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Monday Musings: A Sixth Power Conference?

By on July 30th, 2018 in Football, News 9 Comments »

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…

War Eagle!


  1. WarSamEagle WarSamEagle says:

    You can bet the pressure is on for Auburn. Finishing the season like Auburn did in the Mercedes Bens Stadium and then having to open 2018 back in the same place against another top opponent is pressure and it will be just as important and maybe more important to Auburn to start off with a win.

  2. Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

    So according to Aresco's reasoning Apallachian State and Georgia Southern should be included in the Power Five because App State beat Michigan a few years ago in the Big House and GSU beat Florida in the Swamp.

    Just because every now and then a little guy knocks off a giant doesn't mean their league is at the same level with the Power Five conferences.

  3. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..The pressure is definitely on Auburn. As Auburn’s head coach, Gus Malzahn is just 1-4 in bowl games, and the win was over Conference-USA Memphis. In non-conference, power-5 games, Malzahn is just 3-5, with wins coming over Washington State, Kansas State and Louisville. Losses were to Florida State, Wisconsin, Clemson twice, and Oklahoma.

  4. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ……Before Central Florida, the last time Auburn lost to a non-power-5/BCS team was way back in 1991, a 10-9 loss to Southern Mississippi.

  5. neonbets says:

    1. If Auburn scores first will Washington fans all reach for their devices and start griping about Peterson?
    2. If Auburn is up at the half, will Washington fans spend the entire halftime calling for Peterson’s removal?
    3. If Auburn is up after 3 quarters, will Washington fans already be discussing possible head-coach replacements (and maybe A.D. replacements while we’re at it)?
    4. If Washington ends up winning, will Huskie fans still be angry, because of the stress endured from the first 3 quarters?

    Nah…I don’t think the pressure is the same here.

  6. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Win or lose this game, Chris Peterson was an amazing hire, for them. There’s no one in the game that has the attention to detail Peterson does. I’m very intrigued with the potential chess match between Peterson and Kevin Steele.

  7. easyedwin easyedwin says:

    What do you mean, Acid? You picked Auburn to lose by 2 touchdowns!

    • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

      …..I used to watch those late-night Boise games, with Peterson’s offense. Unbalanced lines, quick-release routes, the defense often had no clue what to do. If Auburn’s defense can prepare for this stuff, Auburn has a fighting chance. The offense is going to have its work cut out for it, in this one. Washington is good, on defense.