AAC Championship Game scenarios for Tulane, SMU and UTSA

Here is how Tulane, SMU, and UTSA can each clinch a spot in the AAC Championship Game during rivalry week.

Nov 4, 2023; Greenville, North Carolina, USA; Tulane Green Wave wide receiver Lawrence Keys III (6)
Nov 4, 2023; Greenville, North Carolina, USA; Tulane Green Wave wide receiver Lawrence Keys III (6) / James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The final week of the 2023 regular season, a.k.a. rivalry week, is upon us. Some teams are scratching and clawing to become eligible for a bowl game this winter, while others look to earn a spot in their respective conference's championship game.

For the American Athletic Conference, there is a bit of a conundrum. Three teams are a perfect 7-0 in conference play entering rivalry week -- the Tulane Green Wave, SMU Mustangs, and UTSA Roadrunners. Obviously, there are two spots open for the AAC Championship Game.

So, how can each team qualify for the title game?

How Tulane, SMU, UTSA can clinch spot in AAC Championship Game

Tulane and UTSA are set to face off in head-to-head action on Friday, Nov. 24, at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC. So, the winner of this matchup will automatically earn a spot in the AAC Championship Game. That's easy.

As for SMU, they are taking on the Navy Midshipmen on Saturday, Nov. 25, at noon ET on ESPN 2. If SMU is to win, they will earn the second spot against the winner of the Tulane-UTSA game.

Let's break down each scenario.

If Tulane wins and SMU wins, then…

The Green Wave and Mustangs will clinch spots in the AAC Championship Game. Tulane would host the title game on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 4:00 p.m. ET on ABC.

If UTSA wins and SMU wins, then…

The Roadrunners host the Mustangs in the AAC Championship Game. This is the last of where it remains simple. Because if SMU loses, things get a bit tricky.

If SMU loses and whoever wins UTSA vs. Tulane, then…

The opponents of the winner of the Roadrunners and Green Wave game won't be easy to determine. As Dan Santaromita and Austin Mock of The Athletic point out in their conference championship game article if SMU loses, the conference will look at a tiebreaker scenario in which "a composite average of selected computer rankings (Anderson & Hester, Billingsley, Colley, and Wolfe) after all games conclude the final weekend of the Conference regular season will be used to determine the Championship Game participant.”

So, the winner of the UTSA vs. Tulane game will have to see if they will play the loser of the matchup again or if it will be SMU. It is less easy to determine because SMU hasn't played either team this season.

There you have it. The AAC Championship Game will be determined by Saturday afternoon.

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