Remember, if the CFP expands to 6 conference champs, there’s still an excellent chance the American Conf Champ makes the bracket. So SMU and Memphis will have good reasons to keep focused on winning, winning big, playing OOC games against power conferences and the other tweener conference (new Big 12).
To be as competitive as possible, the AAC should pick up Liberty and Appy State and leave it at that. The AAC only needs 10 football schools, no need to dilute just because you lost three programs.
Those two additions would give the AAC a good 10 team conference and time to evaluate the best of the SBC and CUSA under the new playoff system and pick up the best two regional players in the southeast to bolster the AAC for the next TV/internet deal.
Adding Rice, UNT, UTSA, TXST or even MWC schools does very, very little, and if UH is left behind, I wouldn’t be happy about any those programs joining the AAC. Non-power conferences should stay as regional as they can, no need to have coast to coast games for $5-$7 million per school.
Whatever the AAC does, I hope they do not make any panic additions just to cobble a conference together, like it did when they added Tulane, Tulsa and ECU. If UH isn’t invited to the Big 12, I’d want the same two schools mentioned above and then have our conference show some darn patience.
The AAC Champ has a real chance to make the playoffs going forward, maybe more so than the three schools that “might” move the the Big 12.