Mike Aresco, Commissioner of the Conference Stew That U of H Is in Now, Speaks
On the college football calendar nowadays, everything seemingly has its own season.
Years ago, before social media, before a thousand television channels, before those channels shelling out billions of dollars for broadcasting rights, there were essentially two college football seasons: the regular season and the bowl season.
But now we also have recruiting season, spring ball, training camp, and for the time being, Johnny Manziel season (which was previously known as "summer"). And we have media day season, the rotating circuit of conference media days that greases the skids for the start of the regular season.
In a bizarro wrestling card setup, media season is marked by the main event leading off (SEC Media Days in Hoover, AL) and gradually peters out to where the lesser conferences have their day in what's left of the sun.
Which brings us to the American Athletic Conference's media day on Tuesday, the "conference stew" of left-behind Big East members that includes the University of Houston.
When Mike Aresco, commissioner of "The American" (as they prefer to be called), took over this athletics land of misfit toys on August 14, 2012, it was called the Big East, it included several Catholic schools that don't play Division I-A football, and while it was big and somewhat messy, it had a recognizable name.
It also had a spot at the "big boy" table for college football, a BCS bowl bid. To be fair, the American still lays claim to the Big East's guaranteed BCS bowl spot for the final year of the BCS' existence before the College Football Playoff system begins in 2014. At that point, the "big boy" line will be redrawn with the AAC likely on the wrong side of it.
Right now, the AAC is like one of those run down neighborhoods that happens to find itself in an incredibly nice school district. Unfortunately for them, they're about to get redistricted at season's end, back to the impoverished part of town.
But Media Day is about hope, or at the very least, creating the illusion of hope, so Aresco in meeting with the media on Tuesday morning in Newport, RI (and really, doesn't "Newport, RI" scream college football?), went into full on Iraqi Information Minister mode.
Let's take a peek at a few of my favorite Ares-quotes (my comments, as always, preceded by "SP:"):