Realignment Rumors – AAC UConn Replacement

by | Jan 9, 2020 | Analysis, Baseball, Basketball, C-USA, Fifth Quarter, Football, G5, Independents, MAC, MW, News, Sports, Sun Belt, The American | 33 comments

Since the University of Connecticut announced its departure from the American Athletic Conference and return to the Big East on June 26th, 2019, the conference realignment rumor mill has been spinning with renewed fervor. A few weeks later, AAC commissioner Mike Aresco said there were no immediate plans to replace UConn. These plans could obviously change if the conference finds a potential suitor. First, let’s eliminate some programs that probably won’t be candidatesto join the AAC:

Boise State – Enjoys running table in the Mountain West too much to leave. Logistical nightmare

BYU – Probably content to stay independent unless they receive a Power 5 invite. Would likely have to give up their BYUTV media rights. Also far away.

Air Force  Travel problems. The closest conference opponent is 676 miles away.

Army – Would have to move the Army-Navy game to before Conference Championship week (since it’d be a conference game), and that’s just not gonna happen.

Here are this writer’s suggestions for a potential 12th team:

Potential Programs:

Georgia State

The AAC is mostly made up of research institutions located in large urban areas in the eastern half of the US. You don’t get any more “research institution in large urban area” than Atlanta’s Georgia State University. If GSU joined today, they would be the second largest university in the conference in terms of enrollment with over 52,000 students. Atlanta is also, of course, a desirable market and a mecca for college football. The AAC currently has no organic reach in the state of Georgia. Georgia State is improving in football and offers a really good basketball program. However, their facilities are kind of below par for the American Conference and they’ve struggled with fan support. These growing pains are understandable for a newer FBS program, having only made the move in 2012. Consider Georgia State as a high risk/ high reward candidate for AAC membership.

Liberty

Located in Lynchburg, VA, Liberty University is one the largest private non-profit universities in the nation. The Flames have only been in the FBS since 2018, but has progressed very quickly at this level. They won a bowl game in only their second season, which coincidentally was their first season of being allowed bowl eligibility. Liberty is an unproven commodity, but they have a great financial situation and excellent facilities. The Flames have a really good athletic program overall. The AAC ought to at least kick the tires on Liberty.

UAB

The UAB Blazers are surprisingly not a bad candidate for AAC membership. Yes, they did struggle in football for years and axed the program at the end of the 2014 season, but since their rebirth in 2017, they have been better than ever. The Blazers have registered 3 straight winning seasons and a CUSA championship. UAB is in a much better financial condition since signing a new long-term Multimedia rights deal with Learfield IMG College. Additionally, they have good facilities and will play in a fancy new stadium in 2021. UAB also happens to be situated in the #1 college football TV market and the 44th largest overall TV market in the country – one in which the AAC doesn’t currently have a foothold. Are they necessarily watching UAB? No, but adding the Blazers would expand the AAC’s footprint.

Southern Mississippi

As a lifelong Tulane fan, I hate Southern Miss with the burning intensity of a thousand suns. However, I do have a great deal of respect for their football program. USM has always done more with less. A smaller school without a huge budget or a ton of resources, the Golden Eagles have registered winning seasons 39 out of the last 50 years. Southern Miss has won 8 conference championships in football, including 5 in Conference USA. While Hattiesburg isn’t exactly a huge market and Southern Miss isn’t the flashiest name, they would provide the AAC with a consistent and respectable football brand. However, their basketball program probably wouldn’t do much to benefit the conference. USM would make sense as a football only member.

Appalachian State

If you drive to the middle of nowhere, hang a left, and then drive 2 more hours, you will find yourself in Boone, NC. This town of about 19,562 residents is the home of the Appalachian State Mountaineers. Despite their remote location, App State easily has the best football program of anyone on this list. App State fans are passionate about their Mountaineers and have lead the Sun Belt in attendance for three straight seasons. The downside? Boone is obviously not an attractive market and the AAC already has a small market team (ECU) in the state. Appalachian State also brings nothing to the table in basketball. When you consider them as a possible football-only member though, this option becomes much more attractive.

Or…Do Nothing

Sometimes doing nothing is better than doing something. The AAC is already a good conference and shedding the dead weight of UConn only made it better. Furthermore, it may be foolish of the league to throw money at a school that could water down its product. Additionally, if a member gets poached by the Power 5 or the league decides to kick someone out and move to 10 teams, they could implement a round robin format in football and a double round robin in basketball. It could be a savvy business move for the conference to stand pat until ESPN is inclined to negotiate a more lucrative TV rights deal. On the flip side, adding a school that strengthens the conference could give the AAC leverage to land a better deal. 

Other possible candidates: Buffalo, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Old Dominion, North Texas

33 Comments

  1. Steve Osborne

    There’s no way the AAC adds a sun belt, CUSA, or Mac team. If you are talking for football only you should look at Colorado State or AIr Force.

    • Bronzedude

      Why “no way”? What relevance does conference affiliation play into the decision?

      If they were to go football-only, then it would be App State, Southern Miss, or UAB. The AAC adding Colorado or AF makes as much sense as West Virginia being a part of Big XII. They’re way outside the current conference footprint.

      • the dude

        I have to agree with your first statement. Conference affiliation has no bearing on the qualified schools.

        I wouldn’t expect a school to ditch(not bring them along) their non-football sports to be included…..unless they have already done-so….like Army or Navy. It would just make the school too unstable, if they hadn’t set up a plan beforehand. Especially when Army is already set up like that….they would be the best solution.

        Footprint is very important in the current atmosphere of college finances. WVU and the Big 12 can afford a little extra expense….the AAC, not so much.

  2. the dude

    I agree with eliminating the first group you listed. Too far away and doesn’t help the eastern portion of the conference.

    The second group isn’t too impressive either. Sure i like those schools but, none of them are a good fit. Boone is too small, GSU is too new to D1 fb, UAB has had too many problems in the recent past and isn’t worth the risk, SMiss is too small, Liberty is also too new to D1 sports.

    The AAC needs a school with some history, in a big market with lots of resources.

    I would grab UNC Charlotte first and foremost. Great state for recruiting athletes in all sports….right on the border of North and South Carolina. Large school with plenty of amenities in the area to support travel and fans….and a very solid history in the NCAA tourney. Sure, their fb hasn’t been around very long…but, that is about their only drawback.

    Next, i would add Army for fb only. Stick them in the east….and let them play a regular season schedule(in conference). Then, you keep the Army/Navy game after the season…and make it so it doesn’t count towards conference standings. That way the conference can benefit from the game without having to move it.
    In addition to Navy with Wichita St, and Army with …… . I would add Virginia Commonwealth(VCU). VCU is in another great city with lot’s of support. Their excellent athletics program would certainly help the AAC.

    Lastly, add UTSA. UTSA is in another excellent market. They would add tons of recruiting for the conference with additional trips into Texas. San Antonio is also starved for high level fb, which should add quite a bit of fan support to games in the Texas region.

    So, 14 teams in all sports. With Army and Navy pairing their schools up with Wichita State and VCU. Each divisions footprint would get smaller and the amount of travel for all sports would shrink dramatically. Football would play 6 division games and 3 cross division. Basketball would play 6 home and home in division and 3 home and home out of division.

    The conference would reap plenty of benefits from adding schools in NewYork, Texas, Virginia, and CharlotteNC.

    • the dude

      Made a mistake in the first paragraph…didn’t mean to eliminate Army.

    • Michael Wall

      We already have the Charlotte NC market in ECU and similar with no go on UNT because of SMU have the DFW market locked up. I do like the UTSA suggestion and forgot about them and good location and excellent market value for football and other collegiate sports. Western Kentucky would be another great possibility and forgot about them. Army paired with VCU sounds great in theory but would have to move the Army-Navy game like it used to be played or maybe move the game to week zero to kickoff the college football season. I think that is something should be done anyway to move that game to week zero. Also UNCC is too new and even newer than some of the other colleges that are mentioned and you oppose to. UNCC meets the same criticism and drawbacks as other schools do. Nice try though. Now if you said Costal Carolina which is in South Carolina, now you are talking. But GSU is an awesome choice because is in Atlanta. Main mega metropolises such as DFW, Atlanta, Houston, San Antonio, Orlando, Lynchburg, Nashville, Albuquerque, Boise, Portland, and so on are always going to get the nod and chosen over other candidates. But fan support and success and history will be the factors in the next addition or additions to the AAC and hope that will be the case. Army by the way stunk up CUSA in multiple sports not just football. Everyone thinks Army was in CUSA for football only. They were not but in for multiple sports and sucked across the board against most of the schools currently in the AAC and a few remaining in CUSA still. Why would anyone risk the venture with them again? They are in the Patriot League for most sports and struggle there too over the years. Navy has done just fine.

      • the dude

        -Nice points. Lot’s of stuff to agree with here.
        -Let’s face it….there aren’t many ”perfect” matches. Notre Dame isn’t planning on moving to the AAC. So, there will be negatives to every single suggestion. Our exercise is to find a group that fit best…then let the process work itself out within the conference meetings.
        -I don’t feel that ECU has much sway in the Carolina market with schools like UNC, Duke, Wakeforest, NC St, Clemson and S. Carolina in the area. So, adding Charlotte and a state funded university could really reduce costs for surrounding schools. Plus, they have had a historically relevant basketball program. We all agree they have sucked in fb…but, that won’t actually work against the conference in a major way…since every conference has someone that fill the losers role. What they bring would be major city, well funded school, major airport and hotels, recruiting, travel savings and secondary sports. To your point…too close to ECU. I feel it’s far enough away. Not as close as UofH/Rice or SMU/UNT or SMU/TCU.
        -Army would be football only. Since, the Patriot seems to fit them well…with Navy. The Army/Navy game could be out of conference since they would be in different divisions…and kept at the end of the season. If by chance they are in the AAC championship….then that game becomes a conference game and remains at it’s original date and time. …or something like that. The NCAA helps out Hawaii sometimes by allowing extra games…i am sure that could be arranged for both Navy and Army in some way.
        -The list of boxes the conference should be checking includes: major city, large school, winning school in at least 1 sport and hopefully more, some historic significance in D1 sports, great city infrastructure, within the footprint. The schools, of course, are wanting a school they can trust and feel confident about….that doesn’t overlap their own school in any way.
        Since there is only so much money out there for each conference….i would guess there is someone at each school complaining about the cost of doing business too. So, anything the conference can do to reduce overhead….i would hope they are exploring.
        The conference is stretched pretty far. I don’t know how much more travel they can handle?? Would it be better to add more schools and split into two large divisions to reduce division travel? Or, eliminate some schools and get smaller?? Or, add more basketball and turn into the old Big East to monopolies march madness revenue?? Just what format will maximize the schools efforts.
        -Question: Is baseball important any longer? If so, ….might want to bring Dallas Baptists D1 baseball program onboard. Neither Tulsa or SMU play baseball. If baseball is real important to the conference….would it be wise to add Rice? They are AAU and have an outstanding baseball program. Unfortunately, fb and bb are very sad.
        -I recently had the idea of moving USF over to the south division. Then add FIU to the east with UCF. Miami would be a nice city to add to the conference. FIU checks plenty of boxes on the list of schools.
        -If not Army….I think it would be wise to stay south of Philly. I’m not really impressed with many of the CUSA schools in that region. M.Tenn is in about the largest area. ODU doesn’t seem to get much support. Marshall might be too close to Cincy?? And hasn’t done squat in quite a while. Kind of in the middle of nowhere too. UAB….I’ll pass. I don’t think Cincy would be happy with any MAC schools getting in barring maybe Buffalo…and they are a little too far north to help with travel. Tho if not for travel…i would seriously consider them.
        -in conclusion…if they add 1 school to replace UConn….i would either do the Army/VCU plan….or UNCC. IF they add more than 1…say 3. Then, I still like Army/VCU, UNCC, FIU or UTSA first. Followed by Georgia State or Rice. Also add Dallas Baptist for baseball only.

  3. surfmonkey707

    There is one team you have forgotten. NORTHERN ILLINOIS. They are in a hugh market 10 million people. Good at football. positive ADD

    • the dude

      Too far away from the core of the conference. Wouldn’t help with reducing costs….no natural rivals. I don’t think N. Illinois would help at all.
      Buffalo may even be better than N. Illinois with their AAU status. But, both are a bit out of range for footprint help.

  4. Michael Wall

    I just saw this article while looking up the realignment the AAC is doing primarily for football and other sports. As someone else pointed out, I think most, not all, MAC and SBC schools are out of consideration until further notice of what will transpire during 2yr period of waivers for football in AAC and BOD and BOT decide what we do moving forward. I do not think UABad would be good for any conference other than the one it is in or to SBC maybe. They were D3 in football and other sports for decades while the current members of AAC including departing UCONN were playing D1 in every sports and football were D1A or D1AA while UABad decisions were D3 competitively. Furthermore UABad was nearly kicked out of CUSA because in 2014 dropped Football and 13 or 12 other sports; and whether or not the fans’ outcries moved the college to bring back football and the other sports, it’s clear the threat of being kicked out of a conference nowhere near as good as AAC or MWC motivated the collective board to bring back the sports. UAB could not handle their budget and business before CUSA membership and during their conference membership. What the hell signals they be great in AAC? Nothing!

    Georgia St is a great potential and possibility and correct on that as opposed to what others may think. USM has long-standing history with all the colleges in AAC. I think they have a 122-67-not sure on ties record and could be more wins and losses than that. But they not UABad decisions have history and rivalries with the schools in AAC. Marshall is another great to at least good grab. Arkansas State has long history in all sports with the schools in AAC. I understand App St support but their other sports have to get back to being better like when in SoCon.
    Also UNCC is a pisspoor selection and choice. ECU already has the Charlotte NC market for us. And reasons why not to add other schools apply to UNCC too! ODU is a different story and probably has better upside than Liberty.

    Mountain West schools are not off the table. But you will have to bring in 3 of them not just one and in for all sports and in West Division and have to move both Navy (geographically belongs in East Division) and Tulane not Memphis. Also Navy would want all of their sports in if that happens and fine with that as their other sports are quite impressive. You can’t bring in Air Force because of Navy and their rivalry. You can’t have them in separate divisions and keeping Navy in the West would not benefit them, even if remains in for football and few other sports. It just wouldn’t work in the long run.

    I am a Navy man and veteran, so I support them and know first hand what lots of western travel does for East Coast Services’ Academies and Universities similar like The Citadel for instance. Making trips from Atlantic or Eastern Time zone to Central Time zone to compete in athletics is one thing. Traveling clear across the country is another, and the same thing goes for West Coast Colleges. West Coast schools going to the Central Time zone to compete in athletics (depends on where in Central Time zone) is not too demanding but asking for them to travel clear across the country and back in same day is a bit grueling.

    For those against Northern Illinois and foolish in saying not in footprint of AAC, you are sorely mistaken. Their close proximity to Chicago alone warrants their consideration. The other two MAC schools that are in the same vein and of equal interest and worthy consideration are Toledo University and Buffalo University. Now you could add all 3 of those schools and put No Illinois in West as they do have history with several schools in AAC. Not as much history as Southern Miss but close enough. I did say MAC schools are out though. Another reason why hesitate to choose any MAC schools is because of Marshall. As a former member of the MAC, they left for a tougher and more challenging conference than the MAC. While CUSA has yet to put a college in a NY6, they have performed well in regular season and postseason play in football and other sports too! The MAC cannot say that with a straight face.

    So here are my candidates for possible inclusion in the AAC and note some require that two or three teams be added with the one school.
    1. USM
    2. Marshall
    3. Boise St with 2 other MW schools
    4. SDSU with 2 other MW schools
    5. Nevada with 2 other MW schools
    6. Georgia State University
    7. Utah State with 2 other MW schools
    8. Fresno State with 2 other MW schools
    9. Arkansas State University
    10. Northern Illinois
    11. Toledo
    12. Buffalo
    13. ODU
    14. Liberty University

    • the dude

      -What a horrible list! This isn’t just a jig saw puzzle where you plug in a piece without reason.

      -The AAC needs schools in major markets…NEAR, the other schools, but not right on top of them. Travel expenses are already horrible…no need to make them worse. Saving money is just as important as making money….so,the conference needs to be brought closer together. Fans filling the seats will add another level of revenue to each school…and, should be a high priority in adding any school. Adding schools up in the great lakes or mountain time zone doesn’t make any sense. The AAC needs to focus on consolidating the eastern and southern groups into powerful and highly visible divisions. Great names, in big markets, that are easy to travel to and from. There really aren’t that many to chose from….so, need to be certain that they get as many boxes checked with each school.

      -USM won’t get in…they are too close to Tulane. Tulane won’t want someone infringing on their territory. 111 miles from NO to Hattiesburg.(think back to Texas Tech putting the squash on New Mexico’s push for the Big 12. Tech said no, and UNM never got another look)
      -Ark St won’t get in…they are too close to Memphis. Memphis won’t want someone infringing on their territory. 69 miles from memphis to jonesboro.
      -Northern Illinois has no right to be in the AAC. First of all…they suck in just about every sport. Second…they have no relationship with any AAC school…so, who is going to sponsor their inclusion, Cincy?? Lastly, they are too far away from the main schools in the AAC. Distance from NIU to: UCF 1211miles, Houston 1055, Tulsa 672, New Orleans 954, Temple 819, USF 1228, ECU 951 miles. That is, at least, 5 schools that are about 1000 miles or more…OUCH! Why do that to your conference?
      -The west coast schools?? Why?? Are you really expecting fans to travel that far for games? And not just one game…but, multiple games, every season. That kind of idea could ruin the conference.
      -Georgia State is the only school on your list that could help the conference. They are within the footprint, which would help build rivalries. They are in a massive market, which would help travel, recruiting and contribute towards building attendance in every sport. They aren’t my number 1 pick…but, at least they could help.
      -Marshall, Liberty and ODU. None of them are horrible on the surface….but, all have issues that could reduce their overall effectiveness. Some of which include: size of city or market, strange university procedures, lack of financial or fan support.
      -UNCC and ECU. I don’t feel that ECU brings the Charlotte market to the conference. ECU just doesn’t carry that much weight. There are quite a few great schools in and around ECU and UNCC….that tend to reduce ECU’s reach. I feel the two schools could really find more than a few reason to not like each other…and develop a solid rivalry. The distance is 250 miles, which is far enough not to step on each others feet all the time. (If we were talking about UNM and NMSU….then maybe i would feel otherwise b/c New Mexico is sparsely populated. But, N. Carolina is a very populated state…and i feel there is enough room for both. ECU carries the east and UNCC carries the border and a portion of S. Carolina) UNCC is also going to help out both the Florida schools as well. It would add games for both Florida schools that were within 600 miles. Which would really shorten travel for both UCF and USF.

      -I still feel that there are solid options for the AAC.
      -Again, the schools i would target include: Army for fb only, with Virginia Commonwealth for Olympic sports. UT San Antonio. UNC Charlotte. With these additions…i would push hard for a full division schedule to again help reduce travel.
      -Army fb only. Not much needs to be said. Great education, patriotism, fan support all over the world. They bring a solid historical value to the conference and a record of playing some of the best universities in the country(notre dame, usc, airforce). The east would benefit greatly from adding Army to every schools schedule.
      -VCU Olympic Sports to cover Army. VCU is a huge university in a major market…directly in the heart of the eastern seaboard. They are consistently near the top of the standings in just about every sport. They would be an AWESOME grab for the AAC.
      -UTSA. Huge market with tons and tons of military presence and bases in the city….which ties in with Army and Navy. Big schools with lots of support in a major market. Would really help to consolidate the southern section of the conference…which would again reduce travel for the division.
      Wild card schools: James Madison, ODU, Richmond Oly sports.

      East: Army*, VCU*. UCF, USF, ECU, UNCC, Temple, Cincy.
      West: Navy*. Wichita St*. SMU, Houston, UTSA, Tulane, Memphis, Tulsa.

      each division would play all 6 schools plus 3 cross division in football. in basketball again all 6 home and home for 12, plus, 4 home and home in cross division…for a total of 20 conference games.

      • Michael Wall

        First of all you are idiotic in your comments and suggestions with all due respect. So you claim being too close to another school eliminates said school from inclusion. But you foolishly push UNCC to go to AAC when they are way to close to ECU and yes sir, hate to break it to you, but ECU brings the Charlotte market already. You are clearly a fan or a student or an alumnus of UNCC. Otherwise why mention all the detractors that you say eliminates a school and UNCC checks those elimination boxes tenfold over to not even consider them, let alone look at them and decide not to grab them!

        Furthermore son, you foolishly clamor for schools that are too close to other schools saying would be beneficial to be close, and yet claim that being too close to another conference member is a bad thing. Which is it boy? Too close or not too close? Make up your mind. Also you know nothing of college sports and history of colleges being in conferences together prior to where they are now or when moved from a conference once shared. Ark State was in the Missouri Valley Conference at the same time as Tulsa, my alma mater University of Houston, Memphis, Wichita St, and several others before the great division of 1A from 1AA and schools moving to old SWC or Metro Conference or independence in football and other sports in other conferences. Shows you what you do not know.

        I hate to break the news to you, USM has superior athletic programs and more successful programs than Tulane. That is why Tulane would push against them, not because close proximity. You said that actually should be a priority to reduce travel cuts and costs to choose schools close to each other; yet you yourself, suggested schools that would worsen travel expenses not improve.

        In addition you clearly did not read the fine print or my message accurately and accordingly and knew you and maybe one or two more people would stupidly say what you said in response. Also UNM was never seriously considered by Big12, never. But by your own admission, their close proximity to TTech, which they are further away from each other than ECU and UNCC are, were relegated to not be considered due to closeness to TTech. But then you contradict yourself by saying schools need to be close to improve stature of Conference and reduce travel expenses. Make up your mind once again son!

        No you are very wrong, and my list of candidates are accurate and correct and beneficial for the conference and upsets you that UNCC is a joke and way too new to D1. I said for Mountain West schools to be added, they were to be no less than three of them together added and be close enough to each but not too close and all in and move chicken crap Tulane to East and Navy is geographically located in East anyway and move them to East and bring in all their sports. Contrary to what you think, this expands the footprint and success of conference. I gave you credit on UTSA as I forgot about them and WKU too! Do you know how far it is from Tulsa to UCF or Orlando? I do. You make invalid accounts and points that you end up contradicting by your own words and suggestions.

        You skid across where I acknowledged that Army was in CUSA for multiple sports not just football and sucked across the board. You skid across that the biggest challenge to AAC is the Mountain West Conference. You know how far it is from Cincinnati to Houston? I do. So Northern Illinois fits in just fine; who by the way, was in the Missouri Valley Conference with several other schools I listed back in 50s-70s to early 80s before moving to the MAC. Southern Mississippi was in MVC before moving to Metro Conference for almost all sports due to MVC relegation to D1AA in football; and once Metro became defunct, USM moved to CUSA in 90s for all sports as per CUSA rules and regulations. Thus Army was nearly all in not just football only, like Navy is primarily in AAC with a handful of other sports the Patriot League doesn’t sponsor.

        No, my list is not really in order of who I think should be first in line or last to be honest. I do think due to their rabid fan base and success and history with conferences’ colleges (something you conveniently glossed over when I acknowledged Southern Miss be added), that USM rightly deserves to be first on the list to be added if AAC decides to add. I also stated some colleges will require one to three more added or movement of current schools to separate divisions they were previously in. You know how close Marshall is to Temple and Navy and ECU, yet far enough to not be right on top of each other?

        I am sorry but DFW market is SMU’s already, as is Charlotte NC market belongs to ECU. I said Costal Carolina in Charleston SC would be nice considering. Then have a school in NC and SC. Oh but wait, CCU is too new to D1A football and athletics just like UNCC. Oh something else, announcers from ESPN and CBSSN and Fox Sports NE and SW all clamorous about Liberty University being an exciting and excellent college and positive addition to a conference if one should choose to add them for all sports, including football. So Hampton Roads area and push by 2 major national sports networks and 2 regional networks tells you where their thinking lies. Not saying correct. Just reporting what was said during several games this past 2019 football season.

        I think everyone believes that the 2yr waiver is only for that. Many think that the conference has to add or some dumbass reason, drop a college and get to ten or add to get to 12. No ladies and gentlemen! It is a period for AAC to continue to search if still searching and build a reservoir of potential candidates to choose from or to meet up with the college or colleges and their representatives and perspective conferences so can all move and align accordingly without the turmoil and upheaval a few years ago brought!

        They are most likely going to see during these 2yrs if still successful in perception of conference being a grade below the P5 or in sane page and get the NY6 bowl and success in other sports too! Most likely they continue showing success and the NCAA and media conglomerates push and grant a more long term deal to keep conference at 11 and add when the perfect position and college comes available and movable without chaos.

        Everyone thinks that AAC is given 2yrs to do it the way they are until can announce the new school or schools added. That is not so and not how the waiver or contracts read out. The AAC may very well be in closed talks with a school or schools and don’t want to announce anything until deal is or deals are done close to Spring or Summer of 2021.

        • the dude

          I don’t give two squirts about UNCC. They aren’t a school i am related to by any stretch of the imagination. I think they are in the right place to allow UCF and USF to have another D1 program to play near by. I never said a word about CCU, but there are clearly better options than CCU…which is in Conway….not Charleston.
          Georgia State would be ok too…but, like i said they aren’t my first choice. Swapping UNCC or GSU for UConn would most certainly reduce travel. What did i suggest that would hurt overall travel? My suggestion was….If they add more than 1….to keep the schools within the footprint as best they can….Not to add schools out west.

          Why are you so upset? Don’t you even like your conference?

          New Mexico was voted down by Tech because they were too close to Lubbock. And Tech didn’t want them to compete on the same level. That is why they never got into any Big 12 discussion.

          What I said was…..the conference needs to reduce travel. But, some schools won’t want another school that is too close to them if they can avoid it. I doubt Memphis and Tulsa will want Ark St. in the conference. I doubt Tulane will want S. Miss. Uconn is leaving so that leaves a hole in the East…not the West…if they add 1,

          Yeah, i know schools have been in conferences previously where they were near to other schools….but, now they have the option to choose. And I’ll bet some schools will be reluctant to add certain schools that may infringe on their recruiting or fan base.

          I don’t understand what u are saying. As far as the AAC is concerned….ECU has Charlotte?? Just like DFW has SMU. But, in reality….SMU is in DFW…..ECU is hundreds of miles away(4 hours) from Charlotte. Are you thinking of Raleigh?? It’s like u are saying UofH carries DFW. IF UNCC was in Raleigh….then No, i wouldn’t add them. Raleigh is much closer at 90 miles.

          I never talked trash against S. Miss. And i have no problem with them personally. I just don’t think Tulane will be cool with them. I think La Tech would have a better shot with Tulane than S. Miss. Not that I agree with any of it…It’s just how i figure it would go. Just like UofH fan wouldn’t want Rice in the conference….or, at least i doubt it.

          Do you think the AAC will add 3 or 4 western schools?

          I am re-reading your post to address all your rants.

          Northern Illinois is far away from Florida and many other schools. Why are you pushing for them again? Sure…they are a good MAC school…but, i just don’t see how they would be smarter than GSU, S. Miss, UNCC or some others. If you are UCF fan….would you rather drive to an away game in Atlanta or Charlotte….or Chicago? Revenue from ticket sales has to be on the radar of these schools budget managers.

          I seem to remember that Cincy put the block on Marshall during a realignment a ways back. Am I misremembering?

          Hey, if the AAC feels strongly about staying at 11. That’s fine with me. The Big 10 did it for years. I’m just trying to discuss the positives and negatives of the schools. Don’t take things personally my Texan brother. I went to plenty of UofH games back in the ealry 80’s. My sister lived down by the Dome and took me often when she was a student there.

          I wouldn’t want Army for Olympic sports…just football. I am not sure why you are unhappy with that. VCU would cover their Oly sports. Just like Navy and Wichita St. Was there a problem with that? I’ll admit Army is a bit north of where i would want a school…but, with their upside of national support, great academics, years of high level football….i think they would be a lock. Unless they don’t want to join…which is their choice.

          Looking at your list again: S. Miss. – i am fine but doubt their inclusion b/c Tulane and being a smaller market that overlaps with New Orleans. Seems doubtful to me. Others may disagree. But I would like to see a bigger market if possible.
          Marshall – another smaller market that might infringe on Cincy a bit. Not a bad school since they are in the top two schools in their state. Hasn’t had much success recently. But, not horrible.
          SDSU, Nevada, Boise, U. St, Fresno et al. …I can’t really fathom a reason to add them. If they did add a western school i would guess that UNM and AirForce might be first on the list. But, again…they need eastern schools unless Navy moves, right?
          MAC schools. Yeah….almost all of them are in Cincy’s back yard. What did we agree that Cincy would say about all of them? My guess is….No, to all but maybe 1 or 2 of them. I can’t personally remember which schools have been most dominant in the MAC, but do know that Buffalo is AAU which seems to be an important factor to some conferences.

          Ark St. and Georgia St. Already talked about GSU. They fit most of the reasons I would add UNCC but, probably aren’t as good in basketball over the last 30 years. Otherwise…i would say it’s a toss up on the surface. Ark St….i seriously doubt that Memphis and Tulsa would want them, now. La Tech may be a more acceptable choice. Hard to say. Again, we need east not west with 1 school being added. Jonesboro is much smaller than atlanta….so, i would give the big nod to GSU.
          So that leaves…ODU and LIberty. ODU has a solid history in basketball but, from what i remember has had quite a few financial issues and may not be able to spend in the AAC range in the near future. Liberty….i don’t think money is their issue. From what i have read…conferences are a little afraid of adding Liberty b/c of leadership issues or something like that. Can’t say for sure since i don’t really keep up with Liberty. But, they seem to scare some people off. Maybe that will change soon?? I would avoid these two….but, your opinion may be different.

          • the dude

            Hey…no need to get personal. Name calling isn’t necessary.

            To clarify….there is almost nothing between Albuquerque and Lubbock….no FBS schools, no FCS schools…and almost no large cities. 322 miles apart. So, these schools directly compete against each other for student athletes.

            In between Greensville and Charlotte there is Duke, UNC, NC State, Wakeforest, UNC Greensboro, Davidson, Campbell, and Elon…not to mention Clemson and S. Carolina fishing in the same pond. Also, the cities of Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham, Burlington and Fayettville. ECU and UNCC are 250 miles apart. There is no direct competition between UNCC and ECU. If there is any…it is mitigated by all the other schools fighting for athletes in the same area. To me…that is sufficient separation to warrant the consideration of UNCC.

            So, there really isn’t a comparison between the two examples. If u think ECU and UNCC are too close…then how is S. Miss a good choice at 111 miles from New Orleans? And absolutely nothing in between the two cities.

            My suggestions are all in or near the footprint. There is no reason to expand the footprint to any large degree.

            I wasn’t being confusing about where the schools should be located. 4 hours is about the right mark…for most near by conference mates. I would try and keep the 1000-1200 mile trips to a minimum.

            I have no idea why you keep bringing up what conferences schools were in, in the past. What does that have to do with the AAC realignment? Most of what u are bringing up happened 30 years ago. While i may look at a schools record from the last 30 years….i don’t care what the lineup was in their conference or who was near who back then. Don’t really know how it is relevant to the current discussion??

            Why bring up how Army did in CUSA for all sports? I have not suggested the AAC bring them in for All sports. So, no motivation for me to argue that point.

            Here is some fresh ammo for you to misconstrue. Of all the schools mentioned by both of us…as best i can….the basic history in basketball:
            (Years in the Tourney. And highest round)
            Team to replace…..
            UConn….33 years in. 4 National Champs.

            trying for alphabetical…
            UAB….15 years in. highest was round of 8.
            Ark St….1 year in.
            Buffalo…4 years in. highest was round of 32
            CCU….4 years in.
            FIU….1 year in.
            FAU….1 year in.
            Geo.St. ….5 years in. highest round 32.
            JMU….5 years in. highest round 32.
            Liberty….4 years in. highest round 32.
            Marshall….6 years in. highest round 32.
            Miami Oh….17 years in. highest round 16.
            Md Tenn….9 years in. highest round 32.
            N. Illinois….3 years in.
            Ohio….13 years in. highest round 8.
            ODU….12 years in. highest round 32.
            Rice….4 years in. highest round 8.
            S. Miss….3 years in.
            UTSA….4 years in.
            UNCC….11 years in. highest round Final Four.
            VCU….17 years in. highest round Final Four.
            WKU….23 years in. highest round Final Four.

            these stats came from Mcubed.net
            Based on the years involved….WKU, VCU, Miami Oh, UAB, Ohio, ODU, UNCC.
            Based on highest round achieved…..WKU, VCU, UNCC, UAB/Ohio/Rice.

            Same stats for baseball:
            (years involved……highest round)

            Uconn….25 years in. Semi finals.

            UAB….2 years in. Quarter finals.
            Ark St….2 years in. Quarter finals.
            Buffalo…2 years in. Quarter finals.
            CCU….17 years in. Championship.
            FIU….11 years in. Quarter finals.
            FAU….12 years in. Quarter finals.
            Geo.St. …1 year in.
            JMU….8 years in. Semi finals.
            Liberty….6 years in. Quarter finals.
            Marshall…..2 years in. Quarter finals.
            Miami Oh….7 years in. Quarter finals.
            Md Tenn….13 years in. Quarter finals.
            N. Illinois….1 year in. Quarter finals.
            Ohio….12 years in. Semi finals.
            ODU….8 years in. Quarter finals.
            Rice….23 years in. Championship.
            S. Miss….16 years in. Semi finals.
            UTSA….3 years in. Quarter finals.
            UNCC….5 years in. Quarter finals.
            VCU….11 years in. Quarter finals.
            WKU….4 years in. Quarter finals.

            Based on years involved…..Rice, CCU, S. Miss, Md Tenn, Ohio/FAU, FIU/VCU,
            Based on highest level reached…..Rice, CCU, Ohio, S. Miss, JMU.

          • the dude

            My assessment of the stats by Mcubed.net…

            First off….dang, i didn’t realize how freakin good UConn was in basketball and baseball. WOW! Wish that could of worked out better for the AAC.

            Starting with baseball…
            Rice is a direct replacement for UConn as far as the stats go. Plug and play.
            CCU and S.Miss are a very solid replacement as far as baseball goes.
            Md Tenn and Ohio would be fair replacements for UConn.

            As for basketball….a direct replacement isn’t available. 33 years and 4 Championships is tuff to replace.
            Best options based on the stats:
            WKU, and VCU. 23 years and 17 years are pretty solid…both with final fours.
            Miami Oh, UAB, UNCC and Ohio are also solid in basketball.

            It also seemed like Army was catching some flack so thought i would add in Army’s all time match ups to see who they play regularly. Army has played 762 games in their history and has a winning % of 40.9. Based on the Mcubed stats … 63% of Army’s games have come from this group of 14 teams. Which is pretty respectable.
            Here goes…

            School – games played
            Navy 120
            Air Force 54
            Notre Dame 51
            Rutgers 40
            Boston College 38
            Pitt 27
            Penn St 26
            Duke 26
            Tulane 22
            Syracuse 21
            Wake Forest 16
            Temple 13
            Stanford 12
            Michigan 10

            To me….that is a pretty strong top 14 all time opponents.

            So, no clear winners from the basketball and baseball groupings. Some interesting facts tho…Ohio scored in all four rankings. Rice scored in three but, not quite a solid score in basketball. VCU scored in three rankings.

            Let’s hear your evaluation….

          • the dude

            While re-reading all this…i noticed that i left out two schools that have every right to be in this discussion. Especially, one that tops the list in over-all numbers.

            UMass:
            bb – 9 years in….Finals highest level.
            baseball – 11 years in with Semi’s highest level

            New Mexico St:
            bb – 25 years in ….Finals highest level.
            baseball – 4 years in.

            I believe that NMSU is the highest count on the board with 29 years combined in bb and baseball. And their football isn’t horrible either. Unfortunately, NMSUs location just kills it’s positives and ease of ‘plug and play’. But, 25 year streaks in the bb tourney doesn’t just come easily when searching for a new school to recruit. 25 years is tops in the bb grouping. And 29 tops all the schools in the list combined.

          • Michael Wall

            Okay haven’t updated this in awhile or looked at this site again in some time. I only fought back with my accuracies and precision and correct assessments and responded as such as made it clear I am a Houston alum and a combat veteran of 12 years of Navy service. So if I feel threatened will retaliate and thus my actions. I do apologize if offended. I took your initial comments and rebuke to my accurate account of the situation to be assault and attacking in manner. I am no coward. I don’t back down from a fight. Now to my points.

            This conference and all conferences are puzzles. All of them are trying to find the right pieces that fit and move the needle. So this conference of the AAC is a jigsaw puzzle contrary to what you or anyone says. I have never said we have to go after Mountain West colleges, just acknowledging that most of the media and sponsors and supporters are interested in bringing in those markets and schools as those are the ones most competitive with the AAC or better than the AAC in many sports with multiple schools.

            You yourself have stated in all other sports do a double round robin divisional play and do a round robin or home & home with cross division teams ranging from 1-4 colleges from other divisions depending upon the sports being played. So actually adding colleges that truly bring it all to the table and not just basketball black supremacist bigotry or Lilly white supremacy lacrosse lunacy are really the best way to get potential power status or whatever improvement in financial and physical and fundamentally academic prowess we could achieve and obtain through adding said schools. Mountain West schools are not off the table. Once again according to the actual expanse of the conference, schools like Northern Illinois University do fit the footprint but prefer a school that is solid in everything or close to it. UNCC is a horrible idea for multiple reasons. UAB is worse. Everyone acknowledges how many D1 colleges are in North Carolina already and over saturated. Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana are not. If we had two Florida colleges, two Ohio colleges, and two Texas colleges, and if went to 16 teams and moved Navy and Tulane to East where they belong anyways, and added to California colleges with a Boise State University, we would have something no other conference can claim or pitch as a recruiting tool and conference superiority. At least the 2 Ohio schools to go with 2 Texas and Florida schools make tons of recruitment sense and more important financial cents, pun and play on word intended. You know I am right. Ohio is bigger than North Carolina and if UC would push back against another Ohio University, what do you think ECU would do?

            So no to UMASS, as another UCONN but worse in football and other sports, if that’s possible. Yes to the potential of adding one to three Eastern schools like Liberty, VCU but they have an FCS football team and plays quite well in the Colonial Conference and don’t think they leave their football behind, Dayton has FCS football too, both would be upgrades over UCONN football, WKU, Ohio University or University of Ohio who I have long stated is a sleeping jewel of the MAC, Toledo, Southern Miss which is a public school and Tulane is private and do not go after the same academic and athletic recruits and scholarship students and makes the 2 Florida schools happy as long stated their case for someone closer, this applies to Georgia State being potential added too, Marshall which was not blocked by UC getting in at the time but Louisville did block only to leave for ACC a few years later go figure, and the last team in East that has potential is ODU. But the golden boulders and would cinch upgrade in revenue and respect and prestige are the colleges west of the Mississippi and Rocky Mountains. Everyone says this. This is a puzzle Conference once again to be clear as is all conferences are. Army won a total of 13 football games while in CUSA their whole membership. The same teams that butchered them in that conference are mainly in AAC now. We don’t need a repeat.

        • mobourbon

          You know absolutely nothing about college sports.

    • mobourbon

      Wow!!! You got absolutely NONE of those correct.
      You should have your football card revoked…and be forced
      to never comment on football realignment again.

  5. Say.. What?

    Late to the party here. I would imagine they’d need to go with a football school in the east giving it was UCONN that left and not Wichita State. And that would leave 4 schools in particular that come to mind

    UNC-Charlotte. While the 49ers aren’t great at football; yes it’s new. They are around a .500 team. Which is better than what UCONN could boast about. They’ll certainly add a boost in other athletics. Giving in pretty much all their other sports they’re in contention to win the C-USA. Also, they have location. Charlotte is a huge market covering both Carolina’s. And there would be a natural conference rival with ECU.

    Appalachian State. Have to address the elephant in the room. The Mountaineers from day 1 will compete with Memphis and Cincinnati for the football crown. There are two draw backs to App St. though. The first being the Sun Belt is an inferior conference to the AAC, and the Mountaineers are mediocre to sub-par even in that conference in everything else. Only football would boost the conference notoriety. All their other athletics will be a burdensome weight. Second, Boone, NC has a population less than 20,000 people. It’s a college/resort town off the Blue Ridge Parkway. If they were located in Asheville, they’d be worth a more serious look, but for now a glance. If not only considered as football only.

    Old Dominion. While football has taken a tumble as of late. New coach Ricky Rahne; I believe will bring his successful pedigree from Penn St. to the Monarchs. With that said, their other programs are hit or miss. They’re great in baseball and women’s basketball. Mediocre in men’s basketball, and awful in soccer in general. So everything is more or less evened out. Which is a good thing. You don’t want a new school coming in throttling all the existing members from day 1. And you don’t want a school being a paper weight. Location is also very strong for the Monarchs. Adding them would open up the Hampton Roads market, Which is on par with the Charlotte market. A little smaller, yes, but the exposure is still close to 2M people. Additionally, the AAC already has a relationship with the Monarchs as they’re an associate member in rowing. There’s already that familiarity, so the transaction would be seamless.

    Liberty. The elephant needs to be addressed here too. Yes, administration is one of the most hated in the country, and I don’t really fault anyone for not liking Jerry Falwell, Jr. Even students wish he would shut his mouth. With that said, under his watch the school has become more progressive than what it used to be. Not politically, but a lot of the outlandish rules that BYU has have since been repealed. And it’s my opinion that administration should have little to do on conference membership. How does the school preform on the field should be what matters most. So lets look at Liberty athletically.
    Football: still don’t know how they got their waiver granted. But with a coach with the resume of Hugh Freeze, who’s now been locked down for the next 5 years they’re only going to go up. And he’s throwing his weight around going after 4-Star+ recruits already. They’re only going to improve. Men’s Basketball: 3 straight conf champ appearance in 2 conferences. and now back-to-back trips to the Dance. Including a record setting 30 wins this season. Women’s basketball: A history of dominance. Over the last 20 years 14 trips to the dance 3 trips to the WNIT. And a Sweet 16 run in the mid 2000s. Baseball: Dominant in the last decade. Haven’t made it to the Super’s yet, but has come close. Softball: Dominant under Dot Richardson. Was a game away from the Super’s. Won the inaugural NISC tournament. Tack&Field: 23 straight conf titles. Their only weakness has been in soccer as of late. Which, everyone has a weakness. They would be on-par with UNCC in that they’ll come in ready to compete immediately. But with a bit more upside going forward.
    Their draw backs are the obvious, everyone hates the administration (again, don’t really fault anyone there). and the market. Lycnhburg is essentially the same size as Greenville. So the AAC shows they’re open to smaller market, but unlike Greenville, who has access to the OBX market. Liberty has to fight Virginia and Virginia Tech for theirs. They’re also out of the way for everyone. Everyone now, with the exception of ECU is near a major highway. Liberty is in the middle of nowhere. But unlike App St. who’s lackluster in everything except football. The strong showing over the last decade does warrant a serious look at Liberty. Plus the ASun is looking to do some stupid giant expansion with the Big South; which more or less screws the Flames,

    In order of the 4 though from best fit to just glance is
    1. Old Dominion (strong market, ok athletics, preexisting relationship)
    2. Liberty (Their stronger athletics imo outweigh the Charlotte market. Strong programs draw views. Just look at North Dakota St. and App St. in football.)
    3. UNCC (Strong market, but the slightly inferior athletics to Liberty put them 3rd. It’s 50/50 really depending how you think)
    _________
    4. App. St. (only good in football. Lackluster in everything else. Incredibly tiny market)

    Above the line deserves strong consideration. Below not really worth it.

    • the dude

      While i liked your analysis style….I have to disagree with any addition that would add Liberty and ODU over Western Ky or VCU for basketball. VCU alone, has 17 years in the BB tourney while, ODU and Liberty combine for 16 years. VCU and WKU combine for 40 years in the bb tourney.
      In baseball…ODU and Liberty are just as bad when compared to Rice or CCU.

      Why pass on schools that have been involved in the top levels of sports #2 and #3 for 40 years and chose from schools that have been sitting on the sideline that whole time??

      I would grab VCU over both ODU and Liberty.
      UNCC over their regional rivals.
      Rice, UTSA and Army(fb only) over quite a few.
      Any of these schools would boost the east: Army, VCU, UNCC, WKU
      Or…Rice and/or UTSA could boost the west.

      In a conference like the AAC….they have to keep adding quality in a top level sport(fb, bb, baseball).

      There are too many question marks with Liberty and ODU. 10 more years of games in the bb tourney or baseball tourney would serve both schools well….but, the AAC doesn’t have 10 years to wait. The AAC needs schools that have already been doing ”that”.
      The AAC is replacing a school with 58 years combined in bb and baseball tourneys. It may take the combo of Army/VCU to make any dent in that 58 years. Army would add a ton of prestige in football and pair up well(for the conference) with Navy….while VCU would add a ton of quality in bb and baseball. VCU would score back 28 of the 58 years…all by themselves.

      I even think Ohio U would be a solid option….with their 25 years in both bb and baseball tourneys(13 bb +12 baseball).

      ps. i have to believe our UofH friend finally looked at a map of NC and figured out that it’s Raleigh that is close to ECU…not Charlotte. …and he is shy to return and own up to that fact.

      • Michael Wall

        No disrespect but Army was bad in football in CUSA to make it clear. Furthermore football is king and the king is football boys! We are not adding inferior teams like UNCC who has not been playing D1 football or D1AA football for very long and basketball has to be good in both men and women’s sports not just men’s. You are incorrect once again and Liberty or ODU would be excellent additions. UTSA with their massive long term potential and give Texas three colleges in the AAC and stronger recruitment foothold gives them an edge. I also think or know that if determined to have yanked doodle dipshit North inclusion as UMASS is way off the map, we be better served going after NH, Vermont, and Maine for all sports and move UC to west like they wanted to in the beginning and was debated on with Navy, and call it day. Laugh if you will but actually those three New England states’ institutions are really solid in all sports and definitely upgrade in football and other sports would be a lateral move to just below what UCONN was. Liberty checks the boxes and so does Ohio University which is who I personally would go after or Toledo. If USM makes even more strides this fall and next year after this Corona Virus spread subsides, I stand by serious consideration for them. UNCC is a horrible idea and well aware where ECU is but UNC, ECU, NCst, and Wake of all fucking North Carolina colleges make up the majority of college sports fans and football fans in particular in Charlotte. We made the mistake of bringing in a college because really good in baseball traditionally but hadn’t did shit till this year since joining AAC and Tulane got season canceled as did all baseball teams due to CoVid19. Oh with their endowments they and SMU and Temple should have all the damn sports but don’t. Cheap and cowardly in my books.

        But you all should agree with me on this. We have 10 FBS conferences and 13 soon to be 12 FCS conferences and that means 10-12 non-football conferences exist and several get multiple teams in NCAA tournaments of several sports. Some of those conferences don’t even sponsor either baseball or softball. What the fuck! So I say if you are too chickenshit to sponsor at least FCS football as a conference, then you shouldn’t be allowed to get more than one or maybe two teams in any type of NCAA sports tournaments. Cowardice should not be championed! I think you guys would agree with me. It’s not right for the Big Sky or Ohio River Valley Conference or MAC or Sun Belt get one or maybe two teams in and yet sponsor almost all the sports as a conference and cover travel and chicken shit WCC or NewBigE don’t and get several teams in that are not better or really more important or worthy just have name recognition or something of a history is all to go on and the fact a stupid ass network named Fox and FS1/2 paid out the ass for their overhyped overinflated basketball bigotry asses! And no! Conferences that sponsor football at FCS and FBS should help out these ball-less lack of manhood and womanhood conferences during these trying times. You claim football too expensive to have so should have plenty of dough! That way the conferences that have football should extend their right and left arms and hand and give a big middle finger 🖕 to them. I am right about this.

        • the dude

          First, i’m glad you chose to write again UofH friend. No apology is necessary since we are just talking for fun and not personally attacking anyone.

          Now, it becomes increasing difficult to counter your arguments when you use misdirection all the time. If you don’t like your conference…or, schools, or have some prejudice against certain schools for sports not sponsored….then you may need to check your beliefs at the door for this discussion. Because we are only discussing potential schools to add and their merits.

          With that said….
          You throw out names like N. Illinois who has a total of 4 years in the bb and baseball post season tourneys. Are you trying to kill the conference with that choice?
          Then you name schools like Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire?? You have got to be kidding! These schools would ruin the AAC. Only 1 of which has done much….Maine in baseball. The other two totally suck.
          You also name Liberty a bunch of times. Liberty has a total of 10 years in post season bb and baseball. And they have been in horrible conferences…so, their totals should be much higher….and they aren’t.
          You bring up Georgia State again…..GSU has 6 total years in post season bb and baseball. Pretty weak.
          The AAC needs schools that can compete at the top level. None of these cover any of those bases(fb, bb, baseball)

          Let’s look clearly at Army….
          Army is the ONLY school available that has a quality history. And i am not talking about wins. I am talking about a school that has played D1 football for a super long time…and takes on high quality teams all season long. The national pundents also consider Army a Power5 program. Said another way……Which sounds like a better match up for a TV producer? ….UCF vs Army or, UCF vs Liberty? I have a feeling that Army will get the nod. I don’t care 1 bit how many games they lost when in C-USA…it has no bearing on anything. The AAC needs schools that can compete nationally and bring respect to the conference. Army checks that box with authority. Not to mention….the Army vs Navy game being added to the conference inventory. $$cha-ching$$

          You have also confused me on another point….you say ”football is king”. Then you state that a school must be good at both men’s and women’s basketball. …..my counter…..There are NO football schools that kick butt on the board. They don’t exist. The AAC’s choices are Notre Dame….which won’t happen, NMSU which is pretty far west, and Army for fb only. Passed those 3 schools…the choices are pretty weak. That is why i have laid out the post season records for bb and baseball.

          Now, there are quite a few schools in the bb and baseball stats with good yearly totals…..you seem to ignore all of them for schools with almost no post season records.

          Yes, i agree….most realignment is a strange puzzle.

          If the AAC were to add schools(1 or more) any further than NMSU to the west….I would suggest to SMU and UofH to find a less massive conference. SMU/UofH need a conference that is either east or west…not both.

          My choices:
          I’ll stick with Army….they bring a P5 type school to the AAC’s football power ratings…they are an outstanding educational school with honor and integrity that has a nationwide following(b/c there are Army men and bases everywhere). Most of those items aren’t gained with other schools. Army has been playing football for just about as long or longer than some of these other schools have been in existence.
          VCU is for ”non-football” sports. They can leave their football in the CAA where it seems to fit well. That shouldn’t be a problem. VCU total years in post season 28.

          If the conference wants more schools after that….
          -Western Ky would be very smart. Great in a sport that pays tons of money to the conferences for multiple years after being in the tourney. WKU post season totals….27.
          -UNCC….another school with a quality bb history. UNCC is also in a great spot to help the Florida schools with travel. UNCC post season total years….16(not the best and not the worst)
          -Rice….AAU school, outstanding baseball and academics. Probably a tuff sell with UofH tho. Rice post season totals 27
          -Coastal Carolina….great in baseball. But, that is about their only check mark. CCu post season totals….21.
          -Ohio U. ….quality across the board…but, not as much as a few others. Ohio post season totals….25.
          -UTSA….mostly for potential. Certainly not for outstanding post season play. UTSA post season….7(pretty crappy)
          -NMSU….great basketball. Location and lack of support are problems. NMSU post season totals….29.

          UofH fans choices:
          ODU – post season totals 20.
          Liberty – post season totals 10.
          N. Illinios – post season totals 4.
          Marshall – post season totals 8.
          UTSA – post season totals 7.
          S. Miss – post season totals 19.
          Maine – 16 yrs in baseball. 0 in bb. = 16 total
          Vermont – 2 in baseball. 7 in bb. = 9 total
          New Hampshire – 2 in baseball. 0 in bb. = 2 total.

          The main goal for the AAC needs to be….Look as much like a P5 conference as possible. They don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Just grab schools that are within the footprint….AND, have a history of competing with other P5 schools in regular season and post season. Any school with Admin problems…or funding problems….will probably be excluded.

          • Michael Wall

            I want to be clear that I have never on any site, podcast, blog, vlog, community commentary, VideoConnect comments, journalist post, online videos comments’ sections, or whatever said Army should be in a conference, much less the AAC. In fact, I have been vehemently opposed to them even being considered due to their epic failure in CUSA for multiple sports not just football failures. So don’t twist my words. Also, I am not just a fan of UH but a grad and alumnus; and thus, my loyalty to that college or university.

            I am not interested in North Eastern Universities that are solid in D1AA football but lacking in other sports. I was merely pointing out better football programs exist in the New England area than UCONN or UMASS or even Army. I report what the media conglomerates and reporters and sports journalists say and have said. I am just reading the Tea Leaves. Familiarity and success against current members of the AAC matter a ton. We cannot have another UCONN or Tulane or East Carolina enter the conference and struggle with football and other sports mightily. Yes, WBB and Softball and men’s baseball at UCONN were successful and stellar performance for our conference to showcase along with other universities in the conference not named Tulane, I remind you or USF, (although USF had shown signs of life in the diamond sports and some major progress on the hardwood sports). But football is king and the king is football. Colleges like a UNCC are not going to get it done nor Army either.

            We need to meet up with a college or colleges that clearly takes at least football seriously and then the other sports as well and have them all inclusive members of our conference. We don’t need this college for football only and a few other sports and then this other college in for everything else that the football school is not in for. That shows weakness in our conference and instability and uncertainty about the direction and aspirations of the conference. Navy was pursued long before WSU was even thought of or considered. They are not joined at the hip in this conference. It just worked out that way. Another similar situation would be detrimental to our goals and desires not benefiting at all with a similar arrangement. Fair or not, it would further prove we are closer to the non power leagues in football and other sports than the 5 power leagues.

            No bigotry here either! Again just stating well known facts and observations that don’t sponsor at least D1AA football, shouldn’t be a D1A conference for everything else. You can go the Ivy League and Pioneer League and sponsoring football but no football scholarships given by universities or conferences but still sponsor football to be D1A in everything else.

            I am actually correct about the double round robin in division play in the Olympic sports, club sports, and non football non Olympic sports that require multiple double digit conference games. You do that so you can add three to four colleges from the West and west of the Rockies for sure as all in sports and academics colleges. Most of the media if not all of the media conglomerates and journalists and so on have said so. The schools that definitely move the needle and bring the American back to power status are either in the Mountain West or a combination of a few Mountain West schools along with BYU and then adding a USM or one of the prominent MAC schools in Ohio with movement of two former west division colleges going to the east to complete the conference and be strong enough for eventually regaining power status.

            My personal favorite thing for us to do would be to add Ohio University or Toledo University as both are solid across the board and would give the AAC two colleges in Ohio, Florida, and Texas as a major recruitment tool and bargaining power chip that no other conference can claim. We don’t need both just one of the colleges to make a difference in between us remaining non power and eventually regaining power status. Contrary to what is out there by yahoos, Liberty or Marshall or WKU would not be bad additions either and UC would not oppose them joining and did not to begin with. If one more idiot says Marshall recruits Florida heavily, I will have no choice but to be brutally honest and mean and vengeful. Lots of universities recruit Florida heavily, and two of the schools mentioned are in CUSA with 2 Florida colleges and deal with it just fine. If we in the American cannot, it makes us look weak and more like a mid major conference than a major one. I am right about this.

          • the dude

            You obviously are misinformed….Army was only in CUSA for Football…not other sports.
            Army is considered by the Power 5 schools to be a P5 team for scheduling. Mainly because they play a ton of high quality P5 schools EVERY YEAR for over 100 years.
            By your logic….Arkansas wouldn’t be a good team to add to AAC, because of how many games they lose per season.
            And again, by your logic…..you would rather have a school that hasn’t ever played anybody or won anything….like Liberty….over a school that is considered P5 by the people that matter.
            Seriously…..get a clue.

          • the dude

            Here is the UofH football results after 1992: …and who was better that season.

            1993 – 1 and 9
            1994 – 1 and 10
            1995 – 2 and 9
            1996 – 7 and 5
            1997 – 3 and 8
            1998 – 3 and 8 (tie)
            1999 – 7 and 4 (UofH better)
            2000 – 3 and 8 (UofH better)
            2001 – 0 and 11
            2002 – 5 and 7 (UofH better)
            2003 – 7 and 6 (UofH better)
            2004 – 3 and 8 (UofH better)
            2005 – 6 and 6 (UofH better)

            Army results for the same time period:
            1993 – 6 and 5 (Army better)
            1994 – 4 and 7 (Army better)
            1995 – 5 and 5 (Army better)
            1996 – 10 and 2 (Army better)
            1997 – 4 and 7 (Army better)
            1998 – 3 and 8 (tie)
            1999 – 3 and 8
            2000 – 1 and 10
            2001 – 3 and 8 (Army better)
            2002 – 1 and 11
            2003 – 0 and 13
            2004 – 2 and 9
            2005 – 4 and 7

            It appears that UofH sucks just as much as Army during that period.
            Consider checking your facts before blasting a schools results.
            These attitudes are why i am so glad that UofH didn’t get into the Big 12.

    • Slow Ride

      I respectfully disagree with your assessment. If what you mean by “strong market” is simply population, I think it is short-sighted. Boone may be a small college town (like Clemson) but it is very close and has a strong presence in the Charlotte, Triad, and Tri-cities markets. App destroyed ODU and Charlotte in their home and home games on the field and in the stands. In a city of a million people, UNCC has had trouble filling a 15k stadium, except for when App State came- Then they had to bring in temporary bleachers. App State brings a Top 25 program with more football history, conference titles. Bowl wins, passionate fans who travel, and sizzle. ODU and UNCC bring poor football and attendance records and boring talk about their “potential.” App State is already there. By the way, the “other” sports aren’t as bad as you say, considering the men’s basketball finished top half of the conference and defeated Charlotte and ECU this past year.

      Best fit in order

      1. App State- Top 25 football Program with passionate fan base. National respect and recognition. On par with top AAC teams immediately.

      2. ODU

      3. Liberty- Facilities, money, but baggage and controversy.

      4. Charlotte- Just not ready. Simply being located on the outskirts of a large city doesn’t make one ready to compete. Maybe a candidate in 5-10 years.

      • the dude

        Nice to have a different perspective on this subject, Thanks!
        I don’t think I even included App St in my previous post season win totals. Oops.
        I don’t have a problem with App St. I have even been through Boone once and was happy to know I got a chance to see the school for a few minutes. Very pretty city and school.

        Anyway….to make a conference look more like a Power 5 group….I am just uncertain that App St will fill the bill.
        I feel like Army/VCU would be the best option….for reasons previously stated.
        The AAC needs to fill the place of UConn….which is a tough spot to fill.
        I will try to post some of App St’s post season totals here soon.

        Strong market would include population…also, hotels, airports, train stations, news outlets, a large number of corporations to bring in money and fans….stuff like that….not just population.
        I will check out your other post now.

  6. Slow Ride

    App State is the best choice by far, at least for football only. They are a CFB TOP 25 Program that has destroyed the CUSA and MAC teams they’ve played, took Penn State to overtime at Happy Valley, and beat two P5 teams on the road last season (UNC and USC). They have a passionate fanbase who travels and have 4 straight conference titles and 5 bowl wins in the past 5 seasons. They have a very strong presence in the Charlotte, Triad, and Tri-Cities markets and are a natural rival to ECU. Rather than bringing in another dull team from a large market playing in empty stadiums with no excitement at all, the AAC should go out of the box, show a little vision, and get this exciting program now.

    • the dude

      Well, you make nice points.
      But, Army is already a Power 5 school based on Power 5 attitudes. Army has been playing the top schools in the country for over 100 years. Army has….well, I don’t know exactly how many Army men and women there are on the globe…but, I would guess that there are quite a few…both current and retired. Plus the Armed Forces Network would be able to carry both Army and Navy games throughout the season(i think it goes by a new name now).
      VCU….is one of the best schools in baseball and basketball that there is available.

      If replacing UConn with a similar winning school is important to get that Power 6 ranking….then I would stick with Army and VCU combo. Army for football only and VCU for everything else. It would be the quickest and most assured way of moving to the Power 6 conference.
      App St needs to keep their athletics program together….I wouldn’t want them to split it up and go fb only. It could prove destructive and I wouldn’t want that for them, personally. Y’all did a stadium renovation recently, correct? How did all that turn out? Does it look good? Any thoughts on the SBC and CUSA merger talks for App St?

      Heading out to check on App St’s win totals for post season…..
      Hum….i am a little shocked by this….

      App St has 4 trips to the baseball tourney
      App St has 2 trips to the basketball tourney

  7. the dude

    Here are the results that the AAC is trying to match…with any new schools it searches through:

    BasketBall Tourney Appearance Years:
    Cincy – 33
    ECU – 2
    Houston – 21
    Memphis – 26
    SMU – 12
    Temple – 33
    Tulane – 3
    Tulsa – 16
    UCF – 5
    USF – 3
    Whichita St – 15

    Baseball Tourney Appearance Years:
    Cincy – 6
    ECU – 30
    Houston – 21
    Memphis – 5
    SMU – 0 *(no baseball)
    Temple – 13 *(no longer plays baseball)
    Tulane – 21
    Tulsa – 7 *(no longer plays baseball)
    UCF – 12
    USF – 13
    Whichita St – 28

    The school being replaced has these stats:
    UConn:
    Baseball – 21
    Basketball – 33

    The school replacing UConn needs good post season attributes in basketball and baseball.
    As you can see….the conference is pretty strong across the board with a few exceptions in each sport.
    If the AAC is trying to reach the Power conference level…..then they can’t afford to invite a school with poor results, or. a work in progress.
    The school has to have an immediate impact on either basketball or baseball….or in reality….BOTH.
    VCU has 17 years in basketball and 11 years in baseball. Which would fit right in with the standards being set by the conference.

    Remember…it will probably take at least 75% of the University Presidents to vote a school into the conference….which will make it real tough on schools that don’t measure up to the conferences goals and aspirations.

    One idea I have….is to add Dallas Baptist to the conference for Baseball only. DB is Division 1 for baseball and would be able to slide in for SMU without causing any problems. And it would help bolster the conferences numbers in a sport where they are 3 schools short. Dallas Baptist has been in the baseball tourney 9 years since entering in 2008. Which is a pretty sweet number. 9 years out of 11 total.

  8. D P

    No full member of a conference has ever been “kicked out”; Temple was a football only member of the Big East. Incredibly stupid to float that as a possibility, but not surprising considering the lazy nature of this article.

    • the dude

      I didn’t see that in the article. Where are you getting Temple being booted at??