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Three Things We Learned About Week Five American Athletic Conference Football

Advanced statistics indicate that the current standings will most certainly not look the same at season's end.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

1. James Summers might be saving East Carolina's season all by himself.

As Jeremy already wrote earlier, this could be either a done deal or very soon sort itself out if the results continue to be as they are on the field to this point. While it is true that Summers is a different type of quarterback than Blake Kemp and you therefore cannot make a direct comparison, they are at worst equals right now.

Summers has snatched victory from the jaws of mediocrity and defeat, respectively, the past two weeks. He has done so while leading an offense that runs to set up the run to then catch you off guard with a pass, and has been very effective. This also helps a defense that is on the field less. Kemp runs an offense that passes to set up the run, but doesn't always hold onto the ball long enough for that to pay consistent dividends. He is also the reason Summers has needed to exact some come-from-behind heroics thusfar this season.

Nothing is decided just yet, but I'm not sure how Ruffin McNeill could not make the switch permanent if the same story repeats at BYU this weekend.

2. Tulane's defense might actually make for an interesting game against Temple

Ignore for a minute the final score of 45-31 and the 357 total yards that UCF gained in this Saturday's game. Tulane put their defensive backups into the game in the fourth quarter, and UCF switched from Bo Schneider - who should never set foot under center again this season unless there is no other option - to Tyler Harris, who is actually competent.

In the first three quarters, Tulane forced five turnovers and held the Knights to 194 total yards. They allowed -34 rushing yards for the game. I know that UCF is no Navy or Houston, but those stats are still very impressive. If UMass was able to nearly topple the Owls, then who knows, maybe the Green Wave could be that team?

There's no guarantee, but there are a lot of much stranger things that could happen.

3. Notre Dame might regret scheduling a pair of AAC teams this season

Don't look now, but Navy plays this Saturday against Navy and Keenan Reynolds, who just keeps the well-oiled machine that is the Mid's triple option humming. Thery're surely no pushover, and neither is the Temple team they'll face on Halloween. There's an outside chance that Notre Dame could be booted from any top-ten conversations by November, and they could have their scheduling of the wrong AAC teams to thank for it.

Or maybe the Clemson game. Or the USC game. Or the Stanford game. But whatever.

BONUS Memphis is looking more like a Paper Tiger.

Sure the Tigers are 5-0, but they are also 5th in the American Conference with a 64 S&P+ rating. They blew out bad Missouri State and Kansas teams, then followed that up by beating mediocre Cinci, Bowling Green and USF teams (average S&P of 70) by a grand total of 17 points. They're a bad mental mistake or two per game away from being 2-3, to be honest.

This is in large part due to an offense that is either top 20 or top 40 in the country, depending on which metrics you look at, but that could be rendered moot. The Tigers are about to start playing much tougher defenses and at least per S&P + they're projected to finish 7-5. Bowl eligible yes, undefeated title contender, perhaps not.

BONUS Holy crap SMU's defense is horrific.

It should come to the surprise of nobody that ECU, when facing a Mustang team that has the worst run defense in the country, eventually switched to a rushing QB leading a rush-oriented offense and proceeded to blow SMU's doors off 42-0 from that point on.

It won't get prettier any time soon, either. Two of their next three games are against Houston and Tulsa, who are very good at that whole gaining yards thing. And the scoring points thing, too. I thought that SMU might improve to a Tulsa level of "a bad defense, but a good enough offense to make games interesting" but it turns out that's only true for the first quarter or until their opponent adjusts, whichever comes first.