There was an interesting Bleacher Report article released this week on schools that were in the wrong conferences and where they should be instead. Some make perfectly logical sense (Boise State to the Pac-12, Notre Dame to the Big Ten), while others are a little more far-fetched (Hawaii to Independent, Cincinnati to the Big XII). The move that is bound to catch the eye of anyone with even a low end interest in West Point however is the writer’s suggestion that Army joins the American Athletic Conference.
“Army would fit geographically in the East Division, close to Temple and UConn, which would put it opposite Navy in the West. The league could opt to include the annual Army-Navy game as a league contest or have it be separate, and having the teams in opposite divisions could make it possible to have their meeting serve as the conference championship game.”
This is a very interesting proposition. Before that quote it is noted that when Navy joined the AAC after 135 years of independence it could not have gone better for the school. Winning 11 games was as much a product of the team Navy was putting on the field last fall as it was conference affiliation, but there is certainly an argument that being in a conference in the modern era does make every game feel more important. Yes, it is cool that Army plays UTEP this fall, but in the grand scheme of things does it really matter when compared to playing a team while in the middle of a Conference Title push?
Whether Army should conference up or not is very much open for debate, but if the powers that be did decide the Black knights belonged in a group then the AAC would make the most sense. There are schools in that conference that Army could compete with from day one and that over time the Black Knights would be able to build into a league power. The travel and rivalries would build quickly and Navy has proven that you can run a conference/CIC Trophy/Rivalry Game schedule and still be successful.
The link to the article is here and it is certainly worth a read.