Sports Commentary 10/16/13
As the years go by, will the AAC lose it’s credibility as a Football Conference ??
THE AAC IS NOT THE PLACE TO BE
It’s a critical season for college football at the upper echelons, and it’s getting more critical as the season wears on, with our own American Athletic Conference in the midst of much of the discussion as we face the installation of a new system, beginning in 2014.
One of the teams at the center of the conversation as the BCS prepares to give way to a four team playoff next season is the first place team in the AAC, Louisville. The Cardinals are the odds on favorite to claim the league’s BCS berth, which it owns only on a grandfathered basis, from the old Big East. Next season Louisville, along with Rutgers, will leave the AAC, leaving an already weak league in an even further diminished situation. In some corners of the power five conferences there is concern about a team from the American Athletic Conference being in the BCS mix this season, based on strength of schedule, which comes primarily from a team’s own league.
The five power leagues, the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12, SEC and ACC, all appear to be on the same page for the change to the playoff format, when the final four teams will be chosen by a committee, which will consist of at least 12 members who have yet to be seated, though some names have been bandied about, including that of former secretary of state Condoleesa Rice, a well known football expert who is also respected for her ability to be a fair arbiter, though some male members of the football community have chosen to challenge her qualifications. Be that as it may the committee members should be required to watch at least a majority of the major college football games each week and should also be required to meet at the end of each week’s schedule, by e-mail or conference call, to discuss not only the outcomes but the comparative strength of the teams involved, based in great part on the strength of the schedule they play.
With at least two of the five power leagues, now in two division alignments, already committed to playing nine games each season within their own leagues, with only three out of conference games, and the other power conferences appearing ready to fall in line with that philosophy, leagues of sixteen teams with eight team divisions would then play seven games within their own division while alternating a different two teams from the other division each year. The numbers and the format work with a prediction I made more than a decade ago. The strength of a team’s league is then going to be one of the most critical factors in a team’s chances to be one of the chosen four at the end of the season. So, at this point, any additions to the power conferences will have to demonstrate a value to that conference’s power ratings.
With the power leagues ready to fall into line on scheduling formats it’s likely they won’t allow much more time to go by before they fill their final conference ranks. With the new system going into place next season the clock is ticking even faster and the AAC, with it’s already weak, and soon to be weaker, power rating, won’t be the place to be for any team that want’s to be part of the new national discussion.
With a comment from the Sports World, I’m Scott Gray.