage to accept their reality and sign a GOR amongst themselves to ensure conference viability (among a few other things I have listed like fire Bowlsby, state they will not sue ESPN, and offer top AAC schools and BYU). I see no reason to believe they have a coherent enough collective rapport or foresight to do so though. They also no longer have the support of their sugar daddy ESPN who thinks they are DRASTICALLY overvalued without OU and UT.

In terms of attractiveness, the little 8 has mostly small markets and no blue bloods (other than KU BB). They are collectively or individually no better than the top half of the AAC. The Big 12 brand is dead without OU and UT and ESPN will just stop promoting them to further downgrade their brand. Think KSU vs ISU or Baylor vs OSU will get the nod over a top 25 UCF vs Memphis or UH vs Cincy. Think again.

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I’m not getting my hopes up. There are ways in which this could still end badly for UH. But we are not now nor have we ever been in control of this stupid situation, so I’m not exactly wringing my hands, either. Nothing to do but enjoy the fireworks factory exploding.

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Baylor fans are warming up to the AAC. I hope the feeling is not mutual.


From a 10,000ft view what is happening is that ESPN is reducing their cost to pay the little 8 as they are drastically overvalued without OU and UT and blueblood OU/UT are moving to the SEC as soon as possible (and with as little penalty as possible) to ensure their continued national relevance in the NIL universe making ESPN’s premier college brand the SEC stronger and more lucrative. There has been a calculated strategy by ESPN that the little 8 won’t have the collective strength to stick this out. If they don’t the AAC will be better by adding some or all of the little 8 and getting a pay bump and eliminating a power conference. If they do somehow stick together we WILL get a Big 12 invite. The Big 12 HAS to have HOUSTON to have ANY chance of getting ANY decent $ in a 2025 negotiation. I don’t see anyway we are left out one way or another (at least not left for dead in a gutted AAC).


The L8 Texas schools (plus maybe OkSt) pitched a fit when Texas made noise about adding Houston in 2016. If they hadn’t, maybe they aren’t in this pickle. I’m not convinced they’ve learned anything. They can only ever see us as a threat to their status and recruiting, not an asset. As far as the TV money goes, I doubt lumping us in with the L8 adds one single dollar to whatever offer they’ll receive. Since Aresco is apparently working with ESPN, I’ll concede the possibility that adding some or all of them to AAC might boost our payout, maybe now or in the future. I do agree that I don’t see ESPN having any interest in paying both the L8 AND AAC beyond this season.


I might have bought that take before the Big12 commish let out that he is afraid and actively wants to stop ESPN and AAC from raiding them. Not delusional anymore

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I think the ESPN offer is going to be around $10M for any school that is part of the AAC by September 1st. Otherwise find your own way.

After all the noise and uproar subsides ultimately to me will be the most probable outcome if they stay intact.

We need a school to bail.

Going to the Big 12 without the support of the ESPN would a disaster.


ESPN doesn’t want to kill the AAC - we are a good value for them - UH is one of the best values in a good value league for them. NO WAY they let the little 8 take 4 AAC schools and UH not be included. In fact, they are heavily invested in keeping the AAC as a viable conference as we are cost controlled now for years ahead at around our market value. The little 8 are currently DRASTICALLY overvalued and so are getting a full on throat chop from ESPN. If anything the compromise between ESPN and little 8 would be the little 8 can stay their own conference and make $10-12M per year and the AAC stays untouched. JMO.


The B12 doesn’t have a p5 reputation!

That’s why they’re trying to leave. Ou/UT took the p5 reputation with them.

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I did not forget medium markets; I mentioned them explicitly. If media markets were so important, we would have been in a power conference long ago. The fact of the matter is that those teams have a following that exceeds the weaker members of the AAC.

Take your rude comments elsewhere and debate the issue, please.

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Medium Markets? City of Sugar land has more people than Waco? More like mini markets.


The B12 will be gone in 2025.

The fact that UT and OU, or any other former members, USED to be in the conference has ZERO impact on the conference today.

The truth is that these are the leftovers after Nebraska AND Colorado AND Texas A&M AND Missouri AND Texas AND Oklahoma L-E-F-T.

To the TV networks TODAY the leftovers are not more valuable than the AAC. The strong raids the weak…there is a food chain.

The same argument can be made for the Big East castaways that are still in our conference. Their presence alone did not make us a valuable power conference…the same is happening with the Big 12.