100% the American is not a terrible conference. But, UTSA has been perennial bottom feeder in it.
A team so messed up that 12 guys departed the team from last year. The new UTSA did look like they will be improved and they were likely the best team we have played but nobody we have played compares to anybody we will play in Big Ten competition.
I believe this is the first year that UTSA has been in the American. Three American teams (Cincinatti, Houston, and Central Florida) left and joined the Big 12 starting this year. Since those were among the most successful basketball teams in the conference, that diluted the conference's power somewhat.