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Wednesday, Sep 19, 2018
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Here’s how USF still can host the AAC title game.

Now that USF has survived its senior night scare from Tulsa, the Bulls' postseason scenario is fairly clear.

But for those still struggling to find the clarity, we're breaking it down for you one last time.

First, next Friday's game at UCF (9-0, 6-0) will determine the American Athletic Conference's East Division champ, period. The outcome of the Knights' game Saturday at Temple has no divisional bearing. Even if they lose, they'd have only one AAC loss, same as USF (9-1, 6-1). If they win, then lose to the Bulls, both teams would finish with a 7-1 record in AAC play, and USF would capture the division based on the head-to-head matchup.

Determining who hosts the AAC title game is a bit hazier, but not much.

* If UCF beats USF, the Knights host, plain and simple. The first host-site determinant is the division champ with the highest conference win percentage, with the second being head-to-head result. Even if UCF lost to Temple and beat USF, the Knights still would host. Memphis (8-1, 5-1) is the only West team currently with one conference loss, and the Knights beat the Tigers in late September.

* If USF upsets the Knights, and Memphis loses one of its final two games (against SMU or East Carolina), the Bulls would host because they would have a higher conference win percentage than any West team.

* If USF and Memphis win out, the Tigers almost certainly host. If both teams finish with the same conference win percentage (in this case, equal 7-1 records) and didn't play in the regular season (USF didn't play Memphis), the team ranked highest in this Tuesday's College Football Playoff rankings would be deemed the host.

Memphis was 21st in last week's CFP rankings, and could move up (or at worst, stay put) with a win Saturday against bowl-eligible SMU. USF remains unranked by the CFP and likely won't crack the top 25 after a seven-point win against 2-9 Tulsa.

And why aren't the Nov. 28 rankings used? Because the AAC title game is four days later (Dec. 2). Waiting until Nov. 28 would be too late logistically to determine a host team.

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