AAC commissioner Mike Aresco says conference has 'no plans' to replace UConn

USATSI

UConn finished in last place in the AAC a season ago, but its leap to the Big East still leaves a hole in the way the league will operate its regular season moving forward. Because the AAC now has only 11 teams starting in 2020, it is left to re-imagine how to run the regular season and postseason with an odd number of teams. For now, that plan doesn't entail adding another conference member.

At AAC Media Days on Tuesday, commissioner Mike Aresco said that while having 11 conference members makes the league more challenging than an even dozen, there is right now no plans to replace UConn. Instead, plans are in place to move forward with 11 teams and the league has received feedback from the Big Ten Conference on how they once ran an 11-team league.

An 11-team league would likely signal the end of division play, too, another domino to fall in the wake of UConn's departure. Aresco said Tuesday that each school having two common opponents and six rotating opponents -- similar to what the Big Ten did when Penn State joined the league in the early 1990s -- is on the table.

UConn's return to the Big East via the American was approved last month by Big East presidents, paving the way for the former Big East power to return to its old stomping grounds. The Huskies will participate in basketball with the Big East and be without a conference in football, putting a question mark on the future of the football program.

The American has time to recalibrate its strategy before UConn parachutes out of the league for the 2020-2021 season, but it seems that strategy won't include adding another member ... for now.

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