This is the final year of the College Football Playoff and the New Year’s Six under the format first introduced in 2014.
Four teams qualify for the playoff. The champions of five conferences (ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, and SEC) receive automatic invites to the New Year’s Six. And then the highest ranked champion among the five other conferences (AAC, CUSA, MAC, Mountain West, and Sun Belt) earns the last automatic bid.
Given recent history, the AAC champion seemingly has a de facto bid to the New Year’s Six. Six consecutive AAC title game winners have claimed this spot — UCF twice, Memphis, Cincinnati twice, and Tulane.