The American Athletic Conference announced four bowl tie-ins for 2014-2019 via press release today. In addition to their previously announced tie-in with the ACC at the Military Bowl in Annapolis, Md., they will maintain their bowl tie-in with the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham with the SEC. They will also keep the bid in the Beef 'O' Brady Bowl in St. Pete, playing teams from the ACC and C-USA three years each.
After that it gets a little complicated. An AAC bid will alternate between the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Tx. (2014, 2016, 2018) and the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl in Honolulu (2015, 2017, 2019). That gives the conference four bids so far.
For the Armed Forces Bowl, Navy will garner the AAC bid in 2016 if they are bowl-eligible. In 2014, the AAC entrant will play Army (if Army is bowl-eligible). The other two years the AAC team will play a team from the Big 12. Since the Big 10 shares its bid with the Big 12, it is likely, but wasn't announced, that a Big 10 team could replace the Army or the Big 12 if the latter two can't fill the bid, should a Big 10 team be eligible and looking for a bowl.
In the Hawaii Bowl, the AAC will play a Mountain West team, likely the University of Hawaii if the Rainbow Warriors are eligible.
Another caveat with the Compass, Beef 'O' Brady, and Hawaii/Armed Forces bowls is that the three AAC teams filling those bids must come from the top six teams in the conference. This leaves the option for the AAC to send their champion to a bowl outside of their commitments. Obviously, if an AAC team is the highest-ranked non-AQ team, it will go to an access bowl, such as the Cotton Bowl or Peach Bowl.
It was reported that the conference is working on getting a back-up spot in the Liberty Bowl, as an alternate to the SEC and Big 12 should they not be able to fill their bid.
Commissioner Mike Aresco says "We're trying to keep flexibility with where we send our champion." With the "three of top six" caveat, the AAC will have the potential to send their champion to a more prestigious bowl, should a Power 5 conference not have an eligible team for their bowl.
The Power 5 conferences have all announced their bowls, and are using a tier system, so the AAC could potentially have the option to send their champion to a Power 5 lower-tier bowl, which could get the conference more money than the bowls the AAC announced today may proffer.
The conference also left this teaser at the end of their press release: "The rest of the conference's postseason lineup for the 2014-2019 cycle will be announced in the coming weeks."
It was also reported earlier this week that the AAC and the other 4 non-AQ leagues (C-USA, MAC, Mountain West, Sun Belt) will be involved in three new bowl games, in Miami at Marlins Park, in Boca Raton at FAU Stadium, and in the Bahamas. The AAC will be the anchor team in Miami, and eligible for the other two games on some kind of rotational basis.
Editor's Note Oct. 11: The MAC announced the AAC will have a team in the Boca Raton Bowl in 2015 and 2019.