Monday Musings: A Sixth Power Conference?
American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco thinks the NCAA's Power Five designation is silly. (photo Stew Milne via USA TODAY Sports)
I happened to be listening to former Washington coach Rick Neuheisel on satellite radio the other day. He said the Huskies game with Auburn in the College Football Kickoff Classic is much more important to Washington than Auburn. The former coach reasons the Huskies are under more pressure to represent their conference after the Pac-12 went 1–8 in the bowl season.
But, even more importantly, if Washington should lose, they will be out of the college football playoff picture, according to Neuheisel, while an Auburn loss would not necessarily keep Auburn out if the Tigers were to post a good SEC record in 2018.
I can’t disagree with the last point, but as to conference wars this will be the second time this year that Auburn will be carrying the banner of the SEC in a nationally spotlighted game. After the much ballyhooed matchup between Auburn and Central Florida in the 2018 Peach Bowl, UCF bought its team national championship rings.
And the Knights and their conference are still crowing about parity with the SEC. Which leads me to my next point:
A 6th Power Conference?
American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco, while speaking at the AAC’s Media Days, made a point to state UCF was right to claim the national championship; after all he said, Alabama had done it multiple times. “This UCF team deserved a shot at the national championship,” said Aresco, “and could have won it.”
He went onto say UCF’s win over Auburn demonstrated parity of the AAC with the Power 5 conferences and suggested the Power 5 should be changed to the “Power 6.” “We’re never going to accept a silly nonPower-Five designation,” Aresco said. He called on the College Football Playoff Selection Committee to, “Take a closer look and to evaluate us differently.” Which brings me back to:
The Auburn – Washington matchup.
Gus Malzahn recognizes what the Tigers will be facing on September first. “You’re talking about a Top 10 opponent,” said Gus, “one of the best quarterbacks in college football, one of the best running backs [Myles Gaskin]. Coach [Chris] Petersen’s name speaks for itself. He’s one of the best coaches there is. It will be a challenge for us.”
Rick Neuheisel is good at being a college football analyst, and I like listening to his thoughts, but to suggest Auburn is not under as much pressure to carry the banner of the SEC against the team picked to win the Pac-12 is at the very least ludicrous and at best disingenuous.
Until next time…