With the recent announcement of the AAC's schedule for next year, and presumably going forward on the basketball side. That leaves one big question to be ironed out for the AAC at large. That question is how will the football side of the conference structure itself? A rumor that the conference will go with an East / West alignment with the schools sorted as follows.
East: UConn, Temple, East Carolina, Central Florida, South Florida and Cincinnati
West: Memphis, Tulsa, Tulane, SMU, Houston and Navy
On the face of it going with a geographical alignment makes a ton of sense. There is even a convenient readily agreeable border. Going geographic is certainly preferable to the alternative of randomly sorting teams into divisions with nebulous titles. The problem with it is that seven of the 12 teams in the conference are on the eastern side of the border. If the division was purely geographic the Bearcats would be in the west, which would be murder for travel, and most importantly recruiting.
If this is indeed how the divisions shake out the easiest way to think of it is that UC and Navy essentially swapped divisions, each for their own best interests. Navy has recruited the state of Texas heavily in recent years. I count 13 Texan's on Navy's roster, meanwhile the Bearcats have not signed a player from Texas in at least a decade, possibly longer. For the Bearcats being in a division where you are guaranteed at least one game in Florida per year is unquestionably a selling point in recruiting.
The main drawback to this alignment is that the AAC will wind up with wildly varying strengths for the divisions, at least to start. Three of the four most consistent programs* in the league (over the last 5 years) will reside in the east. But those things change with time. After all there was once a time when the strongest division in the SEC was, without question, the East. Thats almost unthinkable now.
*UC, East Carolina, Central Florida and Houston being those four
So, what's your opinion of the AAC's rumored new divisional alignment?