The self-loathing of many BYU fans after one bad season is over the top. Do many really think that the AAC wouldn't even take us? Seriously guys?
First off, don't forget that the big push with the AAC and Aresco for the last 2 years has been the AAC self-labeling themselves as one of the "P6 conferences." Adding BYU would help that and, if the AAC could get Boise and SDSU to come over too, it strengthens their case to be one of the P6 by simultaneously strengthening their own conference and diminishing the "next best football conference," the MWC. The gap between the worst P5 and the AAC would be smaller than between the AAC and the MWC. That helps Aresco's optics and argument for continuing to beat the "Power 6" drum.
Additionally, as a brand and a fanbase, BYU would instantly be the top/biggest in the AAC. We would be the best overall Athletic department in the entire AAC (by multiple metrics including Director's Cup finishes and overall fans attendance at both football AND non-football sports.) We would join UConn as having the best two academic profiles in the AAC. Our TV draw is strong and consistent and historically outpaces the rest of the AAC. Peruse that data yourself if you don't want to take my word for it (though the data is over a year old now and compiled in a much more exciting and happier time ... despite the huge letdown that followed) https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/16gRsSgQ7mzeGKMb4yCedDHR8rB5Gp09OxW2yD3jWTmM/edit#gid=0
Here's how some random Temple Owl fans felt about expanding with Boise/BYU just 18 months ago when conference realignment was still a hot topic. https://247sports.com/college/temple/Board/104514/Contents/Boise-and-BYU-to-AAC-72414088 Some of their fans saw BYU in a much better place (Indy with ESPN contract) than the AAC could provide and questioned why we would come to the AAC at all.
National CFB reporter Jon Solomon said around the same time: https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/aac-commissioner-eyeing-power-six-label-after-his-schools-struck-out-with-big-12/
"Does the AAC need to expand by adding more and/or better football programs — hello, BYU — to the next TV negotiation?"
AAC commissioner Aresco in late 2014 on BYUSN said the following regarding all of the scheduled games between BYU and AAC members (this is right after BYU accepted the bowl bid to Miami Beach Bowl vs a then undetermined AAC opponent and not in light of any immediate conference realignment discussions): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWh4AHBdGnI
"Tom Holmoe and I are old friends. There's no reason why we can't do more (schedule more games between BYU and AAC members). BYU has a certain synergy with a lot of our schools, we play at a high level in football and we play in good markets, we play attractive schedules, and we think BYU would find all that attractive from their end."
And when he was asked about BYU's program:
"BYU is a national program. They've distinguished themselves over the years. They have a national following, a huge following. They are one of those national brand names that everybody knows. (then he quotes a lot of stats about BYU's success and he almost sounds like Greg Wrubell himself in touting those stats) ... BYU has everything that you'd want. The program has been consistently successful. But there's more to it than that. The relationship with BYU is very valuable to us, because the University has the right values and has great people. The competition has always been first rate, the Stadium is beautiful. The town the university everything about it is great for us."
"I would point out they are clearly, in our estimation, a power team and one of the great college programs," Aresco said. "We're proud that our teams are playing BYU. In the next several years we're going to be playing them quite a bit."
From an Orlando Sentinel article: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/ucf-knights/os-ucf-usf-aac-0730-20140729-story.html
While BYU is an attractive partner, the school has not shown any interest in joining the conference and commissioner Mike Aresco said the league isn't actively pursuing expansion at this time.
"If they expressed interest in our conference, and they have not done that, we would certainly listen because they're just a superb program," Aresco said. "But I really want to not do is spark any rumors, there's nothing going on. BYU said down the road, they like being independent and we'll see."
And I know Criddle's interview with Aresco from last July has been posted before, but I include it for it's recency and relevancy as well: https://espn960sports.com/cougar-sports/would-the-aac-make-concessions-for-byu-to-join-their-league-commissioner-mike-aresco-spoke-with-ben-criddle/
Look, I'm not saying that I know or have heard anything about BYU to the AAC, but it borders on comical that many here think the AAC wouldn't even want us. The "Battered BYU fan syndrome" is on full display, and frankly, it's embarrassing to see. We had a stinky year in Football, sure, but that doesn't change who we are and what the program has accomplished. We still have a higher ceiling than anyone currently in the AAC (though UCF's ceiling is pretty high given their size and market.) The AAC would take a willing BYU program in a heartbeat as Football only or in all sports.
EDIT: I actually meant to link to this reply, but you get the point: