10/25 Conference Realignment Update, from the G5 to the FCS and beyond
Good morning, and thanks for your continued support of Extra Points.
The last week or so has given us an absolute torrent of college realignment news, so much that I have struggled to stay on top of everything. Even though I realize that there's the risk that all of this information will be outdated before I click publish, I thought it might be useful to try and consolidate everything I know, and think, about all of these moves into one newsletter. Or at least, as much I can fit into one newsletter before your email character counts cut me off.
What's happening with The American?
In case you missed it, it's officially-official. The AAC will add Charlotte, UAB, UTSA, North Texas, FAU and Rice, to replace Cincinnati, Houston and UCF.
During the introductory press conference on Thursday, multiple reporters tried to press AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco about how the new additions will impact the league's current TV contract. Will the distributions go down? Stay the same? How will revenue be split up among the new members?
Aresco declined to comment on any TV particulars. The consensus among industry professionals that I've talked to over the last month is that the American's TV revenue distribution would decline. Reporting in Yahoo! states that the league is optimistic that their revenue will remain close to the same. I would love to hear more from the league about how that would work, but so far, I do not have those answers.
The major theme I took away from that presser was that the American feels good about their ability to help develop athletic departments. Cincinnati, Houston and UCF made significant developments while AAC members, along with programs like SMU and Tulane. The league seems to believe that thanks to increased exposure and better regular season games, with time and investments, some of these new programs can make a similar leap.
I'm skeptical. After all, Conference USA tried to make a similar bet with these same programs, and that clearly didn't work out. Sleeping giants in college sports tend to stay sleeping, for a variety of reasons. But I can at least understand the logic of the argument. It's certainly possible to pull off. There's just a very, very small margin of error.
I believe the exact timing of all the departures has yet to be finalized by all the lawyers, but 2023 feels like a safe assumption.
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