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AAC 2015 Bowl Projetions and Predictions

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The AAC finds itself fielding teams in 7 bowl games. Which AAC teams will finish the year with bowl hardware and which will go home empty handed?

Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

A few days ago Athlon put out a bowl projection list.  Naturally, being the off-season, I wanted to pull the list and make my predictions on their projections.  So, without further adieu, here is their projections and my predictions:

AutoNation Cure Bowl
Sunbelt December 19th, 2015 American
Georgia Southern vs UCF

Georgia Southern, newer FBS members, will have their hands full in this game.  Returning only one starter on the offensive line is not the way you want to be when playing UCF.  Sure the Eagles will have time to develop a rhythm going in to bowl season but facing the Knights will be more a test than the Eagles will be ready to handle.  Expect UCF to win and to win big.

Miami Beach Bowl
C-USA December 21st, 2015 American
Western Kentucky vs Cincinnati

I challenge you to find a better name for a quarter back than Gunner.  Kiel, the RS sophomore for Cincinnati, returns to lead a high powered offense.  The Bearcat defense, however, has had a reputation of being somewhat on the softer side.  For this reason I favor WKU.  The Hilltoppers will find a way to stop the Bearcats a few times in this game and, with 7 returning offensive players, will have enough firepower in their own right to win the game.

Boca Raton Bowl
MAC December 22nd, 2015 American
Toledo vs ECU

Holy Toledo!  How hard is this game to pick!  Toledo returns a star in HB in Kareem Hunt while ECU gears up to stop the run again.  Can the Pirates, who in 2014 were one of the best at stopping the run, contain Hunt?  That is what this game will come down to.  I think Toledo controls the clock with the run game and ends up stealing a close one.

Hawaii Bowl
BYU/Mountain West December 24th, 2015 American
BYU vs Temple

The Hawaii Bowl should easily be one of everyone's favorite bowl games regardless of the scheduled teams.  What better to have playing on TV during Christmas Eve but a bowl game?!?!  (The only acceptable answer is "It's a Wonderful Live).

While Temple will have a good season I am just not sold on them.  The thing they have going for them is a fire in the belly from being snubbed in last seasons bowl games.  Lets be honest and say that doesn't equate to much.  BYU on the other hand year in and year out shows the can land blow after blow (literally and figuratively).  Take BYU in this game.

St. Petersburg Bowl
C-USA December 26th, 2015 American
Marshall vs Houston

I can't wait for this game, if it comes to be!  I love the story of Houston and finding Ward's position under center.  He was so electric last year.  And who can forget the Marshall heartbreak of last season.  They were so close to punching through to a possible undefeated season.

The Thundering Heard will be one of the favorites in C-USA again this season but I feel Houston wins this game. In 2015 football is a more QB driving game.  The Cougars have a solid QB in Ward while the Thundering Heard are replacing Rakeem Cato.  Take Houston in this game.

Military Bowl
ACC December 28th, 2015 American
Louisville vs Navy

Of course Navy gets to the Military Bowl.  Isn't that only fitting?  I also like the Midshipmen chances.  This off-season the Cardinals have been wavering on who to place under center.  They'll figure it out and probably in enough time, but I can't bet against Niumatalolo.  I'll roll with Navy.

Birmingham Bowl
SEC December 30th, 2015 American
University of South Carolina vs Memphis

Memphis fans would salivate over this bowl game.  The Tiger faithful would be easily within driving distance of Birmingham.  Add to that the fact that it is a SEC match-up and a late bowl season game.  SEC fans surely travel well but I have to imagine that the attendance would be a Memphis lean.

With South Carolina having inexperience in key positions as well as (somewhat) newer coordinators I pencil Memphis in to their second straight bowl win.

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When the dust finally settles I see the AAC finishing 4-3 in their 7 bowl games.  After a pretty rough start for the conference schedule I feel the cream will rise to the top.