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American Athletic Conference Football Championship Game

The American Athletic Conference Football Championship Game is a college football game currently held by the American Athletic Conference (The American) each year to determine the conference's season champion. The inaugural game was held on December 5, 2015, at 12:00 pm ET.[1]

American Athletic Conference Football Championship Game
Conference Football Championship
American Athletic Conference Football Championship Game Logo.svg
Logo of the Championship Game
ConferenceThe American
Last contest2019
Current championMemphis
Most championshipsUCF
TV partner(s)ESPN/ABC
Official websiteOfficial site
Host stadiums
Best conference team's home field (2015–present)

The game will pit the champion of the Eastern Division (UCF, Cincinnati, Connecticut, East Carolina, South Florida, and Temple) against the champion of the Western Division (Houston, Memphis, Navy, SMU, Tulane, and Tulsa). The game will be played at the home stadium of the division winner with the better conference record.[2]

Television broadcast rights to the game are owned by ESPN/ABC.[1]


The American was reorganized following the tumultuous period of realignment that hobbled the Big East between 2010 and 2013. In all, 14 member schools announced their departure for other conferences, and 15 other schools announced plans to join the conference (eight as all-sports members, and four for football only). In December 2012, the Big East's seven remaining non-FBS schools, all Catholic institutions — DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall, and Villanova – announced that they voted unanimously to leave the conference.

After a settlement in 2013 between the non-FBS schools and the FBS schools regarding the use of the conference name, the ten remaining football playing members renamed themselves the American Athletic Conference.[3] In 2014, Louisville and Rutgers departed the conference and joined the ACC and Big Ten, respectively. Their departure was succeeded on the same day by the entrance of East Carolina, Tulane, and Tulsa for all sports.[4] In 2015, the U.S. Naval Academy joined the conference for football, bringing the membership total in that sport to twelve teams. At the time, the conference split into two six-team divisions and created a conference championship game.[2]

Pre-championship game eraEdit

The 2013 and 2014 American Athletic Conference football champions were determined by the team(s) with the best conference record, and there was no championship game held. In years when two or more teams tied in conference record, co-champions were declared.

Season Champion(s) Conference
2013 UCF 8–0 12–1
2014 Memphis 7–1 10–3
Cincinnati 7–1 9–4
UCF 7–1 9–4

Championship Game resultsEdit

Below are the results from all AAC Football Championship Games played. The winning team appears in bold font, on a background of their primary team color. Rankings are from the AP Poll released prior to the game.

Date East Division West Division Site Attendance
December 5, 2015 20 Temple Owls 13 17 Houston Cougars 24 TDECU StadiumHouston, Texas 35,721
December 3, 2016 Temple Owls 34 20 Navy Midshipmen 10 Navy–Marine Corps Memorial StadiumAnnapolis, Maryland 22,815
December 2, 2017 12 UCF Knights 622OT 16 Memphis Tigers 55 Spectrum StadiumOrlando, Florida 41,433
December 1, 2018 8 UCF Knights 56 Memphis Tigers 41 45,176
December 7, 2019 21 Cincinnati Bearcats 24 16 Memphis Tigers 29 Liberty Bowl Memorial StadiumMemphis, Tennessee 33,008

Game MVPsEdit

Year MVP Team
2015 QB Greg Ward Jr. Houston
2016 QB Phillip Walker Temple
2017 QB McKenzie Milton UCF
2018 QB Darriel Mack Jr. UCF

Results by teamEdit

Appearances School Wins Losses Pct. Year(s) Won Year(s) Lost
3 Memphis 1 2 .333 2019 2017, 2018
2 UCF 2 0 1.000 2017, 2018  
2 Temple 1 1 .500 2016 2015
1 Houston 1 0 1.000 2015  
1 Navy 0 1 .000   2016
1 Cincinnati 0 1 .000   2019

Selection criteriaEdit

Team selectionEdit

Division standings are based on each team's overall conference record. In the event that two teams are tied, head-to head competition would break the tie. If the two teams did not play, division record will be used to determine the divisional champion. If three or more teams are tied, the following tiebreakers are used to determine the divisional champion:[1]

  • The following procedures will only be used to eliminate all but two teams, at which point the two-team tie-breaking procedure (head-to-head result) will be applied.
  1. Head-to-head (best record in games among the tied teams).
  2. Record in games played within the division.
  3. Record against the next highest placed team in the division (based on record in all Conference games, both divisional and non-divisional).
  4. Record against the next highest placed team in the division (based on record in divisional games).
  5. Record against common non-divisional opponents.
  6. Best overall winning percentage in all games.
  7. Highest CFP ranking following the last weekend of regular-season games.
  8. Coin toss.

Site selectionEdit

The site of the Championship Game is the home stadium of the division champion with the best overall conference record. In the event that the two division champions are tied, then the head-to-head record shall be used as the tiebreaker. If the two teams did not play, the following procedure is used to determine the host:[5]

  • College Football Playoff ranking, under the following conditions:
    • If only one division champion is ranked entering the final week of conference play, it will host if it wins in that week. If that team loses, a composite of four computer rankings is used to determine the host.
    • If both division champions are ranked, the higher-ranked team that won in the final week will host. If, in this scenario, neither wins in the final week, the same computer ranking system is used.
    • If neither division champion is ranked, the aforementioned computer rankings are used.
  • If neither CFP nor computer rankings determine a host, the teams' records against common conference opponents are used.
  • If still tied, overall record determines the host.
  • Finally, a coin toss is held at the conference offices.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "The American Championship Central". American Athletic Conference. June 4, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "American Announces Football Schedule Format for 2015-18". USA Today. December 18, 2012.
  3. ^ Wolken, Dan (May 29, 2013). "American Athletic Conference unveils its primary logos". USA Today. Beyond the challenge of avoiding something that looked corporate, the league also couldn't build the logo around an acronym. From the very beginning, the conference office has been adamant that it wants to be known as The American instead of the AAC to avoid confusion with the Atlantic Coast Conference.
  4. ^ "At a glance: Latest wave of conference realignment". USA Today. June 29, 2014. Retrieved June 30, 2014.
  5. ^ "Football Bylaw 5.2 – Championship Host Determination" (PDF). American Athletic Conference Constitution. American Athletic Conference. October 30, 2016. Retrieved November 23, 2016.