The American’s “Power Six” campaign may not be as ridiculous as some have made it out to be. Over the last two years, the AAC has performed better against Power Five opponents than any other Group of Five conference by a wide margin, and is even on par with some of those major conferences.
Since 2017, the American has gone 15-28 against Power Five opponents. The Group of Five conference with the next best record is the Mountain West, which went just 9-32 over that span.
And there isn’t exactly a wide gap from where the American sits to the Power Five. In that timespan, the ACC went 15-27 against out-of-conference Power Five opponents, just a single win better than the American.
UCF has obviously played a significant role given its level of success over the last couple years, accounting for three of those wins and just one loss. But plenty of AAC teams have had success against the Power Five, with six of them earning a win against a major conference team this season.
Here is the full list of conferences’ records against out-of-conference Power Five opponents since 2017:
Big Ten: 26-18 (59%)
SEC: 24-23 (51%)
Big 12: 16-17 (48%)
Pac-12: 14-19 (42%)
ACC: 15-27 (36%)
American: 15-28 (35%)
Mountain West: 9-32 (22%)
MAC: 7-39 (15%)
Conference USA: 4-37 (10%)
Sun Belt: 2-28 (7%)
UCF will have a chance to improve this record in 2019, with both Stanford and Pitt on its out-of-conference schedule.