The world of college football is an ever-changing landscape.
While conference realignment may least some to believe that the SEC and the Big Ten are the lone remaining power conferences, the College Football Playoff says otherwise.
In fact, the new 12-team CFP format recognizes the Big Ten, SEC, ACC, Pac-12 and Big 12 all as power conferences. That’s despite the latter two losing their most predominant programs and having not won a national championship since Texas in 2005.
Oh, did we mention that the Longhorns have since bolted for the Big 12?
Regardless, there’s a clear hierarchy in college football.
That doesn’t sit well with American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco.
The AAC is considered by many to be predominant non-Power 5 conference. Then AAC rep Cincinnati made the College Football Playoff in 2021 and UCF went undefeated in 2017, beating Auburn in the Peach Bowl to cap its season.
Those teams have since left for the Big 12.
But Aresco says that his conference will no longer bend the knee to the so-called Power 5.
An Open Letter on Power 5 – Group of 5 Branding
🔗 https://t.co/1RAzMyzXcs pic.twitter.com/HBflw1pL7T
— The American (@American_Conf) May 9, 2023
He sent out an open letter on Tuesday asking for the elimination of the Power 5 moniker.
“Back on March 9, I issued a statement calling for the elimination of the Power 5, or P5, label from the collegiate nomenclature and the public forum,” the letter red. “The use of P5 has created a divide in Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) football that is not healthy and that is often not supported by competitive results on the field and court. The recent realignment in college athletics has further eroded the P5 concept.
“Among the many issues and challenges currently facing college sports, the Power 5 (P5)-Group of Five (G5) divide and the immense harm it causes does not receive the attention afforded to health and safety, NIL, pay-to-play, the transfer portal, and other pressing issues. No one would argue that the latter list is not of the utmost importance and critical to the future of college athletics, but the P5 – G5 divide also deserves scrutiny. This letter will attempt to explain why this is so.”
The letter also points to the AAC’s attempt to join the Power 5, making it a “Power 6” if you will, in 2021. That attempt was shot down.
Now, he says, the AAC doesn’t want to join the club anyone.
“However, we will now adopt a generic power brand in lieu of Power 6, or P6, branding, as we no longer want to give credence to that grouping’s exclusionary nature, the letter reads. “This conference has been and remains powerful. Since that letter, which detailed years of the highest-level accomplishments, was written, the American has placed a team in the College Football Playoff, has won another New Year’s Day Bowl game (Tulane’s thrilling victory over USC on January 2, 2023), placed a team in the Final Four and Elite Eight, had a #1 seed in the 2023 NCAA Men’s Tournament and achieved considerable success in Olympic sports.”
Aresco and the AAC were roundly roasted for the letter.
— Basil (@BigBasil85) May 9, 2023
— Ryan Mainville (@RyanMainville) May 9, 2023
— Sir Barnsalot (@barnsalot) May 9, 2023
— Pablo Escobarner (blue check) (@PabloEscoburner) May 9, 2023
As Stewart Mandel of The Athletic points out, the Power 5 isn’t even an actual entity.
The hilarious thing about this is he’s the only one who’s ever created an official Power-anything designation.
“Power 5” is an organic nickname media started using after the formation of the CFP because those five leagues got contract bowls and the other five had to share one. https://t.co/HPtRjqZOp3
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) May 9, 2023
On one hand, you can’t blame him for trying. On the other, maybe just save yourself the embarrassment next time.