AAC Needs To Step Up Its Game


Every night a certain political commentary program ends its night with a Tip of The Day. Forget the fact that the “tip” isn’t really a tip but a closing thought by the anchor, but, after getting a good look at the AAC composite schedule (above) a tip is in order:

The AAC, if it is going to be a serious conference, needs to step up its game. It is not going to happen this year and, because of the way schedules are made years in advance, it may not even happen next year. But it needs to happen.

The South Carolina States, Tennessee-Martins, Towsons and, yes, even Stony Brooks have to be removed from the schedules, the sooner the better. It’s not like the AAC is a Power 5 conference and the in-conference games are not sooooo tough that the league’s members need to bake cupcakes for the early portion of their schedules.

The AAC needs to do what it did last year—play the ACC seven times and beat them four times in the regular season. That’s the way a conference builds a strong reputation, not beating up on the Tennessee-Martins of the world. Yet that’s the team Cincinnati opens with on Sept. 3.

Other head-scratching games opening week include South Carolina State at UCF, Maine at UConn, West Carolina at East Carolina and South Florida hosting Towson. Those could have been scheduled against P5 teams and the AAC needs to schedule those games and win them. (Yet, UConn deserves a lot of credit for scheduling three ACC opponents.)

Temple could set an example in the process by dumping the Stony Brook game (9/9). It would take some work by Dr. Pat Kraft, but it would be worth it. Have Stony Brook play Howard that day, then offer to go on the road to Rutgers, which is scheduled to play Howard that day. Rutgers is just arrogant enough to think it could beat Temple and, from Temple’s perspective, the game offers P.J. Walker and Jahad Thomas—among others—a final chance to win there. It would also wipe out the bad taste of 2013 and give the Owls a chance for consecutive wins over Big 10 teams. It’s worth picking up a phone, making calls to Stony Brook, Howard and Rutgers and making this happen.

That’s the way a G5 conference builds a reputation, not by playing cupcakes but by seeking out the power schools and beating them. That’s how John Chaney built Temple into a national basketball power and lifted up the A10 in the process. Temple football can do the same for the G5.


12 thoughts on “AAC Needs To Step Up Its Game

  1. Like that the schedule gave the Owls a bye in November. It will give them an opportunity to lick their wounds and recharge their batteries unlike last season. As far as convincing Rutgers to switch games, it’ll come down to making sure Howard and SB get the amount of money their contracts require. Nevertheless, don’t think Rutgers wants this game because they’ll need all the wins they can muster to become bowl eligible. The fact is that the downside of a loss to TU far outweighs beating TU.

  2. Could (should) certainly be another 10 win season with this schedule with the possibility of 11. But how they do without the key guys from this season and with the new coaches will be the determining factors. It’ll be harder to break into the top 25 with such an easy early schedule unless, because of that, they start out in it (which I doubt). 9 wins should be minimum.

  3. This season hinges on the PSU game. Beat them in Happy Valley and this could be a special year (even more so than last year). Lose to them and 10 wins just seams ho hum, given that is the only tough game on the schedule. Memphis will take a giant step back next year. they don’t play Navy or Houston in regular season.

    • There is no doubt in my mind that the Owls can win in SC. With Praise, Sharif, Dogbe, Arob, Webb, Dioubate, Reddick, Martin, FBL, Jacob Martin, Bronson, etc., blowing up the point of attack, it could be a long afternoon for the PSU OL and QB–even longer than last year’s afternoon.

      • Not to diminish the difficulty of winning in State College but I really think we should play with confidence that we are the better team. PSU must overhaul their OL and find a new QB. They lost a fine defensive coordinator. We have more proven personnel coming back and that should be an even greater advantage in an early-season game.

  4. Its good to see that you are going with the idea that changing the SB is a good way to set an example of how scheduling should be done in the AAC if its goal is to be considered a power conference. The tired arguments over changing SB to someone else to make ourselves have a better SOS was a weak argument due to the fact that our conference is not respectable enough to earn a NY6 CFP spot to begin with.

  5. The UConn-Maine and USF-Towson games are the real head scratchers; I-AA games are bad enough but you sure as hell shouldn’t schedule a CAA team that has a chance to beat you.

    • except for the rarest of circumstances (a game that would help pad the gate, like Temple-Delaware, Temple-Villanova, East Carolina-West Carolina) I don’t think the AAC should schedule FCS games, not just FCS opponents that have a chance to win. If the conference is serious about bringing up its profile, it should avoid FCS games entirely. It’s OK for the SEC because even a 1-2 loss SEC champ is going to get invited. The AAC needs to do what it did last year, schedule seven games with the ACC and win four.

  6. If the AAC wants to be taken seriously and seen as THE G5 conference they need to crank up their OOC schedule and make a statement they’ll play anybody anywhere. This was the approach Temple took in the Arians years and one they and the league should now adopt. When you only play one P5 game a season it can easily define your entire season. Had temple only played and beaten PSU last year it would have been a great win but over a team that had a marginal season. The ND game is what really gave us credibility. If the Owls lose to PSU this year you can forget about any national ranking.

    • agree.., Top 25 will not be in the cards until after the AAC Championship game if we don’t beat PSU..,

      the 2016 Temple vs PSU game will be intriguing…., PSU has quite a few HS 300s on the roster.., but who will have the advantage?

      we beat them last year, but Temple does not play as well on the road.., Temple will be 2-0 going into the game, and PSU could be 1-1…..,

      which team will be the most improved team over last year? Temple has a four year starter at QB, PSU does not…,

      PSU has depth at every position, but Temple should be relatively healthy that early in the season….,

      arguable MR has proved to be a better game day coach than Franklin…,

      would be nice to have Pitt take PSU into triple overtime this year

      • I really don’t care if Pitt beats Penn State or Penn State beats Pitt; as long as Temple beats PSU. Actually, if Temple beats PSU and PSU beats Pitt, it’s probably better for Temple. Both Pitt and PSU lost their games handily to AAC foes last year, so that’s a good trend to continue.

  7. Temple should be playing Pitt on a regular basis, similar to PSU. In-state, ACC team, somewhat close in talent and gives the extra P5/non-1AA game you’re talking about. It could become a great rivalry actually.

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