Path To The Playoff: UCF, Houston, Cincinnati, Memphis, USF

Path To The Playoff: UCF, Houston, Cincinnati, Memphis, USF

American Athletic

Path To The Playoff: UCF, Houston, Cincinnati, Memphis, USF

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What’s it going to take to get to the 2019-2020 College Football Playoff? Here are the five things any one of the top America Athletic Conference stars has to do to get in.


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With all apologies to everyone else in the American Athletic Conference, it’s going to be UCF,  Houston, Cincinnati, Memphis and USF contending for the conference title. The winner of the league is going to be in the mix for the Group of Five champion’s spot in a New Year’s Six game.

But what if that could be so much more? What if everything breaks right and a Group of Five champion finally gets the call?

With the given that 1) the team has to win the American Athletic Conference title by 2) going 13-0, and 3) catching a break that at least three Power Five champions have at least two losses, here’s what each team need to do to get in.

5. USF Bulls

Step 1: Stop … the … run. The Bulls were gouged way too often last season – allowing 248 yards per game – and with Wisconsin and Georgia Tech to start the season, getting a whole lot nastier up front is a must right away.

Step 2: Beat Wisconsin and Georgia Tech. These are the street cred games on the slate. There’s a later date against BYU, but start out 2-0, and the national attention will come to Tampa.

Step 3: Again, D up. Charlie Strong is a terrific defensive coach whose defenses haven’t been so great lately. Texas struggled to tackle, and last year’s Bull team had the 10th-best defense in the AAC.

Step 4: Own home field. Wisconsin, SMU, BYU, Temple, Cincinnati, Memphis. All are going to be tough, and all are going to be in Raymond James. Go unbeaten at home, and then …

Step 5: Beat UCF on the road. The Knights have won the last two in the series and four of the last six. The Bulls won in Orlando 44-3 in 2016, but all they need to do this time around is get a victory by any margin.

NEXT: Memphis

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