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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Football

AAC Championship: Who, where UH might play for the conference title


Junior quarterback Clayton Tune has helped lead UH football back to the AAC title game for the first time since 2015. | Courtesy of UH athletics

Junior quarterback Clayton Tune has helped lead UH football back to the AAC title game for the first time since 2015. | Courtesy of UH athletics

For the first time since 2015, UH football is headed back to the American Athletic Conference Championship Game, which is scheduled for Dec. 4. 

The Cougars clinched a berth in the AAC title game by cruising past Temple, who UH beat in the 2015 inaugural AAC Championship Game 24-13, on Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia for their ninth straight win.

Although UH is in, who and when the Cougars will play has yet to be decided. 

There are several possible scenarios which go as follow:

If both UH and Cincinnati win out

If the Cougars and Bearcats both take care of business over the next two weeks, the game will be played at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati. 

The Cougars are 15-12 all-time against Cincinnati but have lost two straight to the Bearcats, most recently falling 38-10 in Nov. 2020.

If UH wins out and Cincinnati loses one of its final two games

If this happens, the Cougars and Bearcats would still meet in the AAC title game, but UH would host the game at TDECU Stadium.

If SMU wins out and Cincinnati loses its last two games

This is where things get interesting. If SMU wins out, which starts with beating Cincinnati on Nov. 20, the Cougars will take on the Mustangs at TDECU Stadium.

This would be a rematch of one of the most exciting games of the entire college football season, in which UH knocked off the then-undefeated Mustangs on a Marcus Jones 100-yard kickoff return with just seconds remaining in the game.

If SMU and East Carolina win out and Cincinnati loses its last two games

This is the most chaotic of the four scenarios. UH would host either the Mustangs or the Pirates depending on a tiebreaker scenario, which would be based on the higher-ranked team in the College Football Playoff Selection Committee’s rankings since the Mustangs and Pirates did not play each other in 2021.

UH has already beaten both the Mustangs and Pirates this season.

The Cougars are 8-7 all-time against ECU, including three straight wins over the Pirates, and are 22-13-1 in program history against SMU.

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