New conference name: poor word choice or fresh start?


After announcing its split just over a month ago, the “Old” Big East finally received a new name last week.

With the Catholic 7 departing from the Big East along with a few others such as Notre Dame and Louisville leaving USF, Cincinnati and Connecticut behind, the Bulls will now play in what has been dubbed the American Athletic Conference.

The teams that departed from what is now the AAC were able to keep the postseason site of Madison Square Garden as well as the Big East name. Technically, it’s like they never left. The Bulls, Bearcats and Huskies, however, were left to some creative thinking.

But was the American Athletic conference the best name possible?

Granted that the AAC joins Division I conferences that have the word “America,” or some variation of it in its name, but is the word “athletic” really necessary?

The other conferences that hold the name of the nation include America East and Mid-American. Conference-USA, the same conference that had nine teams leave to play in the AAC, could also be counted.

None of these conferences needed to establish the fact that they are athletic, though.

With sports such as basketball and football, one would hope that it is apparent that this is an athletic conference.

Are there schools that have conferences for chess and checkers that the AAC need to stand apart from?

Apart from the redundancy in the name, I do like where the possible names were

All rumored and possible names included America in its name. A very popular rumor was “America 12,” but seeing as the conference won’t have 12 teams until 2015, the conference didn’t want to include a number.

Apparently changing a number is more difficult than we know.

UCF, Memphis, Houston and SMU join the AAC July 1; East Carolina, Tulane and Tulsa join a year later and Navy football will join in 2015.

With most of these teams sharing the East coast, one would think that the former Big East would keep the “East” part in its name, but then again, all these schools are in America, so it wasn’t the worst possible choice.

Maybe the name will grow in popularity. While some students criticized the name at first given its redundancy, other students feel that time is the key.

That’s what Tyler David, a sophomore majoring in business, seems to think.

“People just need to get used to the name,” he said. “There have been so many other names for conferences that it’s hard to think a good name, I like it though and I think it’s pretty cool.”

With the new name leaving no remnants of the prolific Big East title, a fresh new name can, in a way, symbolize the fresh new start that USF football is taking.

Football, without question, is one of the more popular collegiate sports, and with USF starting afresh with its staff, David said he thinks the new name opens up more

“Because it’s new, people may not take it as seriously, but I think it gives us a chance to do something big,” David said. “If we can do something next year, then it will say ‘Hey, we may not be in the Big East, but we’re still here and a force to reckon with,’ and it will bring more attention to the

It looks like the motto “do something” from USF coach Willie Taggart has been echoing its way throughout campus.

But David isn’t the only one to have this opinion. Mass communications senior Alfredo Muente also thinks the name change is a positive.

“It seems like they need to find a catchier name, but it’s a start to something new,” Muente said. “It gives them a fresh vibe.”

The American Athletic Conference. Perhaps if we keep saying it, it just may stick.