Aug 30, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; The American Athletic Conference logo on the field before the game between the Houston Cougars and the Southern Jaguars at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

A Look at the AAC's Future Bowl Lineup

With the current cycle of bowl tie-ins set to end after this season, the American Athletic Conference announced it’s new bowl lineup for the 2014-2019 seasons last week.

As news like this began to tricke in from the vast corneres of the internet, it became clear that the American’s bowl lineup was being completely gutted.  Much to the chagrin of AAC football fans, the only tie-ins that remained were the two least-prestigious games, the BBVC Compass Bowl )Birmingham, AL) and the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl (St. Pete, FL).  The only good news was the creation of the brand-new Miami Beach Bowl.

As the power conferences continued to pick off AAC bowl tie-ins, you had to begin to wonder what would be left?  Well, that question was answered last Thursday morning.  The answer is “scraps.”  Not only is there a total absence of any decent, brand-name bowl games, but there is also almost zero possibility of an AAC team facing a marquee opponent.

Basically the only chanes for an AAC team to play in a meaningful game is to not only win the league, but finish as the top ranked team among the “Group of Five” non-power conferences (AAC, Mtn West, C-USA, MAC, Sun Belt).  The “Group of Five” will share one automatic bid to the “New Years’ Six” Bowl Games (since we won’t be calling them BCS Bowls anymore).  If the AAC’s champion is highest among the Group of Five, it could either be selected for the new 4-team playoff, or get the Group of Five automatic bid to the Cotton, Chick-Fil-A, or Fiesta Bowl.

No determination yet on what will be the pecking order for these bowls to select AAC teams.  If I had to guess, the Miami Beach Bowl would have the #1 selection. After that, it’s kind of 2A-2E.  Who knows.  In the absence of brand-name bowl games, at least there are some great cities to visit in Miami, New Orleans, Honolulu, The Bahamas, and St. Pete.

Here’s the complete bowl lineup for the next six seasons:

2014
Cotton/Chick-Fil-A/Fiesta (If Highest Ranked Among AAC/MtnWest/C-USA/MAC/Sun Belt)
BBVA Compass Bowl, Birmingham, Ala. – vs. SEC
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg, Fla. – vs. ACC
Miami Beach Bowl, Miami, Fla. – vs. Conference USA
Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman, Annapolis, Md. – vs. ACC
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, Fort Worth, Texas – vs. Army/Big 12
Bahamas Bowl, Nassau, Bahamas – vs. MAC

2015
Cotton/Chick-Fil-A/Fiesta (If Highest Ranked Among AAC/MtnWest/C-USA/MAC/Sun Belt)
BBVA Compass Bowl, Birmingham, Ala. – vs. SEC
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg, Fla. – vs. Conference USA
Miami Beach Bowl, Miami, Fla. – vs. Conference USA
Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman, Annapolis, Md. – vs. ACC
Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, Honolulu, Hawaii – vs. Mountain West
Boca Raton Bowl, Boca Raton, Fla. – vs. MAC

2016
Cotton/Chick-Fil-A/Fiesta (If Highest Ranked Among AAC/MtnWest/C-USA/MAC/Sun Belt)
BBVA Compass Bowl, Birmingham, Ala. – vs. SEC
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg, Fla. – vs. ACC
Miami Beach Bowl, Miami, Fla. – vs. MAC
Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman, Annapolis, Md. – vs. ACC
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, Fort Worth, Texas – vs. Big 12
Bahamas Bowl, Nassau Bahamas – vs. MAC
Boca Raton Bowl, Boca Raton, Fla. – vs. Conference USA

2017 Season
Cotton/Chick-Fil-A/Fiesta (If Highest Ranked Among AAC/MtnWest/C-USA/MAC/Sun Belt)
BBVA Compass Bowl, Birmingham, Ala. – vs. SEC
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg, Fla. – vs. Conference USA
Miami Beach Bowl, Miami, Fla. – vs. Sun Belt
Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman, Annapolis, Md. – vs. ACC
Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, Honolulu, Hawaii – vs. Mountain West
Boca Raton Bowl, Boca Raton, Fla. – vs. Conference USA

2018
Cotton/Chick-Fil-A/Fiesta (If Highest Ranked Among AAC/MtnWest/C-USA/MAC/Sun Belt)
BBVA Compass Bowl, Birmingham, Ala. – vs. SEC
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg, Fla. – ACC
Miami Beach Bowl, Miami, Fla. – vs. MAC
Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman, Annapolis, Md. – vs. ACC
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, Fort Worth, Texas – vs. Big 12
Bahamas Bowl, Nassau, Bahamas – vs. Conference USA
R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, New Orleans, La. – vs. Sun Belt

2019
Cotton/Chick-Fil-A/Fiesta (If Highest Ranked Among AAC/MtnWest/C-USA/MAC/Sun Belt)
BBVA Compass Bowl, Birmingham, Ala. – vs. SEC
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg, Fla. – vs. Conference USA
Miami Beach Bowl, Miami, Fla. – vs. Sun Belt
Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman, Annapolis, Md. – vs. ACC
Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, Honolulu, Hawaii – vs. Mountain West
Boca Raton Bowl, Boca Raton, Fla. – vs. MAC
R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, New Orleans, La. – vs. Conference USA

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