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brybull1970

AAC Expansion Candidates and Recommendation

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Posted (edited)

This thread is not to chronicle the Uconn exit (that's the past) and we already have a thread for that discussion. This thread is forward looking.

This is the rough analysis I have performed on which school(s) the AAC should be targeting if they chose to expand. While football drives expansion, basketball is a component for the conference and shouldn't be entirely dismissed. This list is comprised of the top 10 non-P5, non-AAC schools from an athletic revenue perspective and select other schools that are geographically reasonable fits for the AAC. 

 

Extend the invitation:

1. BYU

  • Pros - averages 54k per home football game (nearly double the AAC average); national following; travel somewhat mitigated with Salt Lake City as major airline hub (Delta)
  • Cons - future existence of BYUtv; potential unwind of future football scheduling; nuances of a integrating a Mormon school

2. Boise State

  • Pros - strongest football program among eligible schools; (17 straight seasons with a bowl game); football attendance exceeds AAC average by 13%
  • Cons - travel will likely put strains on an already limited athletic budget (revenues are 21% below AAC averages); #100 TV market

3. San Diego State

  • Pros - strong football and basketball programs (9 straight bowl games, and 3 NCAAT appearances in last 5 years); football attendance exceeds AAC average by 25%; #29 TV market; largest enrollment of any MWC school
  • Cons - travel would be the most extensive and would require western travel partner(s)

4. Air Force

  • Pros - natural bookend with Navy; football and athletic department revenues match AAC averages; would be one of the closest schools on the western expansion front
  • Cons - non-factor as a basketball school

 

Some Reservations:

5. Army

  • Pros - football program has national following; football attendance exceeds AAC average by 10%
  • Cons - scheduling impacts of the Army-Navy game; left C-USA due to talent level; won't provide value for non-football sports and would likely just be a football-only add

6. Colorado State

  • Pros - football attendance exceeds AAC average by 8%; bowl games in 4 of last 5 seasons; travel mitigated by with Denver as a major airline hub; #17 TV market; trails only San Diego State in enrollment in the MWC
  • Cons - basketball provides little value; athletic department revenues 23% below AAC average

 

Geographic Fit And Has Potential, But Doesn't Lift Conference Now:

7. Appalachian State - only school in this group that averages more than 20k per football game, but provides no value from a TV market and non-football perspective

8. Florida Atlantic - largely unproven but arrow pointing up; averages more per football game than Tulane and Tulsa

9. Old Dominion - new to this stage, but is only school in this group whose attendance and athletic department revenues are no less than 70% of AAC averages

10. Buffalo - football and basketball programs improving but football attendance and athletic department revenue underwhelming

11. Georgia State - enrollment of 51k; metro school fits AAC mold and has as much potential as any school in this group; men's basketball is already a strength

12. Massachusetts - easily to assimilate into the conference but averages less than 11k for football games

13. Middle Tennessee State - #27 TV market and recent football and basketball success, but attendance and athletic department revenue just over half of AAC averages

14. Florida International - enrollment of 56k, strong TV market and recruiting hotbed are the best attributes but FIU athletics are irrelevant in South Florida; even if conference wanted a 3rd Florida school Panthers would be behind FAU in the pecking order

15. Charlotte - top 25 TV market but only averaging 11k for football games

 

Not a Geographic Fit And Doesn't Lift Conference:

16. Utah State - good geographic fit for others listed at the top of this list, but like others in this group athletic department revenue significantly behind the AAC average

17. Nevada - strong basketball program and good geographic fit with others listed at the top of this list, but football attendance and athletic department revenues are even below the MWC average; second worst TV market in the MWC (#109) only ahead of Wyoming

18. Fresno State - strong football history and football attendance exceeds AAC average by 9%, but challenging area to travel to/from

19. UNLV - attractive western outpost, but football program likely to be negatively impacted by arrival of the Raiders in 2020-21

20. Hawaii - despite a favorable image, football-only member in the MWC would be an unlikely candidate for the AAC with travel being a show stopper

21. New Mexico - reasonable distance to SMU and Houston, but football program trending towards resembling UConn

22. San Jose State - significantly under performing its potential value in the middle of silicon valley and its #8 TV market 

23. Wyoming - solid attendance numbers, but meager contribution in all other areas; worst TV market among all schools listed (#197)

 

 

 

Edited by brybull1970
  • Upvote 2

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14 minutes ago, brybull1970 said:

This thread is not to chronicle the Uconn exit (that's the past) and we already have a thread for that discussion. This thread is forward looking.

This is the rough analysis I have performed on which school(s) the AAC should be targeting if they chose to expand. While football drives expansion, basketball is a component for the conference and shouldn't be entirely dismissed. This list is comprised of the top 10 non-P5, non-AAC schools from an athletic revenue perspective and select other schools that are geographically reasonable fits for the AAC. 

 

Extend the invitation:

1. BYU

  • Pros - averages 54k per home football game (nearly double the AAC average); national following; travel somewhat mitigated with Salt Lake City as major airline hub (Delta)
  • Cons - future existence of BYUtv; potential unwind of future football scheduling; nuances of a integrating a Mormon school

2. Boise State

  • Pros - strongest football program among eligible schools; (17 straight seasons with a bowl game); football attendance exceeds AAC average by 13%
  • Cons - travel will likely put strains on an already limited athletic budget (revenues are 21% below AAC averages); #100 TV market

3. San Diego State

  • Pros - strong football and basketball programs (9 straight bowl games, and 3 NCAAT appearances in last 5 years); football attendance exceeds AAC average by 25%; #29 TV market; largest enrollment of any MWC school
  • Cons - travel would be the most extensive and would require western travel partner(s)

4. Air Force

  • Pros - natural bookend with Navy; football and athletic department revenues match AAC averages; would be one of the closest schools on the western expansion front
  • Cons - non-factor as a basketball school

 

Some Reservations:

5. Army

  • Pros - football program has national following; football attendance exceeds AAC average by 10%
  • Cons - scheduling impacts of the Army-Navy game; left C-USA due to talent level; won't provide value for non-football sports and would likely just be a football-only add

6. Colorado State

  • Pros - football attendance exceeds AAC average by 8%; bowl games in 4 of last 5 seasons; travel mitigated by with Denver as a major airline hub; #17 TV market; trails only San Diego State in enrollment in the MWC
  • Cons - basketball provides little value; athletic department revenues 23% below AAC average

 

Geographic Fit And Has Potential, But Doesn't Lift Conference Now:

7. Appalachian State - only school in this group that averages more than 20k per football game, but provides no value from a TV market and non-football perspective

8. Florida Atlantic - largely unproven but arrow pointing up; averages more per football game than Tulane and Tulsa

9. Old Dominion - new to this stage, but is only school in this group whose attendance and athletic department revenues are no less than 70% of AAC averages

10. Buffalo - football and basketball programs improving but football attendance and athletic department revenue underwhelming

11. Georgia State - enrollment of 51k; metro school fits AAC mold and has as much potential as any school in this group; men's basketball is already a strength

12. Massachusetts - easily to assimilate into the conference but averages less than 11k for football games

13. Middle Tennessee State - #27 TV market and recent football and basketball success, but attendance and athletic department revenue just over half of AAC averages

14. Florida International - enrollment of 56k, strong TV market and recruiting hotbed are the best attributes but FIU athletics are irrelevant in South Florida; even if conference wanted a 3rd Florida school Panthers would be behind FAU in the pecking order

15. Charlotte - top 25 TV market but only averaging 11k for football games

 

Not a Geographic Fit And Doesn't Lift Conference:

16. Utah State - good geographic fit for others listed at the top of this list, but like others in this group athletic department revenue significantly behind the AAC average

17. Nevada - strong basketball program and good geographic fit with others listed at the top of this list, but football attendance and athletic department revenues are even below the MWC average; second worst TV market in the MWC (#109) only ahead of Wyoming

18. Fresno State - strong football history and football attendance exceeds AAC average by 9%, but challenging area to travel to/from

19. UNLV - attractive western outpost, but football program likely to be negatively impacted by arrival of the Raiders in 2020-21

20. Hawaii - despite a favorable image, football-only member in the MWC would be an unlikely candidate for the AAC with travel being a show stopper

21. New Mexico - reasonable distance to SMU and Houston, but football program trending towards resembling UConn

22. San Jose State - significantly under performing its potential value in the middle of silicon valley and its #8 TV market 

23. Wyoming - solid attendance numbers, but meager contribution in all other areas; worst TV market among all schools listed (#197)

 

 

 

Good God Brybull this is well done! Completely agree...not sure how anyone could not like what you have done here as it is very accurate. 

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Don't want to copy and paste so just a comment.  By Geographic Fit you mean anything in the contiguous United States seeing as there is Buffalo, Boise, San Diego and Utah?

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3 minutes ago, CousinRicky said:

Don't want to copy and paste so just a comment.  By Geographic Fit you mean anything in the contiguous United States seeing as there is Buffalo, Boise, San Diego and Utah?

Geographic fit would mean anything that would be within the triangle of Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania, or basically anyone east of SMU. 

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1 minute ago, brybull1970 said:

Geographic fit would mean anything that would be within the triangle of Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania, or basically anyone east of SMU. 

I misread the first paragraph.  Thought the 1st six were geographical fits as well.

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2 minutes ago, puc86 said:

Image result for hated it gif

Here is a typical Puc reply...

 

4296524A-C8F4-4F93-968B-D3BF01737964.gif

  • Haha 1

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1 minute ago, NewEnglandBull said:

Here is a typical Puc reply...

 

4296524A-C8F4-4F93-968B-D3BF01737964.gif

I like CJL

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Posted (edited)
1 minute ago, puc86 said:

I like CJL

That my friend is a limited resume with a lot of holes...not to mention being a day late and a dollar short...

Edited by NewEnglandBull

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Based on the analysis I think there are a handful of scenarios for the AAC to consider:

1. Stand pat and run the conference in a manner similar to how the Big 10 operated with they had 11 schools

2. Add a single school - in this case BYU or Army, but both come with complications

3. Raid the MWC of enough schools to make a western division palatable from a travel perspective - this would likely require ballooning the conference to 16 schools and adding BYU, Boise State, San Diego State, Air Force and Colorado State 

4. Have all members of the AAC, other than Tulsa and Tulane, exit the conference and form a new conference with the schools in option #3, keeping the new league at a manageable 14 schools (my personal preference).

 

Adding a single (or any schools) school from those ranked 7 through 15 would come from the Aresco playbook of aiming low and be a terrible move.

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