American wants flexibility for champ in postseasonBy RALPH D. RUSO , Associated Press
Sep. 21, 2013 10:26 PM ET
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco says the league wants to have flexibility in its bowl lineup to give its champion the best possible matchup.
The American still hasn't made its postseason destinations for 2014 and beyond official, but Aresco, meeting with reporters before No. 15 Michigan played at Connecticut, said the league will have at least seven tie-ins, including many that have been previously reported or discussed publicly.
The American will send teams to bowls in St. Petersburg, Fla., Birmingham, Ala., Fort Worth, Texas, and Washington, D.C.
The conference is working on a new bowl to be played in Miami, and a deal with the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn., where it would be a backup league in years the Big 12 or Southeastern Conference did not have enough bowl eligible teams to fulfill their contracts with the game.
Aresco also said the conference was working on a deal to occasionally send a team to the Hawaii Bowl, and that the American has had talked to the Pac-12 about possibly sending a team to that new Miami game in some seasons.
The American champion will have a chance to earn a bid to the College Football Playoff or one of its marquee New Year's bowls if it has the top team selected from among a group of leagues that also includes the Mountain West, Mid-American, Sun Belt and Conference USA.
In years it the American doesn't earn that bid to the top-tier bowl games, it wants to be able to have options to get its champion matched up against the best opponent available.
"We're trying to keep flexibility with where we send our champion," he said.