Projecting the future AAC divisions

Before the American Athletic Conference spring meetings adjourn Friday in Key Biscayne, coaches and administrators are expected to vote on a divisional alignment as a prelude to a potential conference championship football game.

With the addition of Navy in 2015, the AAC reaches the 12-team minimum mandated by the NCAA for a conference title contest. The general assumption is, the league will be split into east and west divisions, but we all know what they say about assuming.

Would a north-south split be feasible? How 'bout a non-geographic alignment? Weren't the Bucs in the NFC Central for years?

Safe money is on east and west divisions, but we'll stretch our speculation. Here are some conceivable -- and far-fetched -- AAC alignments:

East                    West
UConn            Cincinnati
East Carolina   Houston
Memphis         Navy
Temple           SMU
UCF                Tulane
USF                Tulsa
Assessment: Probably the most sensible scenario and, based on the current power structure, the most balanced. If divisions were intact for 2014, I'd take East Carolina and Cincy in the inaugural football title game.

North                South
Cincinnati       East Carolina
UConn           Houston
Navy              SMU
Memphis        UCF           
Temple          USF
Tulsa             Tulane
Assessment: One thing seems certain -- the North would have the market cornered on men's hoops dominance. For those wishing to preserve old geographic football rivalries or promote new ones, this makes sense.

Stars                Stripes
Cincinnati      UConn
UCF              USF
Houston        Navy
SMU              East Carolina
Tulane           Memphis
Tulsa             Temple
Assessment: A scenario contrived for the sole purpose of someday having a USF-UCF football championship game.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 29, 2014 3:27pm]

    

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