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AAC announces divisional alignments

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As expected, the American Athletic Conference has announced its divisional alignments for 2015 and beyond.  And, just as expected, it’ll prompt those who value geographical sensibility to throw up a little bit in their collective mouths.

As was hinted at earlier this month, commissioner Mike Aresco revealed Friday the makeup of the AAC’s two divisions for the 2015 season and coinciding with the arrival of Navy, the last of a handful of new additions to replace the departed Louisville and Rutgers. The conference opted to go with East-West divisional split, which, given the far-flung nature of the current and future membership, lends itself to some head-scratching.

The biggest example of that will be Navy, with the Annapolis, Maryland, service academy being dropped into the West division.  On the other side, albeit not as geographically egregious, is the placement of Cincinnati in the East division.  Somewhere, the Big Ten with its 14 teams and the Big 12 with its 10 teams are chuckling mildly.

Regardless, here is the complete look at how the East-West divisions will be filled:

East Division
East Carolina

West Division

“This is an exciting step in the continued development of our conference,” said Aresco in a statement. “With our performance on the field and the exposure we received from our media partners, I couldn’t be more satisfied with our first year of American Athletic Conference football. Creating this divisional format will allow us to build upon that success. Our fans will enjoy our divisional play and the championship game that will be established in 2015.

“The East-West format we have adopted gives each division a distinct identity, provides long-term competitive balance and protects traditional rivalries while allowing each school to travel across the conference’s geographical footprint on a regular basis.”

In addition to the divisional alignment, the AAC also announced the tiebreak procedure for the 2014 season — a conference championship game will be held in 2015 as the league moves to 12 teams.  Below is that procedure:

For the 2014 season, the American Athletic Conference Football Champion will be the team that finishes the regular season with the highest winning percentage in conference games. If more than one team has the same winning percentage, the tied teams are declared co-champions. To determine the College Football Playoff/Host Bowl representative, the co-champion ranked highest by the College Football Playoff Committee will be eligible to receive the automatic bid shared with Conference USA, the Mid-American, Mountain West, and Sun Belt conferences.

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31 Responses to “AAC announces divisional alignments”
  1. santeechief says: May 30, 2014 11:41 AM

    You’re article says Memphis is in the East, but the list you show has Memphis in the West. Which is correct?

  2. John Taylor says: May 30, 2014 11:44 AM

    The list was correct: Memphis in the West. Thanks for the heads up. Appreciate it.

  3. coachbeck says: May 30, 2014 12:23 PM

    Its a crime that Cincy is stuck In this conference.

    Especially when Rutgers is in the big ten. And Cincy is 10x the athletics program Rutgers is top to bottom.

  4. planecrashguy says: May 30, 2014 12:45 PM

    UC can’t fill an on-campus, 35K seat stadium. Cincinnati is a pro sports and college basketball town, college football here is an afterthought. Even TV college football numbers for national games are low here. That’s why the ACC and B12 passed UC over despite recent success on the field.

  5. manik56 says: May 30, 2014 1:03 PM

    Go Pirates!

    Can we rename the East division the “Skip Holtz” division. I has coached half the teams in it.

  6. manik56 says: May 30, 2014 1:03 PM

    That would be “He.” Not “I.”

  7. terrier92 says: May 30, 2014 1:04 PM

    I knew nothing about University of Cincinnati till my son went there. What a great school and beautiful campus. They now have a Bearcat fan here in Boston lol

  8. lastdukestreetking says: May 30, 2014 1:53 PM

    Regarding Cincy vs Rutgers – it has nothing to do with the relative strenghts of the athletic programs. The Can’t Count Conference already has the Ohio market. Rutgers was invited to expand geographically and get new markets.

  9. planecrashguy says: May 30, 2014 2:14 PM

    Markets were important, but UC wasn’t a fit academically for the B10. Besides, OSU would blacklist any other Ohio school even if that school had the academic chops to get into the B10.

  10. cubano76 says: May 30, 2014 2:16 PM

    What a HORRIBLE conference. Geeze.

  11. musketmaniac says: May 30, 2014 2:20 PM

    I would split Florida, or put both Florida teams in the west. Navy is Annapolis isn’t it. Memphis could be in the east too.

  12. musketmaniac says: May 30, 2014 2:23 PM

    with UConn more likely to move up before the others. Navy would be the 2cd most eastern school.

  13. planecrashguy says: May 30, 2014 2:46 PM

    The ACC missed the boat (no pun intended) in not inviting USNA to join when the league expanded. Navy would have replaced Maryland in the DC/Baltimore area, and has a academic standing closer to that of the ACC than Pitt or Louisville. Navy also travels very well. Don’t know if the DoD would have let them join, but a great school with great kids.

  14. bfree2k says: May 30, 2014 2:51 PM

    coachbeck says:

    Its a crime that Cincy is stuck In this conference.

    Especially when Rutgers is in the big ten. And Cincy is 10x the athletics program Rutgers is top to bottom.

    This has more to do about the business of sports than sports. Rutgers gives (they think) the BIG access to the #1 US media market; Cincy is the #34 US media market. Theoretically, there’s more people able to watch “NJ State” than Cincinnati. Speaking of Cincy, they are alot further west geographically than Navy which is along the I-95 corridor; why is Cincy in the East division and Navy in the West? SMH

  15. ajarkoski says: May 30, 2014 2:52 PM

    Expansion is probably not over and Conn and Cinc are likely targets, so the AAC will have time to tinker with the divisions. I see UCONN going to the B1G with an ACC team (tey like to split up their poaching) and then the ACC will need a replacement. That will put B1G at 14 teams and then the ACC still needs 2 more, unless they get poached. Oh, the drama!

  16. mcg1848 says: May 30, 2014 2:53 PM

    You could argue with Cincy and Navy being flip-flopped but I understand the logic behind Navy wanting to be out west. Other than that, it is about as good as one could have expected.

    Looking forward to UCF playing USF in November every year. I always enjoyed playing East Carolina as well so I am glad they made the jump (if you want to call it that!)

  17. ajarkoski says: May 30, 2014 2:54 PM

    Oh, the B1G will be at 16 teams and the ACC will beed 2 more to make that magical 16.

  18. thefiesty1 says: May 30, 2014 4:15 PM

    Ho Humm, not much different than the Little East. And a championship game between the East-West that will be duller than dirt.

  19. slick1ru2 says: May 30, 2014 4:22 PM

    I wish they went non-geographical as they first stated and used Red and Blue divisions. Oh and screw the haters. Must be Baylor of aTm fans mad about the BCS and NFL draft.

  20. slick1ru2 says: May 30, 2014 4:24 PM

    thefeisty1 has butt hurt. Must have bet on Baylor.

  21. musketmaniac says: May 30, 2014 5:28 PM

    they should also hurry to get to 16. Marshall, UAB what’s left of the Original, no Old Conference U.S.A.

  22. musketmaniac says: May 31, 2014 1:02 PM

    not much different than the little east. Yea I guess a bcs victory and the national title in basketball.

  23. ancientcougar says: May 31, 2014 3:54 PM

    Watch out for the Cougar……The 3rd or 4th TV market with a very good team to make the jump. They did very well in the old Southwest(New Big 12) Conference. Texas didn’t like them and as result got blackballed when the two Conferences merged.

  24. slick1ru2 says: May 31, 2014 4:00 PM

    Yeah, Houston’s football team did so good by breaking NCAA rules they killed the program. There is an ESPN 30 for 30 on it, available on Netflix.

  25. slick1ru2 says: May 31, 2014 4:08 PM

    Sorry, wrong team from Texas, smu, not Houston.

  26. ancientcougar says: May 31, 2014 6:42 PM

    Jenkins fractured his career and almost did UH in, but they didn’t get the “Death Sentence” like SMU did. I’m glad you put smu in lower case; shows respect. I still say Houston, because they always seem to rise up to the top even after setbacks.

  27. klownboy says: Jun 4, 2014 10:55 AM

    Here are my two division names for the AAC:

    “Who Gives a Damn”

    “So What”

  28. slick1ru2 says: Jun 4, 2014 3:18 PM


    Here’s what I think of your name on CFT.


    “Assklownboy must have been taken”

  29. klownboy says: Jun 4, 2014 4:39 PM

    Awww, did I hurt the mighty AAC fan’s feelings???

  30. slick1ru2 says: Jun 4, 2014 5:06 PM

    Awww, did someone bet on UF for the NCAAM championship? Or was it Kentucky?

  31. klownboy says: Jun 5, 2014 9:46 AM

    Dude, screw the SEC. Didn’t have a dog in the fight…

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