The AAC, the Sun Belt and others are plotting their next moves.
Now that the Big 12 has taken three American Athletic Conference schools, it is probably time to ask what is next for the collection of big-time sports playing schools. The answer? There is no answer right now. The AAC Commissioner Michael Aresco did say, “our remaining schools are unwavering in their commitment to competing and succeeding at the highest level, and we will not allow external factors to put a ceiling on our potential. We remain unified and resolute and will consider all of our options as we move the American into our second decade and beyond.” Aresco saw the University of Central Florida, the University of Cincinnati and Houston University’s heads give their okays to jumping to the Big 12 Conference and that will happen in 27 months or perhaps sooner.
The AAC plans to stay in business and that could mean raiding other conferences to get new partners. But there are other conferences such as the Sun Belt that might have their eyes on adding colleges and universities to their mix. There is also a possibility that the Big 12 might not stop at raiding three AAC schools. After all, there is plenty of precedent in college sports for that. At the end of the day, whatever happens to the Big 12, AAC, the University of Central Florida, the University of Cincinnati and Houston University , they are all chasing TV money because that is what big-time college sports is all about. Collecting big dollar amounts from TV and TV will let schools presidents, chancellors and boards of trustees know whether their plan works or not. The Big East, the AAC’s predecessor, lost Pittsburgh, Syracuse, West Virginia and Louisville. But East Carolina, Tulane, and Tulsa jumped at the chance to join the AAC. The Big East became a basketball-only conference. College sports is all about loyalty to dollars and cents.
Evan Weiner’s books are available at iTunes – https://books.apple.com/us/author/evan-weiner/id595575191