Friday, April 5, 2013

AAC: You've got to crawl before you can walk

I would ditch the Owl logo for a Temple ']['

When I heard the old league Temple was going to participate in was getting a new name, I was disappointed.
Temple joined the Big East.
Villanova and the Catholic schools left the Big East.
For the schools with Temple to give up that name was/is a big mistake.
If Temple, Cincinnati, UConn and USF left to form a new league, I would be all for a new name.
Simple logic.
This map suggests schools could have kept Big East name.

So much for simple logic.
The new name is the American Athletic Conference. The powers-that-be decided you've got to crawl before you can walk.
That is, a position first on the ESPN crawl was worth more than a specific or even more spify name. Since ESPN places its scores based on alphabet, you'll see the AAC scores first, then the ACC and so-on and so-forth.
That's really the only good thing about the new name.
It's going to take awhile for this new brand to build. For however the Big East was slammed, it was a known brand.
Temple, Cincinnati, UConn and USF sold its Big East soul for 30 pieces of silver or, in this case, a reported $8 million to the first school and $22 million to the other three with the balance going to the newer schools.
Big-time athletics is all about the Benjamins these days.
Now about the new name.
My thought, also based on logic, was that the name of the new conference be called "Metro America" as an acknowledgement to the large markets almost all of the schools have locked up.
To me, that's part of the genius of this new conference. Since the conference is in large markets, it is bound to get good TV ratings. Temple football, even in the MAC, got great TV ratings. The Owls vs.  UCLA remains the second-highest-rated bowl game ever on ESPN in the coveted Philadelphia market (second only to Penn State's 2007 appearance in the Alamo Bowl).
People didn't tune in to watch UCLA.
There is a latent interest out there in Temple football. The challenge for CEO Matt Rhule and the people who  are charged with moving Temple football forward is getting those fannies off their couches and away from their potato chips and interested enough in the Owls to get on a car or a subway to a game.
Winning will do that.
Not regular winning, but championship-level winning.
Fortunately, with this group of schools, the road to a championship is wider than a six-lane highway.

Tomorrow: The Open Quarterback Competition