- Mar 1, 2015
IF the AAC loses their top 3 football programs, who do the backfill with? Like a said, the espn deal would be over. They would have to negotiate a new deal with whatever irreverent programs they can find. Will any scenario add value to the ESPN/Disney platform? Doubtful. There was a P5 with a quasi relevant AAC. Now there is a P4 with a quasi relevant B12. They way the wind is blowing if it’s not over for these schools now, it will be in the future. The playoff is a bonanza and will grow, everything else will weaken further.So the four schools moving to the B12 have pulled off the strategy nearly all the AAC was trying to make work (other than WSU and Navy). They got that P5 invitation. The question remaining for the rest is whether it can still work over the next few years. Or is it time to pivot, de-emphasize football, and make basketball the collegiate sports "face" of your university. You know, like UConn did.
Temple, Memphis, and maybe Tulsa have enough residual basketball brand value left that they could pull off that kind of a pivot. But do they leave? Or do they band together with WSU, and push the AAC to emphasize basketball while still sponsoring football? I don't think that worked so well for the A10 back in the early 2000's. And you know ECU, USF, and SMU have no interest in that scenario.
So the next shoe to drop will be seeing who the AAC invites to replace those four schools. Are they football moves or basketball moves? Somebody call Ed McLaughlin and ask, 'cause I bet he's burning down the phone lines trying to get that answer before anyone else does.