As teams are trying fight for any reason to be relevant, one of the helpful tools is to have a good history. A team that historically has been really good tends to get a lot more credit than someone who has no history. Take Texas for example. They could literally have a roster full of high school players and the AP Preseason poll would still rank them in the top 15. History matters, and for a conference that is already claiming to be P6, you have to take what you can get.
How this helps the AAC
BYU Football isn’t Texas. The Cougars’ heyday came back in the 1980’s and 1990’s with a few great moments since then. But those moments still matter. To give you a perfect example, this past season during the first College Football Rankings show on ESPN, BYU Head Coach Kalani Sitake was the featured guest to react to the team’s ranking. At the time the Cougars were undefeated and ranked in the top 10 in all the other polls. Now I know what you are thinking, well it’s the underdog story, so of course they featured him.
Now let me ask you this question, do you think they would have had the Head Coach of Georgia State if they were in the same situation? Nope.
The history of BYU again isn’t as significant as some other schools in the country, but it carries enough weight to at least help the overall look of the conference.
How this helps BYU
The best way to build history is to beat rivals. The best way to have rivals is to be in a conference. While BYU does have Boise State, Utah and Utah State as rivals, it just isn’t the same without these teams dueling it out for a spot in the Conference Championship Game. Of course if BYU beats Utah this year it will feel like it, but honestly in terms of importance these rivalry games are nothing more than just out of conference games.
How much fun would it be for BYU to dual it out with UCF three out of four years for the Conference Championship and a de facto spot in the new College Football Playoff? That’s how you build history again.