|American Athletic Conference Football Championship Game|
|Conference Football Championship|
Logo of the Championship Game
|Official website||Official site|
|Best conference team's home field (2015–present)|
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.
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.
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. 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. 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.
Pre-championship game era
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.
Championship Game results
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 Stadium • Houston, Texas||35,721|
|December 3, 2016||Temple Owls||34||20 Navy Midshipmen||10||Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium • Annapolis, Maryland||22,815|
|December 2, 2017||12 UCF Knights||62||16 Memphis Tigers||55 (2OT)||Spectrum Stadium • Orlando, Florida||41,433|
|December 1, 2018||8 UCF Knights||56||16 Memphis Tigers||41||45,176|
|December 7, 2019|
|2015||QB Greg Ward Jr.||Houston|
|2016||QB Phillip Walker||Temple|
|2017||QB McKenzie Milton||UCF|
|2018||QB Darriel Mack Jr.||UCF|
Results by team
|Appearances||School||Wins||Losses||Pct.||Year(s) Won||Year(s) Lost|
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:
- 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.
- Head-to-head (best record in games among the tied teams).
- Record in games played within the division.
- Record against the next highest placed team in the division (based on record in all Conference games, both divisional and non-divisional).
- Record against the next highest placed team in the division (based on record in divisional games).
- Record against common non-divisional opponents.
- Best overall winning percentage in all games.
- Highest CFP ranking following the last weekend of regular-season games.
- Coin toss.
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:
- 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.
- "The American Championship Central". American Athletic Conference. June 4, 2015.
- "American Announces Football Schedule Format for 2015-18". USA Today. December 18, 2012.
- 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.
- "At a glance: Latest wave of conference realignment". USA Today. June 29, 2014. Retrieved June 30, 2014.
- "Football Bylaw 5.2 – Championship Host Determination" (PDF). American Athletic Conference Constitution. American Athletic Conference. October 30, 2016. Retrieved November 23, 2016.