Yesterday I got started with the ACC. You should read at least the intro, especially if you're someone who feels that recruiting rankings are overblown. In that preview I also cover where the data comes from, for both the consensus recruiting rankings and the rosters.
Now, on to the AAC, or the American as they'd prefer to be called. Personally, I like the AAC, as long as it is pronounced as 'ack' rather than three separate letters.
Who is the AAC? You may remember that the Big East blew up after they were a) raided by the ACC, and b) became consumed with football revenue.
Regardless, the ack - for basketball purposes - currently consists of ten teams. Two of them (Louisville and Rutgers) are moving on to greener pastures, and they'll be replaced by some teams I can't name off the top of my head. The other members of the ack are Central Florida, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Houston, Memphis, SMU, South Florida, and Temple.
For those ten teams, here are the consensus top 100 recruits on each of their rosters.
The Big East holdovers in Louisville and UConn are loaded with talent, but Conference USA transfer Memphis has enough firepower to hang with them, at least at a talent level. There is a drop to the next teir (Houston, Rutgers, SMU, and Cincinnati), and then USF, UCF and Temple are in trouble. One stat from yesterday's piece is that there were 18 high major programs (BCS conferences) that had zero or one consensus top 100 recruit on their rosters last year. Of those 18 teams, one had a winning conference record.
What about the bigger talents - the top 50 players?
Memphis, again, flexes their muscles, while the rest of the conference plays out similarly to the top 100 players.
Finally, what about the consensus 5* players?
Six consensus top 25 players is a decent amount for a conference (the ACC has 10, but also has 15 teams to choose from). No one has a huge advantage here, and keep in mind that UConn's top 25 recruit (Rodney Purvis) will be sitting out the season.
Based on talent alone, it looks like three teams will be competing for the inaugural ack championship. But titles aren't won on paper - that's why they play the games.
Yep...that's why they play the games. Keep in mind that getting talent is one thing...actually having that talent gel with the other players and produce is another. UCF has done quite well over the last three years with no Top-100 players and no 5* players. That includes wins over ranked teams such as Memphis, UCONN and Florida as well as wins against respectable programs such as Miami of the ACC.