Aresco: American Athletic Conference expects inclusion at highest level of Division I

  • Article by: RALPH D. RUSSO , AP College Football Writer
  • Updated: July 30, 2013 - 5:05 PM

NEWPORT, R.I. — With change on the horizon for college sports, American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco wants everyone to know his league has the resources and the will to be included with the top football conferences in the country.

Aresco opened the first football media day for the conference formerly known as the Big East on Tuesday by touting its accomplishments and making the case that the American is not so dissimilar to the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and Southeastern Conference.

"Whatever the highest level of Division I is in the future, we expect to be part of it," he said.

The commissioners of the five most powerful conferences have been pushing the NCAA to reform how its rules and policies are made and enforced. Some have suggested it could lead to a new level of college sports for the schools with the most resources. A Division 4 as Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby called it.

A key issues has been the desire of the big five conferences to give a stipend to scholarship athletes of about $2,000 per year that would cover the full cost of attendance. An NCAA proposal for it was shot down by smaller schools.

Aresco said he and his members share many of the concerns of the big five conferences.

"Having said that, we all need more detail as what such a fourth division might entail, how it would be governed, the costs associated with it," Aresco said. "There's been a lot of discussion about it but there aren't really a lot of hard details at this point.

"Our presidents and our athletic directors will weigh in once more is known. But our strong indication is to do what is necessary to be part of such a division if restructuring occurs."

The American trails far behind the big five in terms of revenue it will generate in the coming years. Most of the $5.6 billion ESPN is set to pay over the 12 years starting in 2014 to broadcast the College Football Playoff goes to the big five, and the American's latest TV deal pays its members a fraction of what schools in the top five conferences make.

Still, Aresco said revenue should not hold the American back.

"Our inclination would be to do what we need to do to be part of that group," he said. "Now, we don't know what the cost of attendance figures would really be at this point. We know what the stipend numbers have been, but we don't know long term what other conferences are going to propose.

"But I would say this: That our presidents are committed to being part of this and take a hard look at that. Obviously we do what it takes. "

The ravages of conference realignment led to the Big East re-inventing itself as the American, but some things remain the same. The league offices are still in Providence and it still opens its football season with a clambake in this northeast vacation spot.

The American finally has some stability, without a looming threat of more defections, but it's also still in flux.

Louisville, the conference favorite, is in its last season before moving to the ACC. Rutgers is heading to the Big Ten after this season. Joining the other Big East holdovers — Connecticut, Temple, Cincinnati and South Florida — this season are Memphis, Central Florida, Houston and SMU.

Next season Tulane, Tulsa and East Carolina join. Navy is set to join in 2015 to give the American 12 teams and the ability to play a football title game.

The American champion will play in the BCS this year, but when that goes away starting in 2014 it will have to compete with the Mountain West, Sun Belt, Mid-American and Conference USA for one spot in the best bowl games.

Aresco said the American is still a formidable football conference, with seven of this year's 10 members having been ranked in the top 25 of the BCS standings since 2008 and five of 10 in the top 10 since 2006. He also rattled off a long list of teams from the power conferences that the American will play in the coming years.

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Carolina
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Orlando 92
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Minnesota 113 FINAL
Chicago 112
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Denver 112 FINAL
Golden State 119
Portland 99 FINAL
LA Clippers 89
Dallas 3 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Tampa Bay 4 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Vancouver 3 FINAL
Colorado 7
Carolina 3 FINAL
Edmonton 6
Columbus 1 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Connecticut 21 FINAL
(18) East Carolina 31
Miami-Florida 30 FINAL
Virginia Tech 6
So Florida 17 FINAL
Cincinnati 34
Troy 13 FINAL
South Alabama 27
BYU 30 FINAL
Boise State 55
(6) Oregon 59 FINAL
California 41
North Texas 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10:59 PM
Hawaii
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Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Cincinnati 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Memphis
Purdue 11/1/14 2:00 AM
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(17) Oklahoma 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa State
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 2:00 AM
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(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(22) West Virginia
Texas 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Texas Tech
Northwestern 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa
Maryland 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Penn State
Houston 1 FINAL
Chicago 2
Montreal 23 FINAL
Ottawa 17
Saskatchewan 27 FINAL
Calgary 40
Hamilton 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
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Ottawa
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Calgary
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Edmonton
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Montreal
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

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