Jacksonville Sports Day

COLLEGE BOWL NEWS: AAC Announces Bowl Games for Five Schools

By MIKE BONTS
(FLORIDA SPORTS WIRE) – 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Five American Athletic Conference teams will continue their respective 2014 football seasons in the postseason as the conference announced its bowl selections Sunday.
 
Three American Athletic Conference teams – UCF, Cincinnati and Memphis – tied for the conference title with 7-1 records in league play to go with 9-3 overall marks. They will be joined by East Carolina and Houston to comprise a bowl contingent that will play three games against the Atlantic Coast Conference, one against the Southeastern Conference and one against Brigham Young in the postseason.
 
Memphis (9-3), which won a share of the American Athletic Conference title in its final game of the regular season, will play Brigham Young in the first Miami Beach Bowl at Marlins Park in Miami. The Tigers, who bring a six-game winning streak into postseason play, have won a conference title for the first time since 1971 and will play in a bowl game for the first time since 2008. The Tigers will face BYU (8-4), which will take a four-game winning streak into the Miami Beach Bowl. The Miami Beach Bowl will be played Dec. 22 at 2 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.
 
Cincinnati (9-3) will play in the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman as the Bearcats bring a seven-game winning streak into the postseason. The Bearcats earned a share of the American Athletic Conference title – their fifth conference crown in seven years – with a win against Houston in the regular-season finale. The Bearcats, who will make their 16th bowl appearance, will face Virginia Tech (6-6) Dec. 27 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland. The Bearcats and Hokies last met in 2009, when Cincinnati was a 27-24 winner, and have met twice in postseason play, most recently in the 2009 Orange Bowl, when Virginia Tech took a 20-7 win.
 
UCF (9-3) was selected for the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl, which will be played Dec. 26 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Knights, who gained a share of their second straight American Athletic Conference title on a Hail Mary pass at the final gun against East Carolina last Thursday, will make their third straight postseason appearance. UCF will face North Carolina State (7-5), which won three of its last four games in the regular season. The schools have split a pair of previous meetings, most recently a 28-21 Wolfpack win in the 2010 season.
 
East Carolina (8-4) was chosen for postseason play in its first year as an American Athletic Conference member as the Pirates were selected for the Birmingham Bowl. The Pirates will make their 17th appearance in a bowl game and will play in the postseason for the third straight year. East Carolina, which last played in the Birmingham Bowl in 2006, when the Pirates fell to USF, will face Florida (6-5). The only previous meeting between the schools was in 1983, when the Gators took a 24-17 victory. The Birmingham Bowl will be played Jan. 3 at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama.
 
Houston (7-5) was chosen for the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl as the Cougars make their 23rd postseason appearance – the most among American Athletic Conference members. Houston will play in a bowl game for the second straight year and the third time in four years. The Cougars’ opponent will be Pittsburgh (6-6), which closed the regular season with back-to-back wins to secure bowl eligibility. It will be the first meeting between Houston and Pittsburgh since the teams split a two-game series in 1996 and 1997. The Armed Forces Bowl will take place Jan. 2 at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas.

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