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Old Big East’s new name? ‘American Athletic Conference’

Old Glory AP

Move over, Appalachian Athletic Conference; your acronym has some company.

With “America 12” roundly shot down, and with “the Big Metro American Conference” apparently too fast-foody for their tastes, the old Big East officially announced Wednesday evening that their new name moving forward will be the American Athletic Conference.  The new name was necessitated due to the departures of the Catholic Seven, the former Big East members who took their basketball programs as well as the conference name to form a hoops-centric league.

The new name will go into effect for the 2013 season.

“We worked with our institutions, sports marketing experts, media partners, and also solicited opinions and reactions from collegiate sports fans to create a compelling list of names,” said commissioner Mike Aresco in a statement.  “Versions that included the word ‘American’ led every list.  American Athletic Conference represents a strong, durable and aspirational name for our reinvented Conference.

“We engaged our fans through social media and focus groups in multiple cities, and we conducted extensive quantitative research. We also received terrific input from our partners at ESPN and CBS Sports. Our name is a nod to tradition, but at the same time makes clear our determination to be a Conference with national impact and appeal. The American Athletic Conference will represent core American values of optimism, energy, growth and innovation. We have a broad geographical footprint that represents unity as well as diversity.”

Beginning in 2014, the AAC will stretch from UConn (for now) in the Northeast to USF in the south to as far west as SMU and Houston.  Thanks to the recent additions of schools such as East Carolina, Tulsa and Tulane, the AAC will consist of 12 members (possibly) beginning in 2015 with the addition of Navy as a football-only member.

At that point, provided there are no other defections, the conference will conduct a football championship game.

“Our exciting new name is the result of a thorough process that has energized our Conference,” said Judy Genshaft, USF president and executive committee chair. “The American Athletic Conference brand will embody the values of competition and sportsmanship that our student-athletes have always exemplified.”

The conference made sure to note that it intends to emphasize “The American” as its brand as opposed to the acronym “AAC.”

In its release, the AAC noted that “[a] full set of [logos] for the American Athletic Conference will be presented in the coming weeks.”  So we have that to look forward to, which is nice.

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26 Responses to “Old Big East’s new name? ‘American Athletic Conference’”
  1. MasMacho says: Apr 3, 2013 7:02 PM

    I guess expansion to the UK is out of the question then.

  2. catfanatic1979v1 says: Apr 3, 2013 7:30 PM

    Uconn, Cincy and USF will all want to leave ASAP. Where will they find the replacements? CUSA again?

  3. timh1955 says: Apr 3, 2013 7:31 PM

    You can put lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig and no matter what the Big East is named is it’s still a worthless football conference.

  4. thefiesty1 says: Apr 3, 2013 8:23 PM

    Ho humm, it’s still the little east no matter what they call themselves.

  5. pastabelly says: Apr 3, 2013 8:30 PM

    The AAC is the closest UConn will get to the ACC.

  6. fatcamper says: Apr 3, 2013 8:34 PM

    It only takes a second of reading the comments section of an internet article to realize people still suck. A college sports conference has come up with a new name for their conference, and they get bashed online. Can somebody show me where the invitation for negativity was?

  7. canetic says: Apr 3, 2013 8:36 PM

    Name it whatever you want, but everyone is still going to call it the Big East.

  8. parkcityute says: Apr 3, 2013 8:45 PM

    I heard so many jokes on line and by friends about the “Big East” when it was named that. I am sure there will be jokes about the AAC as noted from some of the comments above. If they cannot get some excellence in athletics, especially football for the teams remaining, it will be difficult for this conference no matter what it named or renamed to succeed.

  9. bradygazelle says: Apr 3, 2013 9:23 PM

    This is so exciting! The American is going to be a fantastic and exciting conference. I can’t wait!

  10. philliesblow says: Apr 3, 2013 9:30 PM

    Unimpressed. Sounds like a nondescript mid-major conference.

  11. sdelmonte says: Apr 3, 2013 9:40 PM

    Why not go with the All American Football Conference. That hasn’t been used in decades?

  12. timh1955 says: Apr 3, 2013 9:57 PM

    Will it still be AQ conference? Surely not! It shouldn’t have been when it was the Big East.

  13. sssjim7 says: Apr 3, 2013 11:21 PM

    I like it… and actually it’s not a bad new conference. Nearly all the schools in there have pretty good growth potential. If it lasts a while, it could end up being a really nice conference.

    Just my 02.

  14. jaimeberg says: Apr 3, 2013 11:22 PM

    Um, Mr. Aresco, google is your friend. If you would have googled AAC sports you would have found out there is already a conference (Appalachian Athletic Conference) with the same abbreviation of your new “strong, durable and aspirational” name. In fact they already have a nice little website,, and even there own wikipedia page. Remember Mike, google is your friend.

  15. thecrazyasianinseccountry says: Apr 4, 2013 12:04 AM

    I like it, more representative of the teams involved, then say other conference; the Big Ten has how many members?

  16. Brian Basher says: Apr 4, 2013 5:27 AM

    I’m guessing the Conference of College Football Afterthoughts didn’t test well

  17. queenlivekillers says: Apr 4, 2013 6:35 AM

    Thank God! You’re on the clock, B1G 10, 11, 13 or whatever it is now.

  18. kansacity88 says: Apr 4, 2013 10:15 AM

    I guess the CEOs of McDonalds stepped in and put a stop to the Big Metro idea….unless they could get a piece of the (apple) pie! Sorry, I had to do it…it was just TOO easy! My bad!

  19. spydey629 says: Apr 4, 2013 11:10 AM

    Just seems appropriate that this conference is going to be abbreviated as the AAC… because when you look at the line-up of schools, all you can say is ACK!!!!

  20. mhalt99 says: Apr 4, 2013 1:23 PM

    spydey629 says:Just seems appropriate that this conference is going to be abbreviated as the AAC… because when you look at the line-up of schools, all you can say is ACK!!!!

    look at it this way…..every dollar that these schools spend on football………….is one less dollar they will spend on soccer!!!!!!!!!

  21. ancientcougar says: Apr 4, 2013 2:48 PM

    I guess that makes me an American Athletic Supporter(?)(lol)

    I think they should have named it the Big American Conference

  22. 11thstreetmafia says: Apr 4, 2013 5:15 PM


  23. parkcityute says: Apr 4, 2013 10:23 PM

    ancientcougar: Then you would be a Big American Supporter! Go USA!

  24. ancientcougar says: Apr 5, 2013 3:07 PM

    I am

  25. florida727 says: Apr 9, 2013 12:11 PM

    AAC is an okay acronym I suppose.

    I think “STFC” would have been better.

    Second Tier Football Conference.

    Besides, then it opens itself up to expansion into the UK to satisfy MasMacho’s concern.

  26. timh1955 says: Apr 9, 2013 2:03 PM

    I love it!! The STFC would be a great place for Boise State and the rest of the Mountain West Conference teams too!

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