Build the AAC and make it home

I don’t think we should care so much about rivals but more of playing teams in a conference that are in our region or better yet bigger time opponents in a better conference. I don’t want the big 12 but if we were playing those teams , our fans would care more and fill up the stadium , kinda like us being exiting to play Texas Tech this yr. A&M didn’t consider us a rival for ex. But we had good attendance playing them which is what really matters. Unequal revenue sharing would tear the conf apart and although it’s a sound argument, the lesser aac teams would have to fully sign up for it for the betterment of the aac. Espn really should pay us more as a conf if they really want it to grow which helps them. Espn could bump our pay up by the same % as the increase of the p5s each time they do all the contracts which would help and it would be doable. Espn is making money off us so it’s doable as a % increase. They could average it and if all the new contracts average a 20 or 10 bump, then they bump our 7 mil by 10 to 20 %. There was an article about redoing conferences to be more regional that makes sense for the reasons we’re discussing here. Dr Khator and UH are working on becoming AAU in 5 yrs which was posted here and it will help us longterm and it’s a goal UH can achieve.

We have been playing most of these same teams in whatever iteration of a conference we have been in since before 1996: SWC, CUSA, Big East, AAC. More specifically; Tulsa, Tulane, Memphis, and SMU have been - I hesitate to use the word “rivals” - common opponents and have been on the schedule longer than the likes of the Whorns and Gaggies ever were (almost double the amount of seasons).

If Aresco could swing an auto bid (we almost already are considering that year-in and year-out the AAC will get the autobid as the highest ranked non-P5) to NY6, the American is a nice home for our school. We just need more tv revenue.

I know a lot of people here like to crap all over our conference and conference-mates. I have never understood that attitude. We do NOT dominate this conference in the big three sports, and we never have. Most of the schools are urban universities that are in very similar situations as us. A lot of the people need to move on from the SWC era; it’s over. It was 19 years long, and it was 26 years ago. It is over. This is the reality of Houston Cougar athletics.

People need to start attending Cougar games for the Coogs and not who the other team is.

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If Arsceno could get us the auto bid and more money, I could live with the aac until or if we move. He should also get us a nice guaranteed bowl Against a p5 for our champ in the yrs we don’t make the bigger bcs bowl. He was supposed to do that but it fell thru. We all consider the aac as the 6th best conf so if Espn could brand us that way and make us p6. I consider the aac as a good conf which is growing but like mentioned, we need more money and branding and an auto bid to help with that.

Cary,

I agree with many of your comments. I think the 8-team playoff is coming sooner than later, and if Aresco can negotiate an auto bid, the American will be in great shape. As far as folks bad-mouthing our conference mates, I’m in complete agreement with you. Although Cincy may have stumbled recently in MBB, the school remains the bellwether school for the AAC. We are a competitor once again in MBB, but since the 2015 season, football is 0-4 in weak bowl games against non-5 opponents, and our combined winning percentage is .478 under both Applewhite and Holgorsen. Based on our school size, excellent facilities, and area recruits available, I would say we have underperformed. Let’s start winning again, put people in the stands, and generating some local media buzz.

FYI, I’m a season ticket holder to both FB and MBB, and show up regardless of our W-L record.

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The AAC isn’t a bad conference (lets face it we are an average to slightly above average tea in the conference), but it will never sniff the revenue of the P5.

True about revenue but we don’t need the same amount they get or even close bc I think they waste a lot of money and our teams do more with less. If we could have received the 10 or 12 mil I thought we could which was floated around vs the 25 or so in the pac , it would make the diff in hiring better coaches. Arcenso just failed and needs to do better. I’m all for a p5 conf as many but just saying what could have been.

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When it comes to the National Championship, UH is currently in the same situation as anyone not named Bama or Clemson. Those two spots are almost a lock every year. You have the rest of D1 football competing for 2 spots. If anyone has an unfair advantage, is Notre Dame and their sorry ass team.

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I am not sure I agree with this any longer.

Based on how things are moving, college sports as we know it will be effectively over in 10-15 years. In fact, I predict that it is just as likely there will not be any college sports as it is that the P5 breakaway. My reasons for this are as follows:

  1. The major networks are running out of money! ESPN, the cash cow for most P5 sports, is hemorrhaging viewers and cash. More importantly, Disney, its owner, is bleeding $$. It issued a lot of debt to acquire Fox Studios and timed it “perfectly” with the onset of a global pandemic which decimated its cash cow, live tourism/entertainment and movies.

  2. Without ESPN, college sports is left to depend on Fox, CBS (Viacom), NBC (Comcast), etc. You can add ATT to this list too, since it owns Time Warner. Well due to the increasing corporatization of network television, all of those companies other than Fox is owned by a major MNC with shareholders who likely have little to no understanding or interest in college sports. The amount of capital investment necessary to continually expand bandwidth and internet speeds is astounding. However, due to streaming, these companies are not as able to easily raise rates to cover these costs. Fox is a shell of itself due to its sale of literally its entire portfolio of IP to Disney. It now has to depend on continued viewership of Fox News to generate revenues. Fox News, due to its loyal fan base, was able to consistently raise rates. However, due to recent events, latest news is that the carriers (ATT, Comcast, etc.) no longer are willing to pay. ATT is in the same boat. It spent 10’s of billions of dollars to acquire Directv, and just sold it for $1b dollars! As my suegra would say, “Es no good”.

  3. Congress (both parties) is now determined to require payment to athletes for image and likeness, at a minimum. It is quite possible that with the pending Supreme Court case against the NCAA for anti-trust violations, the NCAA will not only lose its monopoly on top level sports, but will be required to pay a hefty amount of damages for prior years when it did not allow players to earn money. Trust me, I can find an economist and accountant to come up with all sorts of numbers on any subject. If I can do it, the lawyers hired by the plaintiffs can definitely do it.

  4. The professional leagues have begun to encroach on college sports even more. You already have it in baseball (which is why college baseball players are allowed to make money. Otherwise there would be no college baseball. Same for hockey) and its not spreading to basketball with the G-League. You already have college basketball coaches complaining about the G-League taking their recruits. Mick Cronin was complaining a week before the Sweet 16 about some top UCLA recruit that decided to go to the G-League and earn $100K rather than play for free. Dumb I know. It is only going to get worse.

  5. Finally, and here is where I think we need to really consider the impact of recent science and politics, football in general is becoming increasingly unpopular among parents and fans. Some people have come to dislike football because of the kneeling issue; others because of the safety issues. In either case, it means fewer viewers. I was speaking with some people during a recent camping trip for the Scouts, and I was discussing the Super Bowl. Apparently myself and one other dad were the only ones who watched it. These are suburban parents of all political stripes. If they are not watching it, then neither are their kids, which means they are not being exposed to it. Thus, the “love” for football is not being planted at that early age where you need it to be. In some ways football is where baseball was 25 years ago. Baseball ignored it because at the time they thought, “hey are games all sellout and its America’s past time, so whatever”. Now, 25 years later and dwindling attendance and TV viewership, OOOPS! Yeah, probably should not have done that. Now baseball is constantly playing catchup.

I know some will argue that they watch college sports because they love their alma mater; I do too, so I get it. But ultimately the profitability of any business is based on not the loyal fan base, but the marginal customer, that person who shows up when there is a big game or big name playing, fighting, singing, etc. Its the reason the Super Bowl spends some much time and effort picking the half time performers. People like my wife and her cousin that only watch the super bowl for the halftime show is worth billions!

The big (and medium) football programs are a business; they depend on the t-shirt fan to make money.

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Completely wrong and taints the rest of your hypothesis. Espn, and Disney, are making major profits. ESPN is losing viewers but not to the point of losing money. They are simply making less money.

Uh, if they are making less money now, and they are projected to lose more customers and thus more projected revenue, then I cannot see how they would be able to continue to pay the increasing amounts of money to the NCAA. All business profitability projections are based on revenue growth. Businesses that focus on cost reductions for long term profitability are just managing the decline. See Sears for example. When growth stalls, cutbacks begin. ESPN has already cut back on staff, shows, etc. That is why many of our favorite shows on ESPN and its affiliates have been cancelled.

Also, I said that the impact would be in 10-15 years, not immediately. Its possible that Disney could find a way to increase revenue through ESPN to continue to fund college athletics at the rate it is, but I doubt it. But hey, if I am wrong, then we can all continue to enjoy watching college sports. So I won’t be mad.

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Just win baby. We can piss and moan about conference affiliation til the cows come home.

If we keep going 8-5 on the average we’ll in end up in D2.

Why do people think the P5 conferences want to add teams that would take a piece of their pie? I don’t know what the future will bring, but I just don’t see much room for more teams in the P5 conferences and unless there would be more money in it for each of it’s members, why would they want to expand.

On the other hand, ESPN basically owns college sports on TV. They already have a situation where they don’t have to pay P5 money to the more appealing teams, why would they want to move them to a conference where they would have to pay the same teams more? I say why would they move a team because we all know they can tell a conference they do or don’t want that conference to add team X and the conferences pretty much heed ESPN’s desires.

I like our situation in the AAC and in my lifetime that probably won’t change. (I’m 74, to make it to 84, I would outlive mom by 9 years and dad by 4.) So, I am not wasting my time and energy pining for a P5, I’m all for making the most of where we are.

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AAC or bust!!!

How often do you think schools with a winning percentage approaching .615 wind up dropping a division?

College sports is a business. The ncaa is lying (again)to its audience saying we can pay athletes or they lose their amateur status. The same can be said to the P5’s vs G5’s.
We either get invited by one or over time we won’t have a football program. This is as clear as crystal clear. Who do you think is footing the bill for us to play in a G5?
Do you think it is free?
Do you think we bring in enough revenue to support the program?
Do you think this is sustainable over a long period of time?
The answer IMO is no, no and no.
None of you is mentioning how the demographics are changing.
College sports is a business. Like it or not this is reality. The clear obstacle is not the conference itself but how far you can go in Div 1 Football.
Does this mean in a possible distant future you will see schools dropping their football program? This is highly plausible. Again this is about Dollars and cents. Time and moving demographics are against us. Alabama was losing fans before the pandemic. Can you imagine the rest of the country?
espn by their “redefining conferences” has clearly put Div 1 college football in high danger. They thought that they would make a ton of quick money. What has happened is a combination of fans stepping away from local college football interest to other past times.
The SWC is a great snapshot of what has happened to college football. The longer you have “dis-association” with a real local rivalry fans will leave for good.
Sure you might have a 16 conference football competition. How long do you really think this is going to last?
Gaining an entry into a P5 is our only chance to keep our football program for the long run. Every minute that passes puts us in jeopardy. YOU DO NOT AGREE? Why do think Tillman Fertitta was so upset when the small12 told us again to take a hike?
We have to be as creative as can be to put buns in the stands.
We have to win on a regular basis both in football and BBall.
We have to make our intentions clear that we want to be part of a P5 no matter what the cost will be. Our future depends on it.

Mike,
Agree with your assessment. The desire to be in
the P5 blinds people to the point of being unrealistic about expansion.
I get that; but reality bites.

UT and OU are always identified as the lynchpins in these
realignment dreams. But they are in the sweetest spot in terms
of getting a shot at the CFP. What’s motivation to go to a harder
Conference especially if the money is the same ?

Only thing I see as possibly breaking the existing situation is
If ESPN goes under or ESPN can see the light of establishing
a true playoff system that’s all inclusive and is bigger money
maker. I’m guessing that analysis has been done and the numbers
don’t support a true P5 + G5 merger/expansion. But perhaps
Technology changes will force the breakup of the existing ESPN system era
too.

And then you have the decade long decline in HS football players.
How will that play out long term for college football ?

So, enjoy what you have now in the AAC. If you get that dream call up, fine.
But building yourself up in the AAC is not mutually exclusive or prohibitive to
getting that dream date call some day. Be happy, but build.

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The future of football will be interesting to watch. Sports come and go.

If you asked someone in 1950 if they could foresee a time when boxing was so marginalized that the vast majority of the people wouldn’t know who the Heavyweight Champion is, they would have thought it was crazy. Same with horse racing.

Conference realignment is on hold in my opinion only because the economics of realignment are changing and no one really knows what the post cable cutting world is going to look like. My personal stab at it is the economics of college athletics has to change because you have for profit entities that have artificial price controls on labor. Ultimately that never ends well and with all artificial price constraints it pays to cheat. Where ever there are artificial price constraints, there are always black markets. It is just economics. If I am a coaching staff that has bonuses tied to wins, do you really think I am going to not find a way to get the best players. People will always do what your incentives lead them to do. If I am a school and getting to the college playoffs is worth millions in cash and advertising, do you think I am not going to look the other way? I will play the sanctimonious card and if the coach gets caught, throw him to the wolves, but I won’t really care about the rules.

The most likely scenario is we are in the AAC for a good amount of time, that said the reason expansion could kick off is the PAC 12. They need more inventory due to:

a)Being the smallest conference
b)Stuck in the worst time zones (possibly want to move into central time)
c)Increasing revenue gap between the PAC/ACC and the BIG/SEC

Does this mean expansion happens? Maybe and if so, the PAC will look to the XII (if they don’t resign GOR) way before it looks to any G5 schools. If the PAC expands and it kicks off another round of expansion is basically our last shot imo. That said there are major barriers towards UH and joining any of the P5 conferences sadly.

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We need to look at the situation from a business perspective.

When fans think of a P5 conference adding UH, they are looking for gifts.
If the Big-12 added UH, ESPN would pay more for a product it already owns. If ESPN believed it would make more money with UH in the Big-12, UH would already be a Big-12 member. Each current Big-12 school would receive less money and lose recruits to UH. No one except UH fans wants UH in a P5 conference.

UH’s goal of increased money should rely on activities over which we
have some control. We will never succeed if we wait for others to make
that decision.

We should regard the AAC as a growth company. It has products that are increasing its revenue. A growth company that receives additional capital perhaps through the sale of more shares grows more.

The AAC can make more money for ESPN by increasing viewership.
ESPN would be in favor of that. If the AAC spends part of the ESPN contract money to advertise an “AAC Game of the Week” it will increase viewership. Suppose the AAC pays each school $1 million less than the expected $7 million. That is $1 million X 11 schools, enough to advertise 11 games. The AAC schools would have greater exposure and ultimately receive more money.

Choose this or other ideas that will grow both ESPN and the AAC and you will succeed.

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The big 12 is the smallest conference and they have no incentive to grow.

The pac does not need to expand simply because of the number of members jt already have. In fact, size may be the reason it doesn’t expand because it would have to add more than one team.

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