5 Other AAC Bowl Matchups Worth Watching


Where is the T, M and P?


Just four months ago, the AAC was lumped as just another Group of 5 football conference trying to make its way in a Power 5 world. Then the AAC won some big games, with Temple beating Penn State and Memphis beating Mississippi, finished 4-3 against a P5 conference (the ACC) and separated itself from the pack. Now it can enhance its image by winning these five bowl games.


  1. Miami Beach: USF vs. Western Kentucky

The big storyline in this game (2:30 p.m., EDT, Dec. 21, ESPN), is Willie Taggart’s old recruits, the ones who play for 11-2 WKU, going up against his newer 8-4 South Florida recruits. Despite the game being played in South Florida, the Hilltoppers are slight favorites and a lot of that has to do with the motivation on one side against an less-motivated group on the other. Plus, WKU’s Jeff Brohm probably is a better game day coach than Taggart.


  1. Birmingham: Memphis vs. Auburn

The fact that the 9-3 Memphis Tigers are a slight underdog against the 6-6 Auburn Tigers is a product of this being a home game for Auburn. In reality, Memphis is a team that beat Mississippi by 13 points and should have no problem handling an overvalued Auburn team that has an edge in SEC name recognition and little else. The game is Dec. 30th on ESPN at noon.


  1. Hawaii: Cincinnati vs. San Diego St.

The Bearcats have one of the best quarterbacks in the country in Gunner Kiel, who has played significantly better in the second half of the season since coming off a concussion. The 7-5 Bearcats’ most impressive showing was a 33-30 loss at champion Houston. SDSU, which is 10-3, is a slight underdog in this game (Dec. 24, 8 p.m., ESPN).


  1. Military Bowl: Pitt vs. Navy

In what is a home game for 9-2 Navy, played at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium, this game serves as a showcase for someone who should have won the Heisman Award, Navy Midshipmen quarterback Keenan Reynolds, against a successful Power 5 team in 8-4 Pitt. This is probably too tough a spot for the four-point underdog Panthers.


  1. Peach Bowl: Houston vs. Florida State

The one takeaway from Houston’s 24-13 win over Temple in the title game was two takeaways, an interception and a fumble, which were really the difference between Temple being there and Houston taking the spot. The fact that the Owls had to play a perfect game to beat the Cougars probably bodes well for the touchdown underdog in the Dec. 31 game (noon, ESPN). The AAC can make its ultimate statement winning this game.


5 thoughts on “5 Other AAC Bowl Matchups Worth Watching

  1. PSU just hired the Fordam head coach for the OC job.., Snow better beat this guy the second time around

    • He will be the next PSU head coach. This guy is good. He beat Army with FCS talent twice. Kinda good news for Temple that Schiano is the Ohio State DC and this guy is the PSU OC. First, it keeps Schiano out of Jersey where he could be a pain in the ass for Temple. Second, when they find out how good Moorhead is, they won’t want Rhule if it ever comes time for Franklin to go. Fordham has been very good under only two head coaches since Lombardi. The first was Dave Clawson, where they won multiple Patriot League titles. The second was Moorhead. In the middle was a guy who went 7-15 as head coach. He currently does a great job with our special teams, but is not head coaching material. The Peter Principle in effect.

  2. He’s gone. He saw Temple was on the schedule next year and decided to get out while the getting was good. Seriously, though, some agent is going to tell him the Matt Barkley story. Matt decided to come back for his senior year and went from a top overall first-round pick to a fourth-rounder. Hack is projected no lower than a late first round, probably closer to middle. Way too much money to come back. Bernard Pierce left early for third-round money.

    • Hackenburg should take the money and run. Barkley is a good comparison as Hack has never lived up to his hype. Whether it’s on him or the coaches doesn’t matter so long as there’s still the perception this guy is first round material. I see him as a very pedestrian NFL talent who becomes a journeyman QB.

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