AAC came out winners this season

Just wondering about some things, such as:

Remember when the talk about the future of the American Athletic Conference was all doom and gloom, with the chatter of the Big 12 taking as many as four teams from Commissioner Mike Aresco's target friendly conference?

Well, look at the landscape now: The Big 12 didn't make a move and the AAC remained untouched.

In addition, the conference produced the best (record-wise) top tier of teams in college football: with Temple and USF winning 10 games and Navy, Tulsa and Houston winning 9 games.

And while the bowl line up for the AAC might not be filled with New Year's Day dates reserved for the upper tier, you want to argue with sending AAC teams this bowl season to places like Miami Beach, Boca Raton, Las Vegas, Annapolis and Birmingham. all places where teams and fans can have a good time.

In addition, the AAC produced two hot young coaches in Matt Ruhle at Temple and Willie Taggart, who moved to Power 5 jobs at Baylor and Oregon. And, Houston's Tom Herman made the expected move by going to Texas.

The only negative about Houston is that the Cougars might have over extended themselves in the campaign to get into the Big 12. Without the influx of Big 12 money coming in, the overall financial picture for Houston athletics could be less than promising, which could be a reason why there is less than a parade of established head coaches looking to replace Herman.

But overall, it was a very good season for the AAC.

Conversely, wonder how the Big 12 people feel about the "no expansion'' vote after seeing conference champion get shut out of the Final Four?


Hard to believe department: Larry Bird turned 60 and Johnny Bench turned 69 this week. That can't be right, can it?....Heisman Trophy Award on Saturday should produce Louisville QB Lamar Jackson as the winner, but it will be interesting to see how much ground Clemson QB DeShaun Watson makes up.


One of the things that ESPN does best is its 30 for 30 series, which on Saturday will present Catholics vs. Convicts, on the Miami vs. Notre Dame rivalry game in 1988...It's still only early December and a Jersey Guy's focus on college basketball won't start for another few weeks, but people in the know say that if you want a "sleeper', keep an eye on Creighton. The Bluejays have a red shirt freshman Justin Patton, who is a rising star. Patton, a 7-0 foot center, is making almost 80 percent of his shots, while averaging 12 points and 6 rebounds per game. People in the Big East thought Creighton would be good, but the Bluejays have been better than expected.


In looking at the college basketball polls this week, the balance of power looks fairly equal with the Big 12 (Kansas Baylor), Big East (Villanova and Creighton) and ACC (Duke and North Carolina) each having two teams in the Top 10.....In watching the college football carousel move slowly to conclusion, one wonders what happened to former LSU coach Les Miles and why Western Michigan's PJ Fleck (this year's hottest mid-major coach) is still at Western Michigan...The other burning question is where will Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin be working next season. The longest shot on the board is Alabama...Speaking of Alabama, there are more than a few scouting reports out there which say EVERY Alabama defensive starter will be a third round or higher NFL draft choice....


Is there any coincidence that Pepper Hamilton, the law firm Baylor hired to investigate the sexual assault incidents in the athletic department is from Philadelphia, where Temple University, which provided Baylor with its new football coach Matt Ruhle, is also located. Just wondering.


Still waiting for the NCAA to announce something about its investigation into academic fraud issues at North Carolina AND when that happens if the Tar Heels will receive any substantial penalties.....


If college football really had the four best team Final Four it would have semifinal games between USC and Clemson and Alabama and Michigan....If there is a college football program that is in trouble it is UConn. The Huskies are coming off a dismal 3-9 season, were shut out from moving to a Power 5 conference and must make a decision whether to remain as full-time members of the AAC or make an attempt to rejoin the Big East in most other sports and find a place for football. None of the solutions are ideal and the revenue total will continue to shrink over the next few years.

UConn has a home game with Boston College next season and is exploring the possibility of playing the game in New York City at Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park in Boston....How amazing is the UConn women's basketball team, which now has an 83 game winning streak after going into South Bend and knocking off No. 2 Notre Dame 72-61....Harvard's Tommy Amaker is the now the all time leader in wins in Harvard men's basketball after the Crimson's win over Boston College on Wednesday night. Why can't BC get coaches like Amaker?...If I were LSU running back Leonard Fournette, dealing with a series of injuries and projected Top 10 NFL draft pick, there is no way I would play in LSU's bowl game against Louisville.