AAC Announces 2015 Football Divisions

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During the American Athletic Conference annual meetings in Key Biscayne, Fla., the league announced the football divisions for the 2015 season Friday.

UCF will be placed in the East Division along with Cincinnati, UConn, East Carolina, Temple and USF.

Over in the West will be Houston, Memphis, Navy, SMU, Tulsa and Tulane.

Each team will play a total of eight conference games, facing the other five teams in its own division as well as three from the other division, ensuring that each school will play every conference opponent at home and on the road at least once in a four-year cycle. The division winners will play for the conference title at the home site of the highest ranked divisional champion.

UCFKnights.com takes a quick peek at the Black and Gold’s divisional foes starting in 2015.

-The Bearcats were the only team UCF did not face in the debut of The American in 2013, and the Knights will not face Cincinnati (or Memphis) again in 2014.
-In all, UCF and Cincinnati have never tangled on the gridiron.
-The Bearcats went 9-4 overall last year and 6-2 in the league, earning a spot in the Belk Bowl.

-UCF battled UConn for the first time a year ago, walking away with a 62-17 win in Orlando.
-The Knights make the return trip to East Hartford this season on Nov. 1.
-UConn serves as the farthest distance for the Knights to travel at approximately 1,188 miles (Tulsa in the West also checks in at about 1,188 miles).

East Carolina
-The Pirates and Knights first met in 1991 with ECU going 4-0 vs. UCF from 1991-96. When the two teams moved to Conference USA in 2005, ECU went 5-3 for an overall mark of 9-3 against the Knights.
-Since UCF football’s inception in 1979, only Bethune-Cookman (15 times) has faced the Knights more than ECU.
-East Carolina joins The American for its first year in the league in 2014.
-ECU posted a 10-3 record in 2013, topping Ohio in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl.

-Just like UConn, UCF clashed with Temple for the first time last year.
-The Black and Gold racked up 657 total yards vs. the Owls, which marked the third-best output in a single-game in UCF history.
-Blake Bortles set a career-high with 404 yards, helping UCF notch a dramatic 39-36 win at Temple. The Owls come to Orlando on Oct. 25, 2014.

-The I-4 rivals met each season as members of different conferences from 2005-08.
-The 2013 campaign renewed the UCF-USF rivalry as The American was born, and the Knights defeated the Bulls for the first time in a 23-20 win.
-UCF will play in Tampa for the first time since 2007 when it heads over during Thanksgiving weekend this year, rumbling with USF on Nov. 28.

In addition to the divisional alignment announcement, American Commissioner Mike Aresco confirmed two other football-related procedural items, which were approved by the conference’s athletic directors, to be implemented for the 2014-15 season:

• 2014 Regular Season Tiebreaker Procedure: For the 2014 season, the American Athletic Conference Football Champion will be the team that finishes the regular season with the highest winning percentage in conference games. If more than one team has the same winning percentage, the tied teams are declared co-champions. To determine the College Football Playoff/Host Bowl representative, the co-champion ranked highest by the College Football Playoff Committee will be eligible to receive the automatic bid shared with Conference USA, the Mid-American, Mountain West, and Sun Belt conferences.

• Eighth Official: The American will add an eighth on-field official, who will be positioned behind the quarterback, for all of its conference games in 2014 for a one-season trial. The eighth official will also be used in all of Navy’s games in which game officials are assigned by The American. The conference’s head football coaches recommended implementation primarily to enhance student-athlete safety.

SOURCE: UCF Athletics