2015 Houston Cougars NCAA Football AAC & Big East Championship Ring
The 2015 American Athletic Conference football season is the 25th NCAA Division I FBS football season of the American Athletic Conference (The American). The season is the third since the breakup of the former Big East Conference, and the second season with the new College Football Playoff in place. Under the playoff system, The American is no longer an Automatic Qualifying conference (AQ), and is considered a member of the "Group of Five" (G5) with Conference USA, the Mid-American Conference, Mountain West Conference, and the Sun Belt Conference. Whereas under the previous system the champion of the conference was guaranteed an automatic berth to a BCS bowl game, now the highest-ranked member of the G5 will receive a bid to one of the six major bowls.
The American consists of 12 members: Cincinnati, Connecticut, East Carolina, Houston Cougars, Memphis, SMU, South Florida, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa, UCF, and new member Navy. In June 2015, the Collegiate Commissioner's Association announced that it will postpone final rankings until after the annual Army–Navy Game if Navy or Army are in contention for a spot in the semifinals or a New Years Six bowl. If Navy is the highest-ranked Group of 5 champion and loses to Army, it would be replaced by next highest-ranked Group of 5 champion in the New Years Six Bowl.