AAC to finalize plans for football championship game at meetings

The American Athletic Conference expects to finalize the format for the leaugue’s inaugural football championship game during its annual meeting that begins Wednesday at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne in Miami, Fla. Other than that, very little news is expected out of the league meetings.

The addition of Navy this fall as the 12th member of The American’s football league satisfies the requisite number of teams required by the NCAA to hold a conference championship game.

According to the conference, commissioner Mike Aresco and the presidents of the twelve member institutions of The American will be joined by the athletic directors, the head football, men’s and women’s basketball coaches, the senior woman administrators, the faculty athletic representatives of each institution, and members of the conference senior staff at the meetings.

The 2015 season will be the first in The American’s new 12-team, two-division format in football. The American Athletic Conference East Division will include UConn, UCF, Cincinnati, East Carolina, USF and Temple. The West Division will consist of Houston, Memphis, Navy, SMU, Tulane and Tulsa.

The conference schedule will include 48 regular-season games that will have each of the 12 teams in The American playing eight league contests annually. Each team will face the other five teams in its own division, as well as three teams from the other division, ensuring that each school will play every conference opponent at home and on the road at least once in the four-year cycle.

The East and West division winners, determined by final conference record, will meet in the first American Athletic Conference Football Championship Game, which will be played at the home site of one of the division winners.

A conference press release said: “Also included on the three-day agenda are The American’s student-athlete well-being initiatives, including the Conference Concussion Management Policy, transfer rules, freshman ineligibility, and a number of standard Conference business items such as board and committee appointments and budget approval. The membership is expected to review institutional full cost of attendance plans and provide a recommendation to the Collegiate Commissioners Association on an early signing period for prospective football student-athletes.”

Transfer rules have become a hot topic but the AAC is expected to pass any measures. Instead, it will just look at data.

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