5 Reasons Why Staying in the AAC is Wise for the Connecticut Huskies
UConn: 5 Reasons Why Staying in the AAC is Wise
Connecticut Huskies AD Warde Manuel has now made a public statement in which he will no longer look for greener pastures. That is right, UConn looks to call the AAC their new, (kind of) permanent home. This is despite the fact that he knows the league is nowhere near as strong or profitable as the old Big East. Like Manuel, however, I agree that staying in the AAC might be a solid move for the short-term.
Besides the obvious fact that UConn will be the heavy favorite to win the basketball league every year, there is other reasons why the non-move of staying is wise. Things like waiting for conference realignment to settle, not rushing to rash decisions and financial repercussions over a long period of time are all things that could make the Huskies' staying seem as clever as the Andrew Wiggins' hype is being overdone.
Rushing to anything is never smart. Especially scurrying along to make a decision that would impact a university's cash-flow over a long period of time. While staying in the AAC might feel like a blow to their prestige, UConn can rest at night knowing they won't have to worry about making a new transition -- like seriously. No one likes to move...
That's not to say they can't, won't or shouldn't down the road. It's just that they shouldn't be in the same kind of rush many of their college brethren found themselves in.
Still, because it is the ACC ran by Mike Aresco after all, there are five more "different" reasons opting in to the AAC makes UConn smarter than the average bear.
Me, Twitter @JosephNardone
Winning, A Lot
If Charlie Sheen has taught me anything about life it is that winning should be priority No. 1. Well, winning and hooking up with as many different women while being on as many different drugs as humanly possible. But really, just winning.
UConn is in a league where they should easily dominate for a long time, in nearly every sport. With winning brings money, attention and the rest of the spoils. Who cares that they have to play something called the Tulane Green Wave when both their men and women's basketball program cannot lose a game in in-conference play for the next decade.
Out of Conference Scheduling
With the level of in-conference play being comparable to Super Mario Brothers level 1-1, UConn can take huge risks in their out-of-conference opponents. In fact, they can schedule top-25 teams like they are going out of style. Since the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee favors things such as playing hard opponents, but not actually having to win those games, the Huskies can find themselves in a position where they can be a really high-seed while traveling around with eight or more non-conference losses.
New Logo, New Conference
The AAC isn't the old Big East. Nor is it the new Big East. It is the American Athletic Conference or what I like to call the Abomination of Athletics Conference -- but, "whatevs." The fact that UConn is going to travel around with their new, I guess less scary logo for the upcoming season makes being in the AAC logical. Less intimidating logo for a less challenging conference. I mean, you wouldn't want to scare away all of that "tough" AAC competition, would you?
Mike Aresco has been the butt of so many of my bad jokes that (if he knows who I am) he likely has a contract out for my life. He is, however, a person competent enough to eventually make the AAC a worthwhile league. Meaning, UConn -- if they choose to accept it -- can be the face of the AAC for the rest of the institution's life.
The downside, however, is that they would be the face of the AAC for the rest of the institution's life.
Because, You Know, Stuff
Okay, okay. So the AAC's prestige level is slightly lower than a mid-major and my "sources" tell me the next university they are going to bring is going to be the Club State Pool Cleaners. But hey man, it is still a league that is going to get national exposure because, UConn.
The Huskies don't need a league to be good for them to be good. They just need to continue to do what they do in all their programs. Ride Kevin Ollie's mustache until that bad boy falls off. Let Luigi "Geno" Auriemma continue to dominate the realm of women's hoops to the point of other programs folding. And most importantly, pretend that they don't, you know, actually play in the AAC.