To fully get a feel for how the American Athletic Conference came about, you have to go to its roots that were planted back in 1979 when the Big East was formed with the idea of forming one of the best basketball conferences known in the history of the sport.
With that, Boston College, UConn, Georgetown, Providence, St. John’s, Syracuse, and Seton Hall all become the original founding fathers. Villanova got in on the action a year later, while Pittsburgh was asked to be a member in 1982.
Notice you don’t see any dominant football programs in the mix? Well, that could have all changed in that same year when Penn State applied for membership but was denied. The Nittany Lions went on to win two national championships that decade.
In 1991, the conference finally decides to jump on the football bandwagon and adds major college pigskin programs Miami, Rutgers, West Virginia, Virginia Tech and Temple. In 2001, the Hurricanes went on to win the conference’s only BCS-era title, but then lost in an insane overtime thriller against Ohio State the following season.
With numerous conference suffering from mass exoduses and turnover with universities scampering to find the most lucrative deals, the Big East saw three programs bolt for the ACC (Miami, Virginia Tech, BC). This is when it truly got ugly, and the bottom line here is that the Big East was forced to go back to its roots of being a basketball only super conference.
East Carolina Pirates
Tulsa Golden Hurricane
Tulane Green Wave
While the AAC has only been in existence for three seasons, it’s experienced a ton of success. Houston just finished ranked No. 8 in the final national polls last season to give the AAC a top 10 ranked team in back-to-back seasons. The success across the board has seen an across-the-board increase in football attendance. It also boasted four of the top six teams in average attendance gain.
The American Athletic Conference is a member of the Power Five conferences. With that, the winner could be chosen to partake in the College Football Playoff should it rank amongst the top four of the selections committee’s final rankings. If not, the overall winner would then be placed into a New Year’s bowl if it ranked out better than the champs of CUSA, MAC, Mountain West and Sun Belt.
Automatic bowl tie-ins to the Big Ten are as follows: College Football Playoff, Military Bowl, Birmingham Bowl, St. Petersburg Bowl, Armed Forces Bowl, Miami Beach Bowl, Bahamas Bowl, Boca Raton Bowl, and Cure Bowl.
|SEC Conference||Big 10 Conference|
|ACC Conference||Big 12 Conference|
|Pac 12 Conference||Big East Conference|
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