These Sun Belt officials should be ashamed.
It’s a good thing bowl games are being played for nothing other than pride, because any pride credits the AAC built up in an impressive regular season are being used up in the postseason.
A couple of years ago, MLB put a tangible reward in the outcome of another meaningless sports endeavor, the all-star game, with home advantage in the World Series going to the league that won. Fortunately, the BCS is too pre-occupied with creating artificial advantages for its Power 5 teams to care about how Group of 5 teams do in bowl games. Otherwise, we might see something tangible go to a less-deserving conference like the Mid-American.
The AAC has lost three games so far but, really, only one team, Temple, entered its Boca Raton Bowl game favored and that was just by one point. The other two AAC teams which have lost, Cincinnati and South Florida, were underdogs and rightly so. In the Temple game, the Owls drew to within 25-17 with 2:50 left and replays showed they recovered an onsides’ kick that was awarded to Toledo, but, as North Carolina found out in the ACC title game against Clemson, onsides’ kicks are not reviewable.
South Florida, the second-place team in the AAC East, lost to the Conference USA champion, Western Kentucky, while the Mountain West Conference champion, San Diego State, pummeled the third-place finisher from the AAC East in Cincinnati.
Toledo was a curious underdog because the 10-2 Rockets were coming off a regular season that saw them win all their road games, including those at Iowa State and Arkansas. Iowa State was so impressed by Toledo that it went out and hired its head coach, Matt Campbell, after the season.
Now, the really meaningful games for the reputation of the conference are the Military Bowl and the Peach Bowl and the AAC looks to be in good shape in both.
Houston is a touchdown underdog to Florida State in the Peach Bowl, and Navy is a slight favorite against Pittsburgh in the Military Bowl. A pair of wins against established Power 5 teams could give the AAC the good news it so desperately needs now.