By Annie Ross

Former Temple coach Matt Rhule thinks the Owls’ conference he is worthy of an automatic bid to the prestigious New Year’s Six bowl games.

Rhule, who is now at Baylor, told Yahoo Sports that the American Athletic Conference “deserves an automatic bid to the New Year’s Six” and cited recent teams from Houston, Navy and Memphis in addition to his former team.

“We won that league last year, we had a couple games where — we lost to the No. 5 team in the country Penn State by a touchdown and Memphis … I think we should have gone to play in one of those games and I think we would have gone and played at a high level.”

Temple also lost to Army to open the season.

The current structure of the College Football Playoff means seven at-large teams from the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC make the other four games that don’t include the four teams in the College Football Playoff. The last spot in the other four goes to the highest-ranked Group of Five team — a conference pool that includes the AAC, Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West Conference and Sun Belt.

Temple finished the 2016 season 10-3. Western Michigan, meanwhile, was 13-0 and beat two Big Ten teams in Northwestern and Illinois. There was little dispute that Western Michigan was the most deserving of the Group of Five to head to the New Years’ Six.

But here’s the thing; if the AAC was to get an automatic bid to the New Year’s Six, what happens to the four remaining conferences from the Group of Five? You can’t just eliminate them from the NY6 altogether. And the world doesn’t need another bowl game. Rhule’s coming from a supportive place, it’s just not a feasible one without significant remodeling to the CFP structure.

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