Scheduling Issue could hurt American Conference

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Having only 11 member teams is potentially presenting a controversy for the American Conference in 2014. Without a round robin schedule or a 12th team to split into divisions and create a championship game, the possibility of a two or three way tie at the top is very realistic. Houston plays both projected contenders within the conference, Cincinnati and Central Florida, but if the Cougars falter in either game, the door opens for a host of other possibilities. Houston is projected to beat UCF at home, but lose at Cincinnati on the last week of the regular season. The Bearcats and the Knights do not play each other in 2014, so two undefeated (8-0) conference teams is a possibility. The newly expanded American Conference has a real shot at the league champion finishing in the Top 25 with Cincinnati, Houston and Central Florida projected to finish at #23, #24 and #25 respectively. If Cincinnati and Central Florida succeed in their projections at 10-2, having the opportunity to play each other in 2014 would most likely have thrust the winner into contention for the coveted “highest ranked Group of Five team” which will automatically have an invitation to one of the major bowl games under the new playoff rules. An undefeated conference slate for Houston should put the Cougars in that position as well.

Projected 2014 Conference Standings

Projected 2014 Game by Game Results