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Who is playing in the AAC Championship Game?

Cincinnati is on the cusp of a College Football Playoff invite but must conquer a red-hot Houston team first.

Cincinnati Bearcats quarterback Desmond Ridder hands the ball off to Cincinnati Bearcats running back Jerome Ford in the first half of the NCAA football game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the East Carolina Pirates at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in Greenville, NC, on Friday, Nov. 26, 2021.  Albert Cesare / The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

The AAC Championship Game is set for Saturday, December 4 at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati and will feature the Cincinnati Bearcats hosting the Houston Cougars. The game will kick off at 4 p.m. ET on ABC.

At 12-0 on the year, Cincinnati is on the cusp of becoming the first Group of Five program to make it into the College Football Playoff and could effectively seal its spot with a win over a Top 25 Houston team. Whether blowing teams out or eking out wins, the Desmond Ridder-led Bearcats did what it had to do to post an undefeated regular season and clinch a spot in the AAC title game for a third straight season. Its signature win remains a 24-13 victory at Notre Dame in October.

After a deflating season-opening loss to Texas Tech, Houston rattled off 11 straight victories and started realizing the expectations set forth upon head coach Dana Holgorsen’s arrival in 2019. Senior quarterback Clayton Tune made a significant leap, throwing for just under 3,000 yards and 22 touchdowns during the regular season.