99.9 The Fan

East Carolina officially joins American Athletic Conference

Posted July 3, 2014

After being a member of Conference USA for the past 13 years, East Carolina officially joined the American Athletic Conference on Tuesday.

While the two conferences are similar with many of the same schools ECU started with in Conference USA, there will be an adjustment for the Pirates to go through.

“I think the biggest change for East Carolina in going from Conference USA to the American is going to be the television,” Denny O’Brien, who has covered the Pirates for the past 15 years, told Adam and Joe on 99.9 The Fan. “Conference USA had its deal with Fox Sports and CBS Sports Network, and by going to the American Conference they have a deal with ESPN.”

“It’s already guaranteed ECU will have six of their broadcasts on either ABC, ESPN, or one of the ESPN networks,” he said. “They’re going to be in more homes, and they’re going to be in a good time slot.”

For no lack of trying, it seems to many that this move comes a few years too late. The American, then known as the Big East, was one of the Big 6 conferences (ACC, SEC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac 12, Big East), but has since fallen out of that grouping.

“In order to realize the true advantages of being in this conference, which really is the old Big East, which, once upon a time, did have access to one of the BCS bowls, and a guaranteed slot in that, so from that, it’s almost a little bit of too little too late,” said O’Brien.

A possible break away of the Power 5 conferences to form a Division 4 could have huge negative repercussions for teams like East Carolina.

“If North Carolina and NC State move to playing nine conference games to only having three to play with, they are going to want to be much more creative with their scheduling,” he said. “Maybe play one game that’s hard to win, but play at least one, maybe two games, that they think they are guaranteed to win, and as we saw last year, East Carolina is not a guaranteed win.”

“From that stand point, it could have a huge negative repercussion on East Carolina, because those games matter on East Carolina’s season ticket package,” O’Brien said.

When all is said and done with East Carolina athletics, the jump to the AAC might not be what is viewed as the biggest jump in their history.

“In reality, when you look back at when East Carolina first joined Conference USA, in my mind, that really was a bigger moment for East Carolina than them moving up to the American now,” said O’Brien. “Before, East Carolina didn’t have a conference at all. Conference USA really was a good experience for East Carolina, for what it provided, and it was a huge step up from going from independent.”

2 Comments

Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • dave437 Jul 4, 2014

    AAC.....arrrrrrghh.......AAC......arrrrrghh.....

  • roberttherugguy Jul 4, 2014

    Sorry Denny joining Conference USA was not the "bigger moment" for ECU. Let me have your, on second thought, when the Men's and Women's UConn Basketball teams come to Greenville!

  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Today at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NASCAR: Toyota Owner's 400

    Tonight at 7:00 on FOX50

  • NASL: RailHawks at Indy Eleven

    Tonight at 7:30 on WRAL-2

  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Tomorrow at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MLB: NY Yankees at NY Mets

    Today at 4:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NASL: RailHawks at Indy Eleven

    Tonight at 7:30 on 99.9 HD3 The Ticket

  • CBSB: Duke vs. Virginia Tech

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUR 8
GWI 6
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
GWI
 
Final
PHI 1
ATL 0
Final
BAL 5
BOS 7
Final
NYY 6
NYM 1
Final
DET 1
CLE 13
Final
CIN 3
CHC 7
Final
TAM 12
TOR 3
Final
MIA 3
WAS 2
9th
CWS 2
KAN 2
 
Final
MIL 0
STL 3
Final
COL 6
SFG 4
Final
ARI 1
PIT 4
Final
OAK 4
HOU 5
Final
ANA 3
TEX 2
Final
SDP 0
LOS 3
Final
SEA 2
MIN 0
1:08pm Today
DET
CLE
 
1:10pm Today
CIN
CHC
 
2:10pm Today
CWS
KAN
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
HOU
 
4:05pm Today
NYY
NYM
 
4:10pm Today
MIA
WAS
 
6:10pm Tonight
TAM
TOR
 
7:05pm Tonight
PHI
ATL
 
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
BOS
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIL
STL
 
8:10pm Tonight
ARI
PIT
 
8:10pm Tonight
COL
SFG
 
8:40pm Tonight
SDP
LOS
 
9:05pm Tonight
ANA
TEX
 
9:10pm Tonight
SEA
MIN
 
Final
DAL 128
HOU 130
Final
WAS 106
TOR 99
Final
SAN 100
LAC 73
3:00pm Today
BRK
ATL
 
5:30pm Tonight
MIL
CHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
GSW
 
10:30pm Tonight
POR
MEM
 
Final
MON 1
OTT 5
Final
NYR 2
PIT 1
Final
STL 1
MIN 4
3:00pm Today
NYI
WAS
 
6:00pm Tonight
TAM
DET
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
NAS
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
VAN
 
Final
DUR 8
GWI 6
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
GWI