MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Memphis Tigers football team played in its third straight American Athletic Conference Championship game Saturday.
The first two games were played on the road at UCF. Memphis lost both times.
This time, 17th ranked Memphis played against 20th ranked Cincinnati and won 29-24.
The Tigers beat the Bearcats last week in the regular season finale.
Memphis has now achieved a goal Mike Norvell set since getting to Memphis -- winning the conference title.
Tigers fans woke up Saturday with visions of a picture-perfect day.
“This is a huge day not only for the Tigers but for Memphis and the city of Memphis. It doesn't get much bigger than this,” said Wayne Irvin, fan.
The fans pre-gaming at Tiger Lane were not deterred by consecutive loses in the past two American Athletic Conference Championship games against University of Central Florida.
You know what they say -- third time’s the charm.
Memphians inside a packed Liberty Bowl had plenty to cheer and agonize over.
As the day turned into night the game stayed close.
Toward the very end it took a huge Tigers touchdown and a defensive stop.
In front of their hometown fans, the Tigers won their first Conference Championship since 1969.
Fans joined the players on the field, celebrating history by lighting a victory cigar.
With multiple reports that four-year coach Mike Norvell is leaving the Tigers to Coach Florida State University.
Fans say they appreciate his hard work, bringing unpreceded success to the Tigers.
Now the Tigers are projected to play in the biggest bowl game in program history -- the Cotton Bowl in Dallas on Dec. 28.