Want to know the real reason why Pitt is in a power conference (the ACC) while UCF is stuck in the American Athletic Conference?
It's not because of football success. That's not to take anything away from Pitt football, which has the third most wins of any team since the Panthers joined the ACC. However, I think we'd all have to agree that UCF has been extremely successful (except for that one year when they could beat anybody).
It's not because of football attendance. UCF averaging 44,451 while Pitt's average is only 43,789 - and that includes a home game against UCF! This represents a sold-out stadium for the Knights, but the Panthers have 25,000 empty seats (on average).
It's certainly not about men's basketball. Although the ACC probably expected more from Pitt, the fact is the Panthers went 14-19 last season, while UCF went 24-9 (against lesser competition, to be sure, but still - they were competitive in their conference).
No, the REAL reason why Pitt is in the P5 and UCF is not is illustrated by the split national coverage map of Saturday's game in which half of the country got UCF/Pitt on ABC while the other half got Washington/BYU. Pitt delivered the entire ACC footprint, plus Ohio. There wasn't any overlap of footprints between the two games, so... did UCF deliver the AAC footprint? Eh, no. Texas (Houston, SMU), Oklahoma (Tulsa), and Louisiana (Tulane) all got the UW/BYU game on ABC. None of those states scream Pac-12 or Mormon, so I think it's fair to say this was an indictment of UCF's TV appeal.
The fact that Pitt won the game is just icing on the cake!