Does the American Athletic Conference make the Power Five a Power Six

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    The American Athletic Conference schools have started wearing Power Six decals on their helmets K.J. Gray Jersey. Do they really bridge the Group of Five divideTheAmerican Athletic Conference was born out of the ashes of the Big East. The defection of Pittsburgh, Syracuse, West Virginia, Louisville, and Rutgers put the American among the Group of Five. They might aspire to Power Five status, but do they measure up against the SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 and Big 12Article continues below ...Recently the American has tried to sell itself as a Power Six conference. Its performance, however, leaves much to be desired. We can stare all day at the number of NFL Draft picks from the league relative to the Power Five. After all, the conferencehad more draft picks than the Big 12.But draft picks only measure a part of the story. And NFL success often tells little about actual college performance on the field.The American has talked a big game, but has it really managed to back up that talk with its showings on the gridiron Here are three reasons why the conference still has a ways to go before it can aspire to breaking the Power Five club and recreating the Power Six of the BCS era.Here why the AAC doesnt deserve to make the Power Five a Power Six.3. The American is a diluted version of the Big EastIt is important to remember that UCF was effectively a BCS Buster in the final year of the former system that reigned over FBS football for a decade and a half. TheBig East enjoyed BCS status during its final season, it is true. But it was always recognized as a second-tier league even among the major conferences during the BCS era.The conference entered the Bowl Championship Series in 1999 with members like Miami,Virginia Tech, and West Virginia. None of those teams remain in the league. Aconference that was already a laughingstock among the BCS six has seen most of its prominent programs move on to other leagues.Among the Big East teams remaining, Cincinnati and Connecticut were the only one aside from UCF who reached a BCS game before the College Football Playoff era. None have been relevant since, with only UCF reaching a bowl game last year.Next 2. Other Group of Five leaguesDec 31, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Boise State Broncos running back Jay Ajayi runs the ball for a touchdown in the first quarter against the Arizona Wildcats in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl at Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports2. The American isnt even the best Group of FiveconferenceTheBig East wasnt even necessarily the sixth-best conference in the country for most of its existence Vance Matthews Jersey. The rise of the Mountain West helped in large part to break the BCS system and force greater inclusivity in the new College Football Playoff system. Just like the American absorbed Conference USA teams, in turnthe Mountain West took in the best programs from the dying Western Athletic Conference.TheMountain West lost TCU to the Big 12, Utah to the Pac-12, and BYU to independence. The American lost Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and Louisville to the ACC. That doesnt end the list of defections, as Rutgers went to the Big Ten and West Virginia to the Big 12. Miami and Virginia Tech had already bolted for the ACC with Boston College a decade earlier.The numbers bear out that reality, as the American has landed just one spot in one of the New Year Six bowl games since the birth of the College Football Playoff. Boise State beat Arizona in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl.Houston took down Florida State in the 2015 Peach Bowl, sure, but the league couldnt back up that performance in 2016-2017. Instead Western Michigan took the spot against Wisconsin in the Cotton Bowl Dacoven Bailey Jersey, giving three different Group of Five leagues access over the first three years of the College Football Playoff system.Next 1. Uncertain FutureDec 17, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; San Diego State Aztecs running back Donnel Pumphrey is defended by Houston Cougars safety Garrett Davis during the second quarter at Sam Boyd Stadium. Mandatory Credit Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports1. The American is a conference that remains in fluxThe American, we must remember, only enters its fifth official season of existence in 2017. Atthis point, the league seems to have solidified its membership.Rutgers and Louisville left at the end of year one, and nobody has departed since. But realignment is always only a single shift away in college football, and the American certainly has schools in some of the most attractive media markets.More from Saturday Blitz5 5 College Football Rumors Malik Zaire sets decision date, down to 4 schools5 5 Michigan Football Does Jim Harbaugh really own college football5 4 NFL Draft 2017 Top 10 early entrants who didnt get drafted5 4 Tennessee Football Moving past last season disappointment5 4 Vanderbilt Football Is another bowl game on the horizonThe Big 12 already has a lock on Texas recruiting. But the SEC and ACC could botheventually hold interest in Houston as another major Texas market. And the Big 12 still is short two teams of its official moniker. The Cougars offer the promise of a dormant powerhouse on a metro campus that could sustain a solid alumni backing.This is exactly why the American lost Rutgers and Louisville. Their positioning as solid media markets with strong enough fan support made them attractive to larger conferences. Cincinnati, South Florida, and UCF offer their own advantages to leagues looking to expand. It is more likely to be poached by the Power Fivecompared to the MAC or Mountain West.