American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco. Photo by Dylan Lyons.

Christopher Wolf contributed to this article.

American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco discussed the UCF Knights and their national championship during his opening remarks at the 2018 AAC Media Days.


Aresco said UCF had “a right to claim” the national championship title and that the team earned the opportunity to play for the national title. He said former UCF Head Coach Scott Frost “showed great class” by continuing to coach his players through the Peach Bowl.

In recognizing UCF’s success this past season, he did not overlook the former star defensive player Shaquem Griffin and his individual success.

“A great young man,” said Aresco. “In a larger sense, Shaquem reflected and epitomized our league, underappreciated until we do something remarkable, underrated until we shock the world as we did in this year’s Peach Bowl, the 2015 Peach Bowl, in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl, in all the P6 victories.”

In the past three seasons, the conference has won 26 games over P5 teams including Florida State, Oklahoma, and most recently Auburn.

Aresco said that the lack of revenue in the conference is affecting the conferences TV/ media rights. He said he plans to discuss this matter at the media rights negations.

Aresco said the conference has grown tremendously in the past five years. He applauds the players and coaches in the conference for this success.