Is The AAC Still An Underdog Conference?

There’s always a few G5 teams who punch above their weight class. In recent years it’s been UCF. Before them, programs like Boise State dominated the underdog landscape. Now, an entire conference is making us ask the question, is the AAC still an underdog conference? Have they reached Power 6 status?

The October 19th AP poll ranked two AAC schools (SMU, Cincinnati), while another four received votes (Tulane, Temple, Memphis, UCF). That’s down one ranked team, but up two teams receiving votes from the week before.

One ACC team is ranked. Two are receiving votes.

Three PAC 12 teams are ranked. Two are receiving votes.

The AAC has more programs that consensus among experts is, ‘these teams are very good,’ than either one of those two Power 5 conferences.

Historically bad teams that pepper the AAC’s landscape aren’t just relevant but are thriving. Temple, Memphis, and Tulane are all examples of this. Add in a few stronger programs historically, like Houston, UCF, Navy, and SMU and the conference is full of studs.


It’s all a participation trophy until the P level money rolls in


This article is proof temple is a saboteur. Every year in both basketball and football they get a non con WTF loss. AAC is 26-1 vs G5 with temple the one loss, they are also the reason Memphis isn’t ranked

Next Sunday we could have 5 ranked teams. SMU, UCF, Cinciniatti, Memphis, and Navy.

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I scoffed at the whole “P6” branding originally and thought “nice try” but I have to say that the label is starting to get traction. Now, as @Moncoog says: need the “power” money to go along with it. Right now, the AAC is somewhere between “group” pay and “power” pay…a little bit like middle management.


They need to win their bowl games. The AAC is horrid in that category.


The bowl record probably has a little to do with coaches being poached.


Unfortunately we do not have a blueblood in football to be a so-called Power conference although the AAC has shown to be equivalent to some P5s in competition.

Without a blueblood, it is very unlikely that we will become a P6 but we have earned the respect of P5s and the media that they prepare hard for us in competition and rank us accordingly.

So many blue bloods in the PAC 12. :joy:

Blue-bloods don’t define a Power conference. It’s about media rights. At least that’s what those who want to deny there is an agenda for using the “Power 5” moniker, would say. I’ve said this ad nauseam, it truly isn’t about media rights; it’s about being elitist, continuing to justify poaching of coaches, and negative recruiting. The phrase P5 is never used in the context of media rights, never!

USC is definitely a blue blood.

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If USC or Oregon were winning out, the PAC12 would mirror the ACC.

Touche. I’m of the variety that believes that the term blue blood should be about maintenance. USC sure doesn’t play like a “blue blood”. All of those winning teams, and players aren’t doing anything to help them win in 2019 ;besides recruiting, which brings me back to my point about the “P5” moniker. Again, throwing around that term might help in recruiting, but it’s another elitist term. I mean, what truly is the purpose of saying “hey, we’re a blue blood”?

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RPI liking the AAC…

Rank Conference (Teams) All Non-Conf Index Sos Sos Rk
1 Southeastern 14 59-41 (59%) 30-12 (71%) 29.52 52.92 3
2 Big Ten 14 60-37 (62%) 31-8 (79%) 28.93 51.67 6
3 Big 12 10 43-25 (63%) 24-6 (80%) 28.28 54.14 1
4 Pacific-12 12 49-36 (58%) 24-11 (69%) 25.79 52.66 4
5 American Athletic 12 51-32 (61%) 32-13 (71%) 25.60 51.87 5
6 Atlantic Coast 14 58-40 (59%) 30-12 (71%) 24.54 53.59 2

When UH gets better next year and UConn’s numbers are no longer included the AAC could be the 3rd or 4th best conference RPI wise and it should be no surprise.


Having a couple of bluebloods in your conference is how you get in the power conference club. Going undefeated and beating other P5s will not get you there.

Getting the P5 label is going to be a challenge, but the teams in this conference need to keep winning and prove marketable. It also helps that ESPN has been campaigning to get the AAC more recognition among the P5. I don’t know if they’re doing that out of legitimate respect, or simply because it behooves them to help sell the AAC brand. Either way, it all comes back to agendas and labels.

Which by the way is the only path to power conference status. If ESPN creates a perception the AAC is a fellow power conference people will believe it. That’s why the Power 6 campaign has worked like it has…if you say something for long enough it becomes truth.


I agree with that but I believe the power conferences want to keep the P5 membership as small as possible to keep it’s playoff share of $50M plus. If it adds another Power conference, they may have to give up some of their share and we know that is not happening.

I honestly think ESPN is the king of the college football media market right now. That is due to them owning the CFP. If ESPN finds value in our league or select teams, it doesn’t matter what P5 conference officials think; if they want a piece of the pie, then they will listen to the demands of ESPN. Not a fan of this bullying method, but they’ve nearly almost cornered the market, especially with fan attitudes on how they feel about lessor bowls. Getting rid of the BCS has benefited ESPN the most!

King? They own four of the Power 5 and the AAC, the PAC 12 is the only thing preventing a monopoly. ESPN writes the storylines, creates the narrative, probably dictates everything but the actual outcomes.