Think about this: if we do what we say we can do this year, and crash the playoff - or at least be the #5 team and have everyone outraged that we didn’t get in, then how does the so called perception of the AAC change? We can certainly prove this year that we belong in the big time conversation, and last year several teams were in the same position for varying periods of time.
I hate the phrase “perception is reality.” Reality is reality, and there are only so many ways of observing and measuring it. Perception is just the set of conclusions drawn about reality for a given person. The more factual a person’s perception is, the less surprised they are at reality when it asserts itself, as it always does. The more subjective, the greater the surprise and pain at the discovery of reality.
This year, we will certainly find out a lot about reality for ourselves. We have at least two major direct tests against real competition. We aced our two tests last year, along with all the quizzes in between. With a new year comes new scrutiny and new opportunity, and we will find out quickly and plainly just who our team is. The rest of the country will, too, and so the revaluation of our conference should go hand in hand. Are we good in spite of them, or as part of them? I believe the latter is true, and trading a conference whose only real problem is money for a conference whose only real solution is money (and not an effective one at that) is not necessarily worthwhile.
We never should shy away from the opportunity to compete at the highest levels, if presented, but we should work just as hard to demonstrate that we already are competing at very high levels, and stuff it in all their greedy faces.