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Projecting the American standings

Ryan Boatright and UConn have been inconsistent, but remain the team to beat. Jim O'Connor/USA TODAY Sports

MORE CONFERENCE STANDINGS PROJECTIONS

The American | ACC | Big East | Big Ten
Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC

For a conference that includes the reigning national champion, the American sure suffers from a lack of respect. It's true this league's bottom half looks rather undistinguished, but of course the ACC has issues in that department as well, and no one yells at John Swofford.

The real problem with this conference is at the top. Structurally, the American may net out as a mediocre basketball league in most seasons, but additionally the league this season is suffering from a simple case of bad timing. Crown jewel Connecticut is 7-5, Cincinnati and Memphis are each painfully young, SMU is still trying to find its footing and Temple is only now recovering from a 2013-14 that comprised the program's worst season in over a decade.

So mock the American if you wish. Just keep in mind we're seeing the conference at its most nonthreatening right now, and even in 2014-15 there's still a good deal of basketball left to be played. Here's how I see that season playing out (current records in parentheses):

1. Connecticut Huskies