After a year filled with 11am games, Auburn will close the 2015 football season with yet another one. The Tigers are heading two hours up the road to play in the Birmingham Bowl on December 30th. It will be Auburn's first game in Legion Field since the 1998 Iron Bowl.
The opponent? The Memphis Tigers. If nothing else, this game should be well attended. Auburn is two hours southeast of Birmingham. Memphis isn't terribly much further northwest.
The Memphis Tigers have already knocked off one SEC school this year in Ole Miss. That's the same Ole Miss that is Alabama's lone loss. They didn't just beat them, either. They beat them fairly handily, 37-24. The Tigers of Memphis boast a great offense behind one of the better quarterbacks in the nation that you might not have heard of (though you should have) in Paxton Lynch.
Memphis ended their season on a bit of skid other than a 63-0 shellacking of SMU. They were undefeated and getting some discussion for the playoff before losses to Navy, Houston, and Temple (the three other best AAC teams this season).
Their head coach, Justin Fuente, just left to take the Virginia Tech job. So, Auburn will be facing an interim staff for this game. Their incoming head coach is Arizona State OC Mike Norvell.
So, to sum it all up: Auburn will be playing a horrible bowl game in a stadium they fought hard to never play in ever again. Oh, and here's another fun thought for you: Auburn has not lost to an out-of-conference opponent that was in a BCS/P5 conference at the time they played (2007 USF is the exception, but they were Big East) since Bret Favre was at Southern Miss.
We'll have more on this game in the coming days and hopefully have some good stuff with the folks over at UnderdogDynasty, which covers the AAC (among other conferences).