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10 Interesting Conference Games In The American

After the dust settles on the out of conference games the real season begins. In the AAC there are plenty of compelling games to look forward to watching.

Temple and Cincinnati will kick off AAC play on September 12th
Temple and Cincinnati will kick off AAC play on September 12th
Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

With right around two weeks to go until the NCAA football season kicks off, it is officially time to get excited. It looks as if we have some great early season out of conference games to look forward to, but conference games always seem to create more hype and and extra sense of urgency.

With that said, we all like lists, right? I sat down this week and went through various AAC in-conference match ups. Below, I've listed my top 10 games to watch, as well as my pick for the winner. Now, I'll add a little disclaimer: I did decide to try my best and include everyone... even if that means taking some teams that, by media day voting standards, shouldn't be that good. Two bad teams could still make a compelling match up, right?

Take a look and see if you agree or disagree. Just be excited that you'll be watching these games all soon enough!

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10. Tulsa @ Tulane (11/27)

Lets pick on the worst of the West in what should amount to nothing more than an organized pillow fight. Show some love to the expected bottom dwelling teams of the conference and watch this game. Winner: Tulsa

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9. USF @ UConn (10/17)

If I am going to pick on the worst of the West then I have to pick on the worst of the East too, right? Consider it equal opportunity. However, in the case of USF at UConn we're looking more at a tickle fight than a pillow fight. Winner: UConn

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8. SMU @ Houston (10/8)

The battle for Texas! Can Chad Morris make a splash at SMU and notch a win over the in-state rival? Probably not.  I think it may take some time for Morris.  Winner: Houston

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7. ECU @ Navy (9/19)

ECU started a storybook season in 2014 winning 6 of their first 7.  They then went on to lose 5 of their next 6 (including the Birmingham Bowl).  Navy will begin conference play at home as they host the Pirates.  I expect Navy to start their AAC affiliation 1-0, but I never can overlook the Pirates.  Winner: Navy

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6. Memphis @ Houston (11/14)

In 2014, Memphis was Greg Ward Jr.'s first start at QB. Ward played fantastic, but the Cougars' defense sealed the game by forcing two straight Memphis turnovers late in the fourth quarter. This late-season match up should be a solid game with both teams predicted to finish in the top three of the West. Winner: Houston

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5. Temple @ Cincinnati (9/21)

Temple was so close to being good last season. They had a solid D but couldn't get the offense on the same page.  Returning all 11 starters on a much improved defense is a great sign for the Owls. The big question mark is how much has improved on offense compared to last year? A early road game against AAC favorite Cincinnati could establish Temple as serious contenders. Winner: Temple

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4. UCF @ Temple (10/17)

I have goofed on O'Leary in the past, but lets face it: he has built a machine in Orlando.  The Knights will be young and inexperienced in key positions this season, but should still be good.  This Temple game will be their first big conference test. Winner: Temple

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3. Houston @ UCF (10/24)

UCF makes the list on back to back games in back to back weeks.  While it would be easy to replace this game with UCF at Cincinnati (Oct 31st) I just can't--I think this game will be a display of offensive fire power. I'm curious as to how the Knights D attempts to contain Ward Jr. Winner: UCF

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2. Cincinnati @ Memphis (9/24)

Last season, Memphis went to Cincinnati and crushed the Bearcats. The game was essentially over just before halftime, and then the unfortunate happened-- Gunner Kiel was injured on the last play of the half. The Tigers would finish by rolling the Bearcats. This game, in Memphis, should be much more competitive if both rosters stay healthy. An AAC Championship Game preview? Winner: Memphis

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1. AAC Conference Championship Game (12/5)

East vs. West in the inaugural Championship game. Regardless of your team, support this game. Cheer for your division or cheer against your hated rival. Either way, just make sure that on December 5th you are watching the first ever AAC Championship Game.