American Athletic Conference

The American Athletic Conference (The American or AAC) is an American collegiate athletic conference, featuring 11 member universities and six associate member universities that compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA) Division I, with its football teams competing in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). Member universities represent a range of private and public universities of various enrollment sizes located primarily in urban metropolitan areas in the Northeastern, Midwestern, and Southern regions of the United States.[1][2]

American Athletic Conference
The American
American Athletic Conference logo
EstablishedJuly 1, 2013; 7 years ago (2013-07-01)[note 1]
DivisionDivision I
Members11 (main) + 6 (associate)
Sports fielded
  • 22
    • men's: 10
    • women's: 12
Former namesBig East (1979–2013)[note 2]
HeadquartersIrving, Texas
CommissionerMichael Aresco (since 2012)
American Athletic Conference locations

The American's legal predecessor, the original Big East Conference, was considered one of the six collegiate power conferences of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) era in college football, and The American inherited that status in the BCS's final season.[3] With the advent of the College Football Playoff in 2014, The American became a "Group of Five" conference, which shares one automatic spot in the New Year's Six bowl games.[note 3][4]

The league is the product of substantial turmoil in the old Big East during the 2010–14 conference realignment period. It is one of two conferences to emerge from the all-sports Big East in 2013. While the other successor, which does not sponsor football, purchased the Big East Conference name, The American inherited the old Big East's structure and is that conference's legal successor. However, both conferences claim 1979 as their founding date, and the same history up to 2013.[5][6] The American is headquartered in Irving, Texas, and led by Commissioner Michael Aresco.[2][7]


The Big EastEdit

The Big East Conference was founded in 1979 as a basketball conference and included the colleges of Providence, St. John's, Georgetown, and Syracuse, which in turn invited Connecticut (UConn), Holy Cross, Rutgers, and Boston College to be members.[8][9] UConn and Boston College would accept the invitation, while Holy Cross soon thereafter declined the invitation, and Rutgers eventually declined and remained in the Atlantic 10 Conference (then known as the Eastern 8 Conference). Seton Hall was then invited as a replacement and the conference started play with seven members.[9]

Villanova and Pittsburgh joined shortly thereafter under the leadership of the first Big East commissioner, Dave Gavitt.[10][11][12]

The conference remained largely unchanged until 1991, when it began to sponsor football, adding Miami as a full member, and Rutgers, Temple, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia as football-only members.[13] Rutgers and West Virginia were offered full all-sports membership in 1995, while Virginia Tech waited until 2000 for the same offer. Temple football was kicked out after the 2004 season, but rejoined in 2012 and intended to become a full member in 2013.

The unusual structure of the Big East, with the "football" and "non-football" schools, led to instability in the conference.[14] The waves of defection and replacement brought about by the conference realignments of 2005 and the early 2010s revealed tension between the football-sponsoring and non-football schools that eventually led to the split of the conference in 2013.[15]

Realignment and reorganizationEdit

  – All-sports member
  – Full, non-football member
  – Associate member (football)
  – Associate member (women's lacrosse)
  – Associate member (women's rowing)
  – Associate member (women's lacrosse & rowing)

The conference was reorganized following the tumultuous period of realignment that hobbled the Big East between 2010 and 2013. The Big East was one of the most severely impacted conferences during the most recent conference realignment period. In all, 14 member schools announced their departure for other conferences, and 15 other schools announced plans to join the conference (eight as all-sports members, and four for football only). Three of the latter group later backed out of their plans to join (one for all sports, and the other two for football only).

On December 15, 2012, the Big East's seven remaining non-FBS schools, all Catholic institutions consisting of DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall, and Villanova announced that they voted unanimously to leave the Big East Conference effective June 30, 2015.[16][17] The "Catholic 7", by leaving, were looking for a more lucrative television deal than the one they would receive by remaining with the football schools.[18] In March 2013, representatives of the Catholic 7 announced they would leave the conference effective June 30, 2013, retaining the Big East name, $10 million, and the right to hold the conference's basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden.[3][19]

Following the announcement of the departure of the Catholic 7 universities, the remaining ten football-playing members started the process of selecting a new name for the conference and choosing a new site to hold its basketball tournament.[20][21] Various names were considered, with the "America 12" conference reportedly one of the finalists until rejected by college presidents sensitive of adding a number to the end of the conference name.[22] On April 3, 2013, the conference announced that it had chosen a new name: American Athletic Conference.[1] The conference also revealed that it prefers the nickname "The American" because it was thought "AAC" would cause too much confusion with the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).[23]

To restate and clarify a somewhat confusing series of events: on July 1, the original Big East changed its name to the American Athletic Conference, while the "Catholic 7" split off and joined Butler, Creighton, and Xavier to form a "new" Big East. While The American is reckoned as the original conference and the "new" Big East is considered a spinoff, the "new" Big East retained the rights to the original Big East logo, trademarks, and men's basketball tournament.

Louisville and Rutgers spent one season in the newly renamed conference. On July 1, 2014, Louisville joined the ACC[24] and Rutgers joined the Big Ten Conference.[25] On that same day, East Carolina, Tulane, and Tulsa joined The American for all sports, while Sacramento State and San Diego State joined as associate members for women's rowing.[26][27] Navy joined as an associate member in football on July 1, 2015.[26]

Addition of Wichita StateEdit

For the next several years, The American did not discuss the addition of any new members. However, in March 2017, media reports indicated that the conference was seriously considering adding one or more new members specifically as basketball upgrades. Wichita State, Dayton, and VCU were reportedly considered, with Wichita State being seen as the strongest candidate.[28] By the end of that month, it was reported that talks between the American and Wichita State had advanced to the point that the two sides were discussing a timeline for membership, with the possibility of the Shockers joining as a full but non-football member as early as the 2017–18 school year. The report indicated that a final decision would be made in April.[29][30][31] The conference's board of directors voted unanimously on April 7 to add Wichita State effective in July 2017, making the Shockers the league's first full non-football member since the Big East split.[32]

Departure of ConnecticutEdit

On June 21, 2019, a Boston-area sports news website, Digital Sports Desk, revealed that UConn was expected to announce by the end of the month that it would leave the American for the Big East Conference in 2020.[33] The story was picked up by multiple national media outlets the next day. The main issue that reportedly had to be resolved prior to any official announcement was the future of UConn football, as the Big East does not sponsor that sport, and sources indicated that the American had no interest in retaining UConn as a football-only member. Reportedly, American Conference insiders were not surprised by UConn's prospective move, as that school had been vigorously opposed to that league's most recently announced television deal.[34][35]

National media believed that should UConn leave the American, the conference's likeliest response would be to bring in two new schools—one for football only and a second in non-football sports, similar to the American's sequential additions of Navy and Wichita State. The most likely prospects for football-only membership were seen as Army (currently an FBS independent, with most of its other sports in the Patriot League), and Air Force (currently an all-sports member of the Mountain West Conference). Any of several schools could potentially fill the non-football slot, with Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports considering VCU to be "the most logical target there." Thamel dismissed the prospect of the American adding a new all-sports member, saying "there's no obvious candidate who could add value in both basketball and football."[34][35]

On June 24, 2019, it was reported that the Big East had formally approved an invitation for UConn to join the conference.[36] On June 26, 2019, the UConn Board of Trustees accepted the invitation and they are expected to join the league for the 2020-2021 season.[37] On July 26, media reports indicated that UConn and The American had reached a buyout agreement that confirmed UConn's Big East arrival date as July 1, 2020, paying the American a $17 million exit fee.[38]

It was widely reported that UConn was "rejoining" the Big East, given that the Huskies would be reunited with many of the schools against which it played for three decades in the original Big East. Indeed, UConn was the last charter member of the old Big East still playing in The American.

Added StabilityEdit

The American took a number of steps to stabilize the conference after the departure of UConn. The first move was the addition of Old Dominion University as an associate member in women's lacrosse for the 2020–21 season. Old Dominion was previously added to the American for women's rowing beginning in the 2018–19 season.[39]

The American moved their headquarters from Providence, Rhode Island to Irving, Texas. This was a planned move, to better centralize the conference offices with the member schools. Irving is in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, which is also home to the headquarters of Big 12 Conference, College Football Playoff, and the National Football Foundation.[40] The conference also moved the men's basketball tournament to the region, to be played at the new Dickies Arena until 2022.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, some member schools have eliminated sports due to budget constraints. The University of Cincinnati eliminated its men's soccer program[41] while East Carolina University cancelled men and women's swimming and diving teams and tennis teams.[42]


Name Term
Michael Aresco 2013–present[7]

Membership timelineEdit

Vanderbilt CommodoresOld Dominion Monarchs and Lady MonarchsFlorida GatorsWichita State ShockersMissouri Valley ConferenceSan Diego State AztecsSacramento State HornetsNavy MidshipmenTulsa Golden HurricaneConference USATulane Green WaveConference USAEast Carolina PiratesConference USAVillanova WildcatsUCF KnightsTemple OwlsSouth Florida BullsSMU MustangsBig Ten ConferenceRutgers Scarlet KnightsMemphis TigersAtlantic Coast ConferenceLouisville CardinalsHouston CougarsBig East ConferenceConnecticut HuskiesCincinnati Bearcats

Full members Full members (non-football) Assoc. members (football only) Assoc. member (Other sports) Other Conference

Member universitiesEdit

The conference currently has 11 full member institutions – and six associate members – in 12 states, including California, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. The newest full member, Wichita State is the only one that does not sponsor football.

Current membersEdit

Institution Location Founded Joined Type Enrollment Nickname Colors
University of Central Florida Orlando, Florida 1963 2013 Public 68,571[43] Knights          
University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, Ohio 1819 2013 Public 45,949[44] Bearcats          
East Carolina University Greenville, North Carolina 1907 2014 Public 28,718[45] Pirates          
University of Houston Houston, Texas 1927 2013 Public 46,324[46] Cougars          
University of Memphis Memphis, Tennessee 1912 2013 Public 21,458[47] Tigers          
University of South Florida Tampa, Florida 1956 2013 Public 43,838[48] Bulls          
Southern Methodist University Dallas, Texas 1911 2013 Private 11,649[49] Mustangs          
Temple University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1884 2013 Public 39,755[50] Owls          
Tulane University New Orleans, Louisiana 1834 2014 Private 11,722[51] Green Wave          
University of Tulsa Tulsa, Oklahoma 1894 2014 Private 3,343[52] Golden Hurricane               
Wichita State University[note 4] Wichita, Kansas 1895 2017 Public 15,778[53] Shockers          

Associate membersEdit

Institution Location Founded Joined Enrollment Nickname Colors Sport Primary
University of Florida Gainesville, Florida 1853 2018 51,474 Gators           Women's lacrosse SEC
Vanderbilt University Nashville, Tennessee 1873 2018 12,686 Commodores          
United States Naval Academy Annapolis, Maryland 1845 2015 4,400 Midshipmen           Football Patriot League
Old Dominion University Norfolk, Virginia 1930 2018 (rowing)
2020 (lacrosse)
24,375 Monarchs                Women's rowing & women's lacrosse C-USA
California State University, Sacramento Sacramento, California 1947 2015 28,811 Hornets           Women's rowing Big Sky
San Diego State University San Diego, California 1897 2015 29,392 Aztecs           Mountain West

Former full membersEdit

Three full members have departed from the conference.

Institution Location Founded Joined Left Nickname Colors Current
Rutgers University New Brunswick, New Jersey 1766 1991[note 5] 2014 Scarlet Knights      Big Ten
University of Louisville Louisville, Kentucky 1798 2005 Cardinals           ACC
University of Connecticut Storrs, Connecticut 1881 1979 2020 Huskies           Big East

Former associate membersEdit

One associate member has left the conference.

Institution Location Founded Joined Left Nickname Colors Sport Primary
Conference in
Former AAC Sport
Villanova University Villanova, Pennsylvania 1842 2013 2015 Wildcats           Women's rowing Big East CAA


The American currently sponsors championship competition in 10 men's and 12 women's NCAA sanctioned sports. Old Dominion, Sacramento State and San Diego State are associate members for women's rowing.[54] The newest conference sport of women's lacrosse, added for the 2018–19 school year, has six participating schools. As of the next college lacrosse season in 2021, three full American members participate along with associate members Florida, Old Dominion, and Vanderbilt. Florida and Vanderbilt are American members only in that sport, while Old Dominion added women's lacrosse to its previously existing women's rowing membership in 2020.[55][56]

Under NCAA rules reflecting the large number of male scholarship participants in football and attempting to address gender equity concerns (see also Title IX), each member institution is required to provide more women's varsity sports than men's.[note 6]

Sport Men's Women's
Cross Country
Swimming & Diving
Track and Field (Indoor)
Track and Field (Outdoor)

Men's sponsored sports by schoolEdit

School Baseball Basketball Cross
Football Golf Soccer Swimming
& Diving
Tennis Track & Field
Track & Field
Cincinnati  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  N  Y  N  Y  Y 8
East Carolina  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  N  N  N  Y  Y 7
Houston  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  N  N  N  Y  Y 7
Memphis  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  N  Y  Y  Y 9
South Florida  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  N  Y  Y  Y 9
SMU  N  Y  N  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  N  N 6
Temple  N  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  N  Y  N  N 6
Tulane  Y  Y  Y  Y  N  N  N  Y  N  Y 6
Tulsa  N  Y  Y  Y  N  Y  N  Y  Y  Y 7
UCF  Y  Y  N  Y  Y  Y  N  Y  N  N 6
Wichita State  Y  Y  Y  N  Y  N  N  Y  Y  Y 7
Associate Member
Navy[note 7]  N  N  N  Y  N  N  N  N  N  N 1
Totals 8 11 9 11 10 6 2 8 8 8 82

Men's varsity sports not sponsored by The American which are played by conference schools:

School Rifle[note 8] Rowing[note 9]
Memphis GARC  N
Temple  N Independent

Women's sponsored sports by schoolEdit

School Basketball Cross
Golf Lacrosse Rowing Soccer Softball Swimming
& Diving
Tennis Track & Field
Track & Field
Volleyball Total
Cincinnati  Y  Y  Y  Y  N  Y  N  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 10
East Carolina  Y  Y  Y  Y  N  Y  Y  N  N  Y  Y  Y 9
Houston  Y  Y  Y  N  N  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 10
Memphis  Y  Y  Y  N  N  Y  Y  N  Y  Y  Y  Y 9
South Florida  Y  Y  Y  N  N  Y  Y  N  Y  Y  Y  Y 9
SMU  Y  Y  Y  N  Y  Y  N  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 10
Temple  Y  Y  N  Y  Y  Y  N  N  Y  Y  Y  Y 9
Tulane  Y  Y  Y  N  N  N  N  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 8
Tulsa  Y  Y  Y  N  Y  Y  Y  N  Y  Y  Y  Y 10
UCF  Y  Y  Y  N  Y  Y  Y  N  Y  Y  Y  Y 10
Wichita State  Y  Y  Y  N  N  N  Y  N  Y  Y  Y  Y 8
Associate Members
Florida  N  N  N  Y  N  N  N  N  N  N  N  N 1
Old Dominion  N  N  N  Y  Y  N  N  N  N  N  N  N 2
Sacramento State  N  N  N  N  Y  N  N  N  N  N  N  N 1
San Diego State  N  N  N  N  Y  N  N  N  N  N  N  N 1
Vanderbilt  N  N  N  Y  N  N  N  N  N  N  N  N 1
Totals 11 11 10 6 7 9 7 4 10 11 11 11 107

Women's varsity sports not sponsored by The American which are played by conference schools:

School Beach
Bowling Fencing Field Hockey Equestrian Gymnastics Rifle[note 8] Sailing
Memphis GARC
South Florida SAISA
SMU Independent
Temple NIWFA Big East Independent
Tulane Independent Southland

NCAA team championshipsEdit


Excluded from this list are all national championships earned outside the scope of NCAA competition, including Division I FBS football titles, women's AIAW championships, equestrian titles, and retroactive Helms Athletic Foundation titles.

School Total Men Women Co-ed Nickname Most successful sport (Titles)
University of Houston 17 17 0 0 Cougars Men's golf (16)
Southern Methodist University 4 4 0 0 Mustangs Men's outdoor track & field (2)
Temple University 3 1 2 0 Owls Women's lacrosse (2)
University of Cincinnati 2 2 0 0 Bearcats Men's basketball (2)
Tulane University 1 1 0 0 Green Wave Men's tennis (1)
University of Tulsa 1 0 1 0 Golden Hurricane Women's golf (1)
Wichita State University 1 1 0 0 Shockers Baseball (1)
University of Central Florida 0 0 0 0 Knights n/a
University of Memphis 0 0 0 0 Tigers n/a
University of South Florida 0 0 0 0 Bulls n/a
East Carolina University 0 0 0 0 Pirates n/a

See also: List of NCAA schools with the most NCAA Division I championships, List of NCAA schools with the most Division I national championships, and NCAA Division I FBS Conferences


The conference began football during the 1991–92 season, and was a founding member of the Bowl Championship Series.[59] Previously conference opponents operated on a two-year cycle, as a home-and-home series.[60]

West Division East Division
Houston Cincinnati
Memphis East Carolina
Navy South Florida
SMU Temple
Tulane UCF
Tulsa TBD

The conference previously did not have enough teams to form divisions, but now does after Navy joined the conference in 2015.[note 10] When Navy joined in 2015 and divisions were created, Navy was placed in the West division along with Houston, Memphis, SMU, Tulane, and Tulsa. Teams play eight conference games a season. Since 2015, each team has played the other five teams in its own division, as well as three teams from the other division, operating in a four-year cycle ensuring that each school will play every conference opponent at home and on the road at least once in the four-year cycle.[61] The East and West division winners, determined by final conference record, meet in the American Athletic Conference Football Championship Game, which is played at the home site of one of the division winners.

With the departure of UConn after the 2019 season, divisions were affected by the reduction to an uneven number of teams. The American has no immediate plan to add another team to rebalance division, so divisions have been eliminated from the conference for the time being. The championship game will now be played by the two teams that achieved the best record in regular season conference play.

Like the conference itself, football experienced much transition through its history – in fact it was the main force behind such departures and expansion. In 2003, the BCS announced that it would adjust the automatic bids granted to its six founding conferences based on results from 2004 to 2007. With the addition of Cincinnati, Louisville, and South Florida in 2005, the conference retained its BCS automatic-qualifying status. In 2007, South Florida rose to No. 2 in the BCS rankings, but finished No. 21 in the final poll. Cincinnati finished the 2009 regular season undefeated at 12–0, and ranked No. 3 in the final BCS standings, barely missing the opportunity to play for the BCS National Championship. The conference was 9–7 (.563) in BCS bowl games, the third highest winning percentage amongst the AQ conferences. After the 2017 Season, the University of Central Florida Knights, a member of the American, went undefeated but was not invited to the College Football Playoff. They earned the Group of Five's New Years Six bowl bid and defeated Auburn in the Peach Bowl. They would claim a national championship, which was recognized by the Colley Matrix, one of the NCAA recognized selectors of the national champion in football.

All-time school and conference recordsEdit

As of the conclusion of the 2019 season. Conference wins and losses are since the formation of The American.

Team Overall Conference Bowl
The American
W L T Win % W L Win %
South Florida 157 119 0 .569 29 27 .518 10 0 0
Navy 720 570 57 .556 27 13 .675 24 0 1
Tulsa 623 506 27 .551 16 32 .333 21 0 0
UCF 259 212 1 .550 41 15 .732 10 4 0
Houston 445 374 15 .543 34 22 .607 27 1 0
Cincinnati 621 589 50 .513 33 24 .579 19 1 0
East Carolina 444 428 12 .509 13 35 .271 20 0 0
Memphis 502 518 33 .492 38 21 .644 13 1 0
SMU 504 550 54 .479 23 33 .411 17 0 3
Tulane 531 648 38 .452 15 33 .313 13 0 0
Temple 474 586 52 .450 35 21 .625 8 1 0

Conference championsEdit

The American Championship Game pits the Eastern Division representative against the Western Division representative in a game held following the conclusion of the regular season. The site of the Championship Game is the home stadium of the division champion with the best overall conference record. In the event that the two division champions are tied, then the head-to-head record shall be used as the tiebreaker. Prior to the 2015 season, when the conference split into two six-team divisions and created a conference championship game, The American awarded its championship to the team(s) with the best overall conference record.

Record Ranking
Year Champions Conference Overall AP Coaches Bowl result Head coach
2013 UCF 8–0 12–1 #10 #12 W Fiesta Bowl 52–42 vs. Baylor George O'Leary
2014 UCF 7–1 9–4 N/A N/A L St. Petersburg Bowl 27–34 vs. NC State George O'Leary
Cincinnati 7–1 9–4 N/A N/A L Military Bowl 17–33 vs. Virginia Tech Tommy Tuberville
Memphis 7–1 10–3 #25 #25 W Miami Beach Bowl 55–48 vs. BYU Justin Fuente
2015 Houston 7–1 13–1 #8 #8 W Peach Bowl 38–24 vs. Florida State Tom Herman
2016 Temple 7–1 10–3 #23 #24 L Military Bowl 26–34 vs. Wake Forest Matt Rhule
2017 UCF 8–0 13–0 #6 #7 W Peach Bowl 34–27 vs. Auburn Scott Frost
2018 UCF 8–0 12–1 #11 #12 L Fiesta Bowl 40–32 vs. LSU Josh Heupel
2019 Memphis 7–1 12–2 #17 #17 L Cotton Bowl 39–53 vs. Penn State Mike Norvell


The American has many rivalries among its member schools, primarily in football. Some rivalries existed before the conference was established or began play in football. Recent conference realignment in 2005 and 2013 ended – or temporarily halted – many rivalries. Before their departure to other conferences, a number of former member schools held longtime rivalries within the conference.

Teams Rivalry Name Trophy Meetings Began Record Series leader Current Streak
Cincinnati–Memphis 36 1966 23–13–0 Memphis Memphis won 5
Navy–SMU Gansz Trophy 21 1930 13–8–0 Navy Navy won 1
South Florida–UCF War on I–4 War on I–4 Trophy 11 2005 6–5–0 South Florida UCF won 3
Houston–Tulsa The Rivalry The Gazebo 44 1950 25–19–0 Houston Houston won 2

Results as of the end of the 2019 season.[citation needed]

Bowl gamesEdit

Following the 2013 season, the BCS era came to a close and was replaced by the College Football Playoff. Four teams play in two semifinal games, with the winners advancing to the College Football Playoff National Championship.[62] Six bowl games — the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, and Peach Bowl — will rotate as hosts for the semifinal games, and host major bowls when they do not host semifinal games (access bowls).

With the birth of the College Football Playoff, The American lost its automatic qualifying status for one of the major bowls. Instead, one automatic qualifying spot is reserved for the highest ranked team from the "Group of Five" conferences – The American, Conference USA, the Mid-American Conference, Mountain West Conference, and Sun Belt Conference.

Although the pick order usually corresponds to the conference standings, the bowls are not required to make their choices strictly according to the won-lost records; many factors influence bowl selections, especially the likely turnout of the team's fans. Picks are made after any applicable College Football Playoff selections. If a team is selected for the one of the access bowls or playoff, the bowl with the No. 2 pick will have the first pick of the remaining teams in the conference.

Year[63] Name Location Opposing Conference
2020–25 Cotton, Peach, Fiesta, or Playoff[note 11] Dallas, Atlanta, Glendale, or Playoff Site CFP At-Large
2020-25 Fenway Bowl Boston, Massachusetts ACC
2020–25 Military Bowl Annapolis, Maryland ACC
2020/22/24 Hawaiʻi Bowl Honolulu, Hawaii MWC or BYU
2021/23/25 Armed Forces Bowl Fort Worth, Texas Big 12 or Army
2020–25 Cure Bowl Orlando, Florida Sun Belt
2020–25 Boca Raton Bowl Boca Raton, Florida MAC or C-USA
2020–25 Frisco Bowl Frisco, Texas C-USA, MAC, Sun Belt or BYU
2020–25 Birmingham Bowl Birmingham, Alabama SEC
2020–25 Gasparilla Bowl Tampa, Florida SEC
2020–25 First Responder Bowl Dallas, Texas TBD
2020–25 Myrtle Beach Bowl Conway, South Carolina C-USA, MAC or Sun Belt
2020–25 New Mexico Bowl Albuquerque, New Mexico TBD

Head football coach compensationEdit

The total pay of head coaches includes university and non-university compensation. This includes base salary, income from contracts, foundation supplements, bonuses and media and radio pay.[64]

University Head Coach Salary[64]
1 University of Houston Dana Holgorsen $3,700,000
2 University of South Florida Jeff Scott $2,500,000
3 United States Naval Academy Ken Niumatalolo $2,316,000
4 University of Cincinnati Luke Fickell $2,300,000
5 University of Central Florida Josh Heupel $2,300,000
6 University of Tulsa Philip Montgomery $1,689,395
7 Tulane University Willie Fritz $1,612,000
8 East Carolina University Mike Houston $1,425,000
9 University of Memphis Ryan Silverfield TBA
10 Southern Methodist University Sonny Dykes TBA
11 Temple University Rod Carey TBA
  • New hire

Records as of the end of the 2019 season.

Conference individual honorsEdit

Coaches and media of The American award individual honors at the end of each football season.[65]

Men's basketballEdit

In June 2013, it was announced that the inaugural men's basketball tournament would take place at FedExForum in Memphis.[66] FedExForum had previously hosted eight Conference USA basketball tournaments.

Even though the Big East Conference was meant to be a basketball-oriented conference, UConn, a member of The American, won the 2014 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament (the first after the conferences split).

All-time school records by winning percentageEdit

This list goes through the 2019–20 season.

No. Team Records Win Pct. The American
The American
Regular Season
Final Fours National
1 Memphis 1,336–662 .669 0 0 3 0
2 Cincinnati 1,835–1026 .641 2 3 6 2
3 Temple 1,940–1,096 .639 0 1 2 1
4 Houston 1,247–823 .602 0 2 5 0
5 Wichita State 1,609–1,211 .571 0 0 2 0
6 Tulsa 1,471–1,168 .557 0 1 0 0
7 SMU 1,365–1,236 .525 2 2 1 0
8 UCF 543–536 .503 0 0 0 0
9 Tulane 1,231–1,317 .483 0 0 0 0
10 South Florida 637–757 .457 0 0 0 0
11 East Carolina 686–884 .437 0 0 0 0


American Athletic Conference Men's Basketball NCAA BidsEdit

This list goes through the 2019–20 season.

Bids School Last bid Last win Last Sweet 16 Last Elite 8 Last Final 4 Last final Last Championship (Titles)
33 Cincinnati 2019 2018 2012 1996 1992 1963 1962 (2)
33 Temple 2019 2013 2001 2001 1958 1938[a]
26* Memphis 2014 2014 2009 2008 2008 2008[b]
21 Houston 2019 2019 2019 1984 1984 1984
16 Tulsa 2016 2003 2000 2000
15 Wichita State 2018 2017 2015 2013 2013
12 SMU 2017 1988 1967 1967 1956
5 UCF 2019 2019
3 South Florida 2012 2012
3 Tulane 1995 1995
2 East Carolina 1993
Total: 169 Total: 3 National Championship Titles
  1. ^ Temple were the first NIT champions in 1938, one year before the inception of the NCAA Tournament. The Owls were retroactively recognized by the Premo-Porretta Power Poll and the Helms Athletic Foundation as the national champion for the 1937–38 season.[68]
  2. ^ Memphis has vacated all of its victories from the 2007–08 season. These 38 wins are not included in Memphis's all-time record.[69]

Conference championsEdit

Regular Season Tournament
Year Champions Record AP Coaches' Postseason Champions Record AP Coaches' Postseason
2013–14[a] Louisville[b] 31–6 (15–3) #5 #9 NCAA Sweet Sixteen Louisville 31–6 #5 #9 NCAA Sweet Sixteen
Cincinnati 27–7 (15–3) #15 #22 NCAA Second Round
2014–15 SMU 27–7 (15–3) #18 RV NCAA First Round SMU 27–7 #18 RV NCAA First Round
2015–16 Temple 21–12 (14–4) NR NR NCAA First Round UConn 25–10 RV RV NCAA Second Round
2016–17 SMU 30–4 (17–1) #12 #15 NCAA First Round SMU 30–4 #12 #15 NCAA First Round
2017–18 Cincinnati 30–4 (16–2) #6 #6 NCAA Second Round Cincinnati 30–4 #6 #8 NCAA Second Round
2018–19 Houston 33–3(16–2) #9 #11 NCAA Sweet Sixteen Cincinnati 28–7 #22 #24 NCAA First Round
2019–20 Cincinnati 20–10(15–3) NR NR Cancelled[c] Cancelled[d]
Houston 27–7 (15–3) #22 #23
Tulsa 21–10 (15–3) NR NR
  1. ^ UConn, after being eliminated from the conference tournament, went on to become the national champions after beating Kentucky 60–54 in the title game.
  2. ^ After Louisville basketball staffer Andre McGee was found to have paid a local madam to provide strippers and prostitutes to players and recruits from 2010 through 2014, the NCAA ordered all Louisville records from the 2010–11 through 2013–14 seasons to be vacated.[70]
  3. ^ 2020 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament was cancelled due to the Coronavirus Pandemic
  4. ^ 2020 American Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Tournament was cancelled due to the Coronavirus Pandemic


The American has many rivalries among its member schools, some of which existed before the conference was established. Recent conference realignment in 2005 and 2013 ended – or temporarily halted – many rivalries. Before their departure to other conferences, a number of former member schools held longtime rivalries within the conference.

Teams Rivalry Name Meetings Began Record Series leader Current Streak
Cincinnati–Memphis 81 1968 47–33 Cincinnati Cincinnati won 1
South Florida–UCF War on I–4 39 1972 23–18 South Florida South Florida won 1
Houston–SMU 86 1956 53–33 Houston SMU won 1
Tulsa–Wichita State 132 1931 70–62 Wichita Wichita won 1

Results as of the 2019–20 season.

Women's basketballEdit

In June 2013, it was announced that the inaugural women's basketball tournament would take place at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut.[71] Women's basketball teams have played a total of 20 times in the NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship (since 1982), with UConn winning 11 national championships under head coach Geno Auriemma since 1995. Women's national championship tournaments prior to 1982 were run by the AIAW.

All-time school records by winning percentageEdit

This list goes through the 2016–17 season.[72]

No. Team Records Win Pct. The American
The American
Regular Season
Final Fours National
1 Memphis 781–590[a] .570 0 0 0 0
2 Tulane 684–534 .562 0 0 0 0
3 Temple 806–653–3 .552 0 0 0 0
4 SMU 630–534 .541 0 0 0 0
5 East Carolina 705–600 .540 0 0 0 0
6 Houston 650–603 .519 0 0 0 0
7 Cincinnati 636–628 .503 0 0 0 0
8 South Florida 604–649 .482 0 0 0 0
9 UCF 546–611 .472 0 0 0 0
10 Wichita State 571–647[b] .469 0 0 0 0
11 Tulsa 326–544 .375 0 0 0 0
  1. ^ Record since the 1972–73 season, considered by Memphis to be the start of its "modern era" of women's basketball.
  2. ^ Record since the 1976–77 season, considered by Wichita State to be the start of its "modern era" of Division I women's basketball.

Conference championsEdit

Regular Season Tournament
Year Champions Record AP Coaches' Postseason Champions Record AP Coaches' Postseason
2013–14 UConn 40–0 (18–0) #1 #1 NCAA Champion UConn 40–0 (18–0) #1 #1 NCAA Champion
2014–15 UConn 38–1 (18–0) #1 #1 NCAA Champion UConn 38–1 (18–0) #1 #1 NCAA Champion
2015–16 UConn 38–0 (18–0) #1 #1 NCAA Champion UConn 38–0 (18–0) #1 #1 NCAA Champion
2016–17 UConn 36–1 (16–0) #1 #1 Final Four UConn 36–1 (16–0) #1 #1 Final Four
2017–18 UConn 36–1 (16–0) #1 #1 Final Four UConn 36–1 (16–0) #1 #1 Final Four
2018–19 UConn 35–3 (16–0) #2 #2 Final Four UConn 35–3 (16–0) #2 #3 Final Four
2019–20 UConn 28–3 (16–0) #5 #6 Cancelled[a] UConn 28–3 (16–0) #5 #6 Cancelled


Institution Football stadium Capacity Basketball arena Capacity Baseball stadium Capacity
Cincinnati Nippert Stadium 40,000 Fifth Third Arena 12,012 UC Baseball Stadium 3,085
East Carolina Dowdy–Ficklen Stadium 50,000 Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum 8,000 Clark-LeClair Stadium 5,000
Houston TDECU Stadium 40,000 Fertitta Center 7,100 Cougar Field 5,000
Memphis Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium 59,308 FedExForum (men)
Elma Roane Fieldhouse (women)
FedExPark 2,000
South Florida Raymond James Stadium 65,908 Yuengling Center 10,411 USF Baseball Stadium 3,211
SMU Gerald J. Ford Stadium 32,000 Moody Coliseum 7,000 Non-baseball school
Temple Lincoln Financial Field 68,532 Liacouras Center
McGonigle Hall (women)[a]
Non-baseball school
Tulane Yulman Stadium 30,000 Devlin Fieldhouse 4,100 Turchin Stadium 5,000
Tulsa H. A. Chapman Stadium 30,000 Reynolds Center 8,355 Non-baseball school
UCF Spectrum Stadium 45,323 Addition Financial Arena 9,465 John Euliano Park 3,900
Wichita State Non-football member[b] Charles Koch Arena 10,506 Eck Stadium 7,851
Navy Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium 34,000 Associate member
  1. ^ Temple splits its women's basketball schedule between McGonigle Hall and the Liacouras Center.
  2. ^ Wichita State discontinued its football program following the 1986 season. The Shockers' football facility, Cessna Stadium (capacity 30,000) still stands. It is the home of the Shockers' track and field program and hosts football games for Wichita's Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School.


One of the current full member schools, Tulane University, is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), an organization of 62 leading research universities in the United States and Canada.[73] Seven members are doctorate-granting universities with "very high research activity," the highest classification given by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.[74] Member schools are also highly ranked nationally and globally by various groups, including U.S. News & World Report, Washington Monthly, and Times Higher Education.

University Location Affiliation Carnegie[74] Endowment[75] USN Nat.[76] WM Nat.[77] URAP U.S.[78]
University of Central Florida Orlando, Florida Public (SUSF) Research (VH) $135,500,000 176 211 114
University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, Ohio Public (USO) Research (VH) $1,183,922,000 135 191 57
East Carolina University Greenville, North Carolina Public (UNC) Doctoral $164,065,000 210 171 69
University of Houston Houston, Texas Public (UH System) Research (VH) $789,700,000 194 68 104
University of Memphis Memphis, Tennessee Public (TBR) Research (H) $200,750,000 RNP 37 188
University of South Florida Tampa, Florida Public (SUSF) Research (VH) $447,000,000 159 78 72
Southern Methodist University University Park, Texas Private (Methodist) Research (H) $1,466,258,000 56 260 164
Temple University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Public (CSHE) Research (VH) $386,758,000 118 195 108
Tulane University New Orleans, Louisiana Private (non-sectarian) Research (VH) $1,183,924,000 39 100 112
University of Tulsa Tulsa, Oklahoma Private (Presbyterian) Doctoral $1,015,474,000 86 164 297
Wichita State University Wichita, Kansas Public (KBOR) Doctoral $235,500,000 RNP (Tier 2) 233 258


In March 2019, the conference announced a $1 billion, 12-year media rights deal with ESPN, under which the majority of AAC content will be aired on ESPN properties (besides selected basketball games and Navy football, which are being sub-licensed to CBS Sports). Content not aired on linear television will be exclusive to ESPN's subscription package ESPN+, but a larger number of events (including at least 40 football games and 65 men's basketball games per-season, including the conference semi-finals and championship) will air on ABC and ESPN's linear networks than under the previous contract.[79][80][81]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The American is the legal all-sports successor to the Big East Conference (1979–2013). The Big East was rebranded and reorganized as the American Athletic Conference on July 1, 2013.
  2. ^ The American is the legal successor to the Big East Conference (1979–2013) and retains its charter. The current Big East Conference purchased the "Big East" name during the 2013 conference breakup.
  3. ^ The other conferences in the "Group of Five" are Conference USA (C-USA), the Mid-American Conference (MAC), the Mountain West Conference, and the Sun Belt Conference.
  4. ^ Non-football member.
  5. ^ Rutgers joined the conference in 1991 as a football-only member, and joined in all-sports in 1995.
  6. ^ Under NCAA Bylaw 20.9.4, all Division I schools are required to sponsor a minimum of seven men's and seven women's sports, or six men's and eight women's sports. Bylaw imposes the latter requirement on FBS schools. FCS schools, under Bylaw, may use either requirement. Note that this does not explicitly require that a school sponsor two more women's sports than men's sports. See "2012–13 NCAA Division I Manual" (PDF). NCAA. Retrieved March 7, 2013.
  7. ^ Navy continues to field most of its other sports in the NCAA Division I Patriot League.
  8. ^ a b Rifle is technically a men's sport, but men's, women's, and coed teams all compete against each other.
  9. ^ The only category of rowing that the NCAA governs is women's heavyweight rowing. All men's rowing is governed by the Intercollegiate Rowing Association.
  10. ^ At the time Navy joined in football, the NCAA required 12 teams for a conference to conduct divisional play and stage a championship game that was exempt from the NCAA-imposed limit of 12 regular-season games. Starting with the 2016 season, a conference can conduct an "exempt" championship game with fewer than 12 members, as long as it either plays in two divisions or conducts a full round-robin schedule.
  11. ^ If The American's champion is the highest ranked from among the "Group of Five" conferences, it will receive a bid to either the Cotton Bowl, the Peach Bowl, or the Fiesta Bowl. If the team is ranked in the top four at the end of the regular season, it will take part in the College Football Playoff.


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External linksEdit