Dates set for two first-evers: AAC title tilt, Navy intraconference game

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With the official release of the American Athletic Conference’s 2015 football schedule, we now know the dates of a pair of firsts.

First and foremost, Navy had spent all of the previous 134 years of its football existence as an independent.  That will officially change Sept. 19 in Year No. 135 when, as Navy kicks off its first season as a member of the AAC, will play host to East Carolina in the football program’s first-ever intraconference game.

With the AAC now at the NCAA-mandated level (for now) of 12 members and two divisions, the conference will also conduct its first league championship game.  That inaugural matchup will be played at the home site of one of the two division winners Saturday, Dec. 5, with kickoff time to be determined.

And, speaking of divisions, here’s a refresher on how exactly the conference will divide up its 12 members:

AAC EAST
Cincinnati
East Carolina
UCF
UConn
USF
Temple

AAC WEST
Houston
Memphis
Navy
SMU
Tulane
Tulsa

The AAC explains in its schedule release that “[e]ach of the 12 teams in The American will play eight conference games this season, facing the other five teams in its own division, as well as three teams from the other division. Such a format allows each school to play every conference opponent both at home and on the road at least once in a four-year cycle.”

The conference’s 48-game league schedule kicks off Sept. 12, with Temple visiting Cincinnati.

“I am pleased to announce our 2015 football schedule, the first step in what promises to be an exciting season,” said commissioner Mike Aresco in a statement. “We know that our new two-division format will produce a compelling and extremely competitive regular season, which will prepare our division winners well for our first football championship game and for our challenging postseason bowl lineup. I am pleased that our teams are continuing to assemble the most formidable nonconference schedules in the country. I am also proud and excited to welcome Navy into our football conference.”

For a complete at each team’s schedule, click HERE.