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  1. The Mustangs are reportedly willing to absorb at least a half decade of zero dollars in media revenue for a chance to join the ACC. And it’s kind of hard to blame them. College football realignment absolutely sucks, and the suckiest part of all is that there’s no end to it on the horizon. The process is hoovering the soul out of the sport, warping a regional product rich with history and rivalry into a quasi-national game increasingly devoid of both. The further college football goes in that direction, the less it becomes anything but a glorified farm system for a pro league that everyone could just turn on 24 hours later each weekend to see dramatically better football. The collateral damage will be athletes in other sports, who will be forced into extra travel without much of a shot at earning any name, image, and likeness (NIL) money. Nevertheless, schools have decided that the only thing worse than being party to all of this is being left without an invitation. And absolutely nobody is more desperate to score one than SMU. We know this thanks to a report from The Action Network’s Brett McMurphy, who has a source claiming that the Mustangs are so eager to join the ACC that they are willing to forego any media rights revenue for the first five to seven years. For reference, Oregon and Washington are catching hell for joining the Big Ten for half a share of the maximum revenue over the life of its current deal, which will start them at $30 million annually. Their former conference, the all-but-extinct Pac-12, crumbled because its member schools were staring down a deal that may only guarantee them around $23 million. Yet here are the Mustangs, sending very loud signals that they’d be super down to get zero dollars and zero cents for a not-inconsiderable amount of time in exchange for the privilege of slapping a bigger brand on their athletic department letterhead and their athletes spending half of each season playing on the East Coast. Is this thirsty? Oh, buddy, is it. Is it smart? Yeah, probably. read more: https://www.dmagazine.com/sports/2023/08/smu-mustangs-acc/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=dmagazine&fbclid=IwAR1DSdKNIxA0M017xetHdzIBVikf68ZvHm0l4BR9DJCJJNbo2QQmlavmklE_aem_AdGgvq4NFKpjU1N1rnzTRwvXJCoYTc9EotOeDxHnEjHuWpLQHVFEpoZHqhZpDSKQZik&mibextid=Zxz2cZ
  2. Dennis Dodd: UTSA coach Jeff Traylor will win 12 games (again), win a conference title (again), all while riding star quarterback Frank Harris to a New Year's Six bowl. To make it symmetrical, the Roadrunners will beat defending conference champ Tulane and then face 2021 AAC champ Cincinnati -- now in the Big 12 -- in that New Year's Six game. Traylor will then depart to become the next coach at Texas A&M after Jimbo Fisher is fired following a 7-5 season. Tom Fornelli: SMU will win one of its two road games against Oklahoma or TCU as the Mustangs will appear in a New Year's Six bowl. read more: https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/aac-expert-picks-2023-projected-order-of-finish-bold-predictions-championship-favorites/amp/
  3. Michael Kelly said American Athletic Conference members have held several meetings with commissioner Mike Aresco over the past week. TAMPA — American Athletic Conference members have spoken about the possibility of adding schools left behind during the most recent round of conference realignment. USF athletic director Michael Kelly said Friday that he and administrators from other conference schools have been in communication with AAC commissioner Mike Aresco after six Pac-12 schools announced their departures for other conferences in recent weeks. The remaining Pac-12 members — Washington State, Oregon State, Cal and Stanford — would be considered among the best schools left behind by this round of realignment. ESPN’s Heather Dinich first reported last week that the AAC was open to adding a combination of all four schools from the Pac-12. read more: https://www.tampabay.com/sports/bulls/2023/08/11/michael-kelly-aac-conference-realignment-pac-12-cal-stanford-mike-aresco/?outputType=amp
  4. 1. Willie Fritz, Tulane Tulane was one of college football's biggest surprises from the '22 season. After a 2-10 season the previous year, the Green Wave went 12-2, won the AAC title and finished No. 9 nationally after beating USC in the Cotton Bowl. Fritz has guided the program to four bowl games over the last five seasons - a significant upgrade after Tulane earned just one postseason trek from 2003-17. Whether it's the current stint in New Orleans or previous stops at Central Missouri (97-47 from 1997-09), Sam Houston (40-15 from 2010-13), or Georgia Southern (17-7 from 2014-15), Fritz is simply a winner and has a resume that places him among (if not No. 1) the best Group of 5 coaches in the nation. 2. Jeff Traylor, UTSA Of the six new programs in the American Athletic Conference for '23, the Roadrunners are easily the team most capable of making an impact right away - potentially for a berth in a New Year's Six bowl. After a successful stint as the head coach at Gilmer High School, Traylor spent time as an assistant at Texas, SMU, and Arkansas before taking over in San Antonio. In three seasons at the helm, the Roadrunners are 30-10 and posted back-to-back Conference USA titles (2021-22). read more: https://athlonsports.com/college-football/ranking-american-athletic-conference-college-football-coaches-2023
  5. AAC Win Totals Charlotte: 2.5 (Over -175/Under +140) East Carolina: 5.5 (Over +125/Under -150) Florida Atlantic: 7.5 (Over +100/Under -125) Memphis: 7.5 (Over -150/Under +125) Navy: 6.5 (Over +110/Under -135) North Texas: 6.5 (Over -105/Under -120) Rice: 4.5 (Over -115/Under -110) SMU: 8 (Over -165/Under +135) South Florida: 4 (Over -130/Under +105) Temple: 5 (Over -150/Under +125) Tulane: 9.5 (Over +110/Under -135) Tulsa: 4.5 (Over -120/Under -105) UAB: 5 (Over -120/Under -105) UTSA: 7.5 (Over -140/Under +115) Read more: https://fansided.com/betsided/posts/2023-aac-college-football-preview-odds-win-conference-win-totals-predictions-01h533vckq95
  6. North Texas Mean Green Location: Denton, Texas Enrollment: 44,336 One thing to know: Mean Green men's basketball won 18 or more games in each of the past six seasons. Connections to Wichita State: Former Shocker Tommy Newman, a member of the 1965 Final Four team, coached North Texas from 1983-86. Harry Miller coached North Texas in 1970-71 before taking the top job at Wichita State. The Mean Green played in the Missouri Valley Conference from 1957-75, where it finished with one winning season in men's basketball. North Texas won 13 MVC golf titles, which remains second in conference history behind Wichita State's 21. The Mean Green won four straight NCAA titles from 1949-52 and placed second in 1954, 1955 and 1956. LINK: https://goshockers.com/news/2023/6/27/the-roundhouse-rh-aac-newcomers-series-rice-owls.aspx
  7. The North Texas Mean Green achieved their crowning moment, defeating conference rival UAB to secure the first NIT title in program history. The championship springboards the Mean Green into an offseason of massive upheaval. In an instant, their coach was gone, though that wasn’t much of a surprise. Grant McCasland had the inside track for the Texas Tech job for some time and quickly snatched when he was done leading the Mean Green to glory. North Texas wasted no time filling the job, handing it to longtime associate head coach Ross Hodge. He’s been a big part of what McCasland has built and the program shouldn’t regress too much under the first-time head coach. That transition is far from the biggest the program is going to have this offseason. The Mean Green will no longer be Conference USA Rivals with the Blazers; instead they’ll be rivals with them in the AAC. The AAC will be virtually unrecognizable next year. Can North Texas fill the void and take the conference crown in its first year as a member? read more: https://bustingbrackets.com/2023/04/03/north-texas-basketball-mean-green-win-aac-first-year/
  8. Finally, the much-anticipated American Athletic Conference (AAC) expansion is happening. In June 2022, the AAC announced in June 2022 that six new members would be joining its ranks. The new members are scheduled to officially join the conference on July 1, 2023. The new members are Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, Rice, UAB, and UTSA. This will bring the total number of members in the conference to 14. The AAC expansion is in direct response to the series of realignments that have been going on in college athletics for some years now. Several conferences have been making moves to bring on new members to boost their overall position in relation to other conferences. In order not to be left out, the AAC had to begin its own expansion to remain competitive with its contemporaries in the Power 6. Remember, the AAC was established during the 2013 reorganization as a successor to the old Big East Conference. The conference is not new to realignments. After it was originally born out of an actual reorganization of the old Big East, it has experienced movements, in and out, of members. Louisville and Rutgers departed the conference just one year after its formation. The addition of Wichita State in 2017 did not fully make up for this as it was a non-football program. Again in 2020, UConn left the conference to join up with the Big East. The latest in the series of departures from the conference will take effect on July 1, 2023, as Cincinnati, Houston and Central Florida make their way out. However, with the arrival of the six new members, the AAC expansion is projected to strengthen the conference in a number of ways. For instance, UAB and Charlotte bring some needed weight to the conference in the media market. In addition, the strong academic standing of the new members will serve to maintain the AAC’s reputation as a top academic conference. read more: https://www.sportskeeda.com/college-football/aac-expansion-news-what-colleges-moving-american-charlotte-fau-fray-latest-conference-realignments-transform-college-athletics
  9. Senior nose guard Donald Berniard Jr. and junior linebacker Colin Ramos were named to the second team, junior fullback Daba Fofana, junior safety Rayuan Lane III and junior punter Riley Riethman were named to the third team, while junior offensive tackle Connor McMahon, senior defensive end Jacob Busic and junior punt returner Amin Hassan were named to the fourth team. Berniard has made an incredible 30-straight starts at nose guard for the Mids. He was named to Phil Steele's All-American Athletic Conference Third Team last year and finished the season with 35 tackles, including 4.5 for a loss. Ramos, who was named to Phil Steele's All-American Athletic Conference Third Team at the end of last season, was a starter in 10 of the 12 games last year and was second on the team in tackles (79), tied for second in tackles for a loss (8.6) and tied for third in sacks (4). Read more: https://navysports.com/news/2023/6/12/eight-navy-football-players-named-to-phil-steeles-preseason-all-american-athletic-conference-team.aspx
  10. 2022 Record: 5-7 overall, 3-5 in AAC Head Coach: Kevin Wilson, 1st year: 0-0, 7th year overall: 26-47 - Tulsa 2023 Football Schedule @ColFootballNews | @PeteFiutak Tulsa continues to be among the most unique college football programs going. It’s a small school in a good-sized city just up the road from both the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State on one side, and not terribly far from the University of Arkansas on the other. And yet it found a decent niche. For years it was an afterthought in the WAC - sky point as an FBS conference - had several nice seasons in Conference USA, and there’s been no consistency whatsoever in the American Athletic Conference. You want crazy? Nine years in the AAC, seven different win totals. Sometimes it’s had a nasty defense, sometimes the offensive scheme worked, and sometimes it all fell totally flat for long stretches. It’s possible to win at Tulsa, though. It’s not like the expectations are through the roof, but the program is used to going to bowl games - nine from 2005 to 2016 and just two in the last six seasons - and now it’s up to new head coach Kevin Wilson take over the team in a new-and-easier AAC and start winning. The star offensive coordinator at several stops - most recently Ohio State - and former head coach at Indiana knows how to make attacks go. There’s enough back to win with right away and push past five victories to get back to a bowl, and … LINK to more: https://collegefootballnews.com/cfn/tulsa-golden-hurricane-college-football-preview-2023-breakdown-prediction-top-players-win-total
  11. All conferences, including autonomy conferences, should actively discourage the use of P5 and G5 labels. The autonomy conferences do not refer to themselves as P5 conferences internally, although their memberships use P5 in the public forum. The media actually coined the term to replace the former Bowl Championship Series (BCS) description, and it often made little or no sense even during the last decade. The harmful divide that has developed can trace its roots to the advent of the BCS in 1998, which designated selected conferences as annual participants in BCS bowl games. The divide accelerated with the advent of the College Football Playoff, wherein the BCS label morphed into the media-invented P5. This divide did not exist in any meaningful way back in the College Football Association days of the 1980’s and 1990’s. No divisive nomenclature and arbitrary classification existed back then. Whenever a so-called non-P5 school wins the national championship in men’s basketball, as the American did in 2014, three national championships in women’s basketball, as the American did in 2014, 2015 and 2016, or makes the College Football Playoff, as the American did in 2021, or in addition makes (seven times) and wins (four times) a New Year’s Day Bowl game against a top ten team or makes the men’s Final Four and the Elite Eight and the Sweet Sixteen, how are those teams “non-power”? It is absurd, and proof that the power moniker makes no sense competitively. The fact that so-called P5 teams that have not achieved at that level are still deemed “power” teams is an absurdity on its face. Another absurdity involves realignment, where Group of Five teams instantly become Power Five teams simply by signing a piece of paper. It is time to retire the P5 moniker and shift the focus and nomenclature to the ten FBS conferences. We at the American strongly support that concept and urge the media to focus on the ten FBS conferences. Each FBS conference should be judged and characterized on whether it has achieved elite status, on whether it is powerful in its own right, and not as the beneficiary of an arbitrary label. We have no illusions about the difficulty of achieving change in this area, but this is a battle worth fighting. Read more: https://theamerican.org/news/2023/5/9/football-an-open-letter-on-power-5-group-of-5-branding.aspx
  12. Know the foe: North Texas Mean Green What is now the University of North Texas began as Texas Normal College and Teacher Training Institute in 1890. The name changed to North Texas Normal College in 1894. From 1901 to 1923, the institution was known as North Texas State Normal College. The campus in Denton, TX, was called North Texas State Teachers College from 1923 to 1949. The name was shortened to North Texas State College in 1949. The transition to university status took place in 1961. The name was North Texas State University until 1988, when State was dropped. North Texas system The North Texas University system also has locations in Dallas, Fort Worth and Frisco. Frisco, coincidentally, is where James Madison won the Football Championship Subdivision title in 2017 with a 28-14 victory over Youngstown State when Pirates coach Mike Houston was directing the Dukes. There were 32,596 undergraduates in the fall of 2021 and 9,776 postgraduates. Location Denton is located about 40 miles northwest of Dallas. The driving distance from Greenville, NC, to Denton is 1,300 miles. Driving time is 18 hours, five minutes. Mascot, colors North Texas has had an eagle for a mascot since 1922. The mascot’s nickname is Scrappy. School colors are green and white. Nickname North Texas teams are nicknamed Mean Green. The nickname developed when the 1966 football team was second nationally in rush defense. Defensive tackle “Mean” Joe Greene, a four-time Super Bowl champion with the Pittsburgh Steelers, was a sophomore on the 1966 team. read more: https://bonesville.net/2023/02/03/the-new-american-part4-north-texas/
  13. A new era in American Athletic Conference football dawns on July 1 when the league experiences a major turnover in members. The decision last summer by three of the AAC’s major football programs — Cincinnati, Houston and Central Florida — to depart for membership in the Big 12 Conference had league officials searching for replacements that could continue its gridiron success. Those three programs have won seven of the 10 AAC football titles since the league was established in 2013. AAC officials moved quickly to fill those voids, announcing last June that Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, Rice, Alabama-Birmingham and Texas-San Antonio would come aboard for the 2023-24 academic year. The move brings the football-playing members of the conference to 14 and puts the AAC into some of the biggest media markets in the nation. And for football, it also adds some up-and-coming coaches, players and programs to the league’s strong group of holdovers: East Carolina, Memphis, Navy, Southern Methodist, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa and South Florida. read more: https://bonesville.net/2023/01/02/sammy-batten-conference-recruiting-article/
  14. 1. Increase revenues The MW is considered the second-best Group of 5 conference in the nation behind the American Athletic Conference, and generally, that's accurate even though the MW sees itself as the top non-power conference. The AAC has appeared in six New Year's Six bowls since the MW last did so and has had more success in the NCAA men's basketball tournament, including back-to-back Elite Eight berths by Houston, a 2021 Final Four team. The AAC has been better than the MW. But the AAC also is losing Cincinnati, Houston and UCF to the Big 12 in 2023, which means now is the time for the MW to overtake the AAC. The biggest difference between the two conferences is the annual budgets and size of the football stadiums, which is partially tied together (if you can fill those stadiums, the revenue explodes). Part of that advantage leaves the AAC when Cincinnati, Houston and UCF exit. But currently, the average AAC budget is about $10 million more than the average MW budget. That makes a difference. Growing the MW's revenue so its members are even with the new-look AAC — which will add Charlotte, FAU, North Texas, Rice, UAB and UTSA — is the top priority. The MW's annual financial distribution must increase. Read more: https://nevadasportsnet.com/news/reporters/seven-things-atop-gloria-nevarezs-to-do-list-as-she-becomes-mountain-west-commissioner
  15. TAMPA — As the USF football coaching search unfolds over the coming weeks, every Bulls candidate will confront the same question. How good is the USF job? The answer being pitched this week at the Lee Roy Selmon Athletics Center: better than it was 35 months ago when the Bulls hired Jeff Scott. “A lot of things that Jeff helped pave the way for will be a great benefit to whoever comes in here and takes the baton from here,” athletic director Michael Kelly said Tuesday. Related: Forget about sexy hires, USF is looking for a long-term relationship The foundation Scott laid will be a crucial selling point as USF hunts for his successor. Because for all of USF’s inherent advantages — starting with its location in one of the nation’s top recruiting areas — its history is full of unrealized potential. But USF has also never won a conference title or played for one. Since 2000, only four other Group of Five programs have played every year without at least appearing in a conference championship: Eastern Michigan, UNLV, New Mexico and Tulane (which might get there this year). read more: https://www.tampabay.com/sports/bulls/2022/11/09/usf-football-coaching-search-bulls-jeff-scott-michael-kelly/
  16. Coastal Carolina coach Jamey Chadwell: His offense is one of the most exciting in the country but won’t look as sharp this week against Southern Miss, as star quarterback Grayson McCall is out with a foot injury. If Chadwell doesn’t get a Power Five offer, USF could double his salary ($850,000 last year). Indiana coach Tom Allen: The former USF assistant (and Hillsborough County high school coach) takes a six-game losing streak into No. 2 Ohio State. USF would be an excellent landing spot for him, if he needs an exit strategy. Penn State co-offensive coordinator Ja’Juan Seider: The Belle Glade native and former Gators assistant coaches one of the nation’s top freshman running backs, Nicholas Singleton, and should be able to put up good numbers against a mediocre Maryland defense. Florida A&M coach Willie Simmons: He told the Tallahassee Democrat this week he hasn’t “heard any rumblings or gotten any contract” from USF, but he’d be an attractive candidate. His Rattlers have won seven in a row entering Saturday’s game at Alabama State. Read more: https://www.tampabay.com/sports/bulls/2022/11/10/usf-football-coaching-search-jamey-chadwell-tom-allen-willie-simmons/
  17. American Athletic Conference (AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco didn't shy away from voicing his concerns about the state of college football and its future during his annual media day press conference. It's not news that numerous issues have raised flags in the realm of college football and college athletics since the end of the 2021-22 seasons. In fact, Aresco listed a heavy handful, including but not limited to conference realignment; name, image and likeness (NIL) deals; the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) potentially breaking away from the NCAA; and college sports becoming too professionalized. He called it a new and challenging era in college sports, something unprecedented and unsettling, having been years in the making. Now, Aresco sees collegiate athletics at a pivotal point. Conference realignment in the FBS "It's been in the news. It's sent shockwaves through the college sports landscape, boiled the water of college sports and continues to do so. It affected the AAC last year and may again, we don't know. Three of our members – UCF, Cincinnati and Houston – will depart the conference in July 2023. We appreciate their important contributions to our conference's legacy over the last decade and we'll enjoy having them compete in the American this season." read more: https://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/college/university-of-cincinnati/2022/07/28/aac-commissioner-mike-aresco-speaks-numerous-issues-college-football-realignment-nil-fbs-ncaa/10173044002/
  18. The addition of the six new schools creates a full 14 school league and gives ECU something that it has never had before, an in-state rival. UNC Charlotte will be the second school in North Carolina to join the American since its inception in 2013 with ECU being the first. In the school’s history, UNCC has had documented rivalries with Davidson University, Appalachian State University and Cincinnati. Between 1995 to 2005, Charlotte upset Cincinnati’s men’s basketball teams ranked No. 3, No. 8, No. 18 and No. 20 in the country. In more recent years, the basketball rivalry carried into Davidson with the App State rivalry being created through football. “I’m excited for them to come in so that we can create that rivalry even more,” McNeill said. “It also gives us an opportunity to have a bus trip in conference instead of flying all the time so I am excited for that rival.” All schools joining the program except UTSA will be integrating into the American in 2022, joining one or two sport programs before every school becomes full members in 2023. The six former Conference USA schools will join the teams retained by the AAC. The conference’s founding members in the University of Memphis, Southern Methodist University, University of South Florida and Temple University will remain with the program as well as the programs that joined later including ECU, Tulane and Tulsa. Read more: http://www.piratemedia1.com/theeastcarolinian/sports/article_4fe715fc-f1f4-11ec-97ff-1f35d853d63f.html
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