The American Athletic Conference is settling on a handful of expansion candidates that will likely kick off the next round of realignment at the Group of Five level, multiple sources told CBS Sports. The timing of that next round could be impacted if Texas and Oklahoma attempt to make an early entry into the SEC.
In reaction to the Big 12's recent raid of Cincinnati, Houston and UCF, the AAC has focused on recruiting a group of schools that includes Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, San Diego State and UAB, sources tell CBS Sports. UAB, a member of Conference USA, is the only non-Mountain West team on that short list.
That suggests AAC commissioner Mike Aresco could be looking mostly West in search of equal television value for the three prize pieces he lost to the Big 12.
Boise State and UAB have been discussed most prominently among the five expansion candidates. Inclusion of any or all of the four aforementioned Mountain West candidates could destabilize that league to the point the that the AAC would remain the clear top conference in the Group of Five.