Why Would the American Athletic Conference Want Army?

Why would the AAC want to bring on Army as a football-only member starting in 2024? The answer is actually quite clear.

News broke on Wednesday that the American Athletic Conference officials voted in the Army Black Knights as a football-only member. The move is targeted for 2024 as the sides worked out the agreement.

As conference realignment rumors continue to dominate the off-field discussions of college football, a question popped up as to why the AAC would want Army.

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Why Would the AAC Want Army?

As much as you may wonder why the AAC would want Army, who at the time of the move had a 2-5 record, the answer is actually incredibly clear.

MORE: Why would Army want to join the AAC?

Army stands as one of the most prestigious and most respected programs in college football, if not the entire world of sports. The benefits of bringing in a program like Army are almost second to none.

Here we have some of the reasons

  • The Army-Navy Game
    • Army annually plays Navy in one of any sport’s greatest rivalry games
    • Now it belongs to the AAC, exclusively
  • Army competes for the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy
    • Navy and Army both play Air Force, annually, battling for the triangular trophy
  • Army’s rich history includes three Heisman Trophy winners
    • Doc Blanchard (1945)
    • Glenn Davis (1946)
    • Pete Dawkins (1958)
  • Army is a three-time national champion
    • 1944
    • 1945
    • 1946
  • Michie Stadium is one of the sport’s best venues
  • Army is top 40 in wins all-time among college football program

Now, there are hurdles around a few of those, but obviously, with the voting results, it’s clear that AAC commissioner Mike Aresco is confident enough that they’ll get those sorted.

Army joining as a football-only member also ensures the AAC sticks at 14 football programs as SMU is set to join the ACC in 2024.

The move is simple for the AAC, keep your status quo and add tradition, history, and ensure your top rivalry stays intact for years to come.

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