The American Athletic Conference Football Championship Game is a college football game currently held by the American Athletic Conference (The American) each year to determine the conference's season champion. The inaugural game will be held on December 5, 2015, at 12:00 pm ET. The game will pit the champion of Eastern division (Cincinnati, Connecticut, East Carolina, South Florida, Temple, and UCF) against the champion of the Western division (Houston, Memphis, Navy, SMU, Tulane, and Tulsa). The game will be played at the home stadium of the division winner with the better conference record.
Runtime: 180 minutes
American Athletic Conference Football Championship Game - Western Athletic Conference - Netflix
The Western Athletic Conference (WAC) is an American collegiate athletic conference formed on July 27, 1962 and affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I. The WAC covers a broad expanse of the western United States, with member institutions located in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Utah, and Washington, along with the “non-western” states of Missouri and Illinois (traditionally associated with the Midwest), as well as Texas (traditionally associated with the Southwest). Due to most of the conference's football-playing members leaving the WAC for other affiliations, the conference discontinued football as a sponsored sport after the 2012–13 season and left the NCAA's Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-A). The WAC thus became the first Division I conference to drop football since the Big West in 2000. The WAC then added men's soccer and became one of the NCAA's eleven Division I non-football conferences.
American Athletic Conference Football Championship Game - Membership changes and the elimination of football - Netflix
But from this seemingly strong position, early 2012 brought forth a series of moves that shook the conference to its very core, beginning with Utah State and San Jose State accepting offers to join the MW. Four similar announcements followed with UTSA and Louisiana Tech jumping to Conference USA, plus Texas State and UT Arlington heading to the Sun Belt Conference, all as of 2013–14. Boise State also canceled plans to rejoin the WAC, instead opting to place its non-football sports in the Big West Conference, before eventually deciding to simply remain in the MW. These changes left the WAC's viability as a Division I football conference in grave doubt. The two remaining football-playing members, New Mexico State and Idaho, began making plans to compete in future seasons as FBS Independents; they ultimately spent only the 2013 season as independents, rejoining their one-time football home of the Sun Belt as football-only members in 2014. In order to rebuild, as well as forestall further defections, the conference was forced to add two schools—Utah Valley University and CSU Bakersfield—which were invited in October 2012 to join the WAC in 2013–14, but this did not prevent two more members from leaving. Denver decided to take most of its athletic teams to The Summit League as of the 2013–14 season, shortly after Idaho opted to return all of its non-football sports to the Big Sky Conference in 2014–15. The conference responded over the next two months by adding Grand Canyon University, Chicago State University, and the University of Texas-Pan American. Then, in February 2013, the WAC announced the University of Missouri–Kansas City would join in the summer of 2013 as well. These changes would put the conference's membership at eight members by 2014 with only one, New Mexico State, having been in the WAC just three years earlier. Due to losing the majority of its football-playing members, the WAC would stop sponsoring the sport after the 2012–13 season, thereby becoming a non-football conference. While the WAC has had no changes in its core membership since the departure of Idaho, one member school has changed its identity. In 2013, the University of Texas System announced that Texas–Pan American would merge with the University of Texas at Brownsville; the new institution, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), began operation for the 2015–16 school year. UTRGV inherited UTPA's athletic program and WAC membership. In January 2017, the WAC announced that California Baptist University would transition from NCAA Division II and join the conference in 2018.
The decade of the 2010s began with a series of conference realignment moves that would have trickle-down effects throughout Division I football, and profoundly change the membership of the WAC. Boise State decided to move to the Mountain West Conference (MW) for the 2011–12 season, and to replace departing BYU, the MW also recruited WAC members Fresno State and Nevada for 2012–13. WAC commissioner Karl Benson courted several schools to replace those leaving, including the University of Montana, which declined, as well as the University of Denver, University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), and Texas State University-San Marcos, which all accepted effective 2012–13. But the resulting eastward shift of the conference's geographic center led Hawaiʻi to reduce travel expenses by becoming a football-only member of the MW and joining the California-based Big West Conference for all other sports. Further invitations were then issued by the WAC to Seattle University and the University of Texas at Arlington. These changes meant that the conference would have 10 members for 2012–13, seven of which sponsored football, and Benson announced that the WAC planned to add two additional football-playing members to begin competition in 2013. A further boost came when Boise State decided to join the Big East in football, and return to the WAC in most other sports, as of the 2013–14 academic year. So by the end of 2011, the WAC seemed to have weathered the latest round of conference changes, and once again reinvented itself for the future.
American Athletic Conference Football Championship Game - References - Netflix