Expansion Link Dump - Jul 31st

Light day of reading when it comes to expansion talk today. Underdog Dynasty takes down Aresco, Tulsa writer feels sorry for the American, USF used to draw big crowds, Marshall writer doesn’t think its a good idea for the Herd to move up, UNT is hoping for stability, and New Mexico sounds like us about 5-10 years ago.

The American Athletic Conference hasn’t learned their lesson from the Big East
When two-thirds of your conference is openly flirting with a competitor with more resources, what do you do? If you’re the AAC, the answer is apparently "nothing."

But this is ultimately an indictment on the reactionary leadership of the conference. Commissioner Aresco, who also oversaw the collapse of the Big East, is Nero playing the fiddle while Rome burns. His inaction could cost the conference major prestige and could eventually lead to the conference’s demise.

Guerin Emig: American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco steadfast as Big 12 raid looms

“The unfortunate thing is that this has been tough on everyone,” he said. “Of course, the Power 5 is attractive to schools with the money and all of that. But on the other hand our focus is to become a Power 6. That’s what we’ve become, I believe.

“The perception might be that if we lose some schools that that’s not necessarily what we are at the moment. But we will quickly regain that and quickly change that perception, I guarantee you.”

Think attendance will hurt USF’s Big 12 bid? Think again

Over the last 11 years, dating to when USF began Big East play in 2005, USF has averaged 40,545 fans. The zenith during that stretch was reached in 2007, when the Bulls – who would climb to No. 2 in the BCS standings – averaged 53,170 fans for six home games.

By comparison, UCF has averaged 36,381 during that same span, with Cincinnati (30,288) and Houston (25,630) owning even smaller figures. BYU, widely mentioned as a leading contender to join the Big 12, averaged 61,024 over those 11 years.

Pulling down USF’s average has been the last three seasons, when the Bulls – 14-23 in that span – have averaged fewer than 35,000 fans each of those years. But from 2007-12, the program’s annual average attendance never fell below 40,000.

Chuck Landon: AAC doesn’t make dollars or sense for Marshall

The only season MU even had a winning record against the seven was a 3-2 mark in 2009. Ironically, Snyder was fired after that season.

So, why would MU suddenly be able to compete with those schools now? Marshall is better off in C-USA where it can win an occasional championship and still take academic non-qualifiers.

Eye on realignment

The possibility of a new round of realignment comes at a less-than-ideal time for UNT. Baker is just beginning his tenure at the school, which has struggled in key revenue sports over the last several years.

Fans have yet to invest in Lobo football

“If fans want to talk about New Mexico being in the Big XII,” Davie said, “then come to the games this year and say, ‘Listen, we’re putting 40,000 in a 40,000-seat stadium.’ Don’t say ‘After you take us and give us that (Big XII TV money), now we’re going to come.’ You’d better prove it first.

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The Florida schools’ current situation reminds me of ours in 1995 when the Big 12 formed. Past success but not in recent years.

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