The 2021 American Athletic Conference Football Championship Game was a college football game played on December 4, 2021, at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was the seventh American Athletic Conference Football Championship Game and determined the champion of the American Athletic Conference (AAC) for the 2021 season. The game began at 4:00 p.m. EST and aired on ABC. The game featured the regular season champions, the Cincinnati Bearcats, and the regular season runners-up, the Houston Cougars. Sponsored by RoofClaim.com, a roofing services company, the game was officially known as the 2021 American Athletic Conference Football Championship Game presented by RoofClaim.com.
This was the second year of the current division-less format of the game; instead of representatives from two divisions, the two teams with the best conference records earned a spot in the game.
Houston clinched a berth in the championship game following its win over Temple on November 13. This was the Cougars’ second appearance in the American Championship Game, having won the inaugural contest 24–13 over Temple in 2015.
Cincinnati clinched a berth in the championship game following its win over SMU on November 20. The Bearcats secured home-field advantage for the championship game on November 26, defeating East Carolina 35–13 to complete an undefeated regular season. This was the Bearcats’ third straight championship game appearance, having lost to Memphis 29–24 in 2019 and defeating Tulsa 27–24 in 2020. Entering the game, the fourth-ranked Bearcats held the highest College Football Playoff ranking of any team to play in the American Championship Game.