During the American Athletic Conference’s Media Days this week, the news about the University of Connecticut leaving the conference was a hot topic of discussion, and one that commissioner Mike Aresco addressed on Tuesday.
Aresco said that for the time being, there are no plans to replace the UConn with a new school, meaning that once the Huskies depart for the Big East in 2020, the AAC will forge ahead with only 11 members, according to CBS Sports.
Since news of UConn’s planned exit broke, rumors regarding who might replace them have swirled — with programs such as Army, Buffalo and BYU being speculated on, among others. Aresco’s pronouncement that the AAC will stick at 11 ends speculation about replacements for now.
If the AAC stays at 11 members and wishes to keep a CCG, they will have to maintain unbalanced divisions at 6/5, go to a full round robin by way of a 10 game conference schedule, or get an indefinite waiver from the NCAA to keep the CCG. pic.twitter.com/oCyCJgUm2I— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) July 16, 2019
An 11-team conference lineup creates some unique challenges for the AAC, however. Yahoo Sports reports that such an arrangement would likely bring about the end of divisional play, making scheduling difficult. The conference would need an NCAA waiver in order to maintain its conference championship game without divisional play.
Aresco said the AAC has gotten input from the Big Ten, which operated as an 11-team football conference from 1993 to 2011.