During the first two weeks of college football media days, conference commissioners offered statements regarding the need for the power five conferences -- ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC -- to have the power to pass new legislation without push back from smaller institutions.
At the American Athletic Conference football kickoff in Newport, RI, commissioner Mike Aresco refused to accept the idea that the AAC is second-rate in the college football landscape.
"I will admit I do not care for Power 5 designation," Aresco said. "We do not accept the notion that we're not a power conference or this 'have-not' tag that some people use. We have resources. We have enormous potential.
"Make no mistake, we'll remain an integral part of the FBS college football fabric. We'll always have naysayers. We have fewer now than before. It's our job now to prove them wrong as we did last year, as UCF did in the Fiesta Bowl, as we did in the basketball championships with UConn."
Aresco referenced the word "power" 16 times in his opening remarks. While the current autonomy proposal will allow those five conferences to pass legislation without push back, Aresco's comments suggest that the American could (or should) stand on that same level.
"We see the landscape as a five plus one and we're knocking on the door," he said. "Our goal is to be in the conversation as the sixth power conference. I believe by virtue of our performance that we already are."
A quick look at the media's preseason poll shows a top-heavy league in 2014, with Cincinnati, UCF, Houston and even league newcomer East Carolina a tier above the rest of the league. In order to back up the media day comments, those four will need to represent the league well in non-conference play and one -- likely the league champion -- should be in a selection committee bowl on Dec. 31 or Jan. 1.