What to Expect Out of the Memphis Bowl
Memphis football has been playing for the American Athletic Conference championship at home this weekend against UCF. While there are still a number of bowl games up to be played, glimpses of what Memphis may play in have come to light. This week, five sportsbooks gave Memphis a slight edge over UCF for the AAC title. If the Tigers continue on their streak of impressive wins, they may be able to earn a third straight trip to the Birmingham Bowl in December.
The American Athletic Conference championship is not the only game left between the two teams. While UCF will still be the overall favorite in the conference, the team needs to win one more game in order to be the top dog and make a run through the conference. For now, however, Memphis is the clear choice to win the conference title.
According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, the Memphis Tigers has a three percent chance of winning the Birmingham Bowl and a nine percent chance of winning the Big 12 Championship. Those numbers are based primarily on past performance, which has been a pretty good one at UT. It will not change, though, should the Tigers lose this week to UCF.
The Birmingham Bowl, which has been called the “Bama Bowl” for years, maybe the best opportunity for the UCF Knights to secure a second consecutive BCS bid and a third consecutive shot at the Birmingham Bowl. For now, though, Memphis is the clear leader in the AAC West. It will take another week or two to prove that claim, though. In the meantime, if the Tigers can earn an early-season victory, they will have the momentum they need to go into the bowl game with confidence.
The other bowl that is still up in the air comes to a conclusion on Thursday night. After the New Orleans Bowl leaves, the Memphis Bowl heads to Miami. While this may be the most difficult situation for any team, it also offers the biggest opportunity for a team like the Bulls to make a run through the conference. Memphis will be tested by the Hurricanes in Miami and will have to win out to take the AAC title.
The Memphis Bowl has been a tough opponent for the last few years, but that doesn’t mean it will be impossible for the Bears to defeat the Hurricanes in this year’s game. However, it will be a much easier opponent than the New Orleans Bowl, which was a very difficult game for the Bulls to beat. In fact, it will be a much easier challenge than the bowl in which Memphis was recently defeated by the Lobos. UCF’s loss to the Lobos cost the Knights a spot in the New Orleans Bowl, which is why Memphis is favored over the Bulls in the Birmingham Bowl. However, if the Bulls continue to have their recent success, Memphis may be able to sneak into the Birmingham Bowl without a loss.
In all likelihood, this year’s Memphis Bowl game will end in Memphis taking home the trophy. The only thing left for UCF is to wait until the Birmingham Bowl to confirm its place in the championship game. If the Memphis Tigers wins out, they are going to make sure this is the year. Memphis will be the prohibitive favorite, but it will take something special from UCF in order to make it to Birmingham.
The conference championship game between the two teams is just one more opportunity for UT to take down the Bulldogs and claim the AAC title. while also helping the school to keep its conference standing. The Tigers can earn that championship by winning this week and taking care of business in the rest of their schedule to close out the regular season.