Separation is starting to form just halfway through the season, and the top of the conference is getting crowded. The East is still between UCF and USF, but the West is a five team race at this point. We will receive the clarity we’ve been asking for in the next month of football with multiple matchups between teams that are at the top of the conference.
1. UCF (4-0, Last week: #1)
Can anyone stop the Knights offense? So far the answer is no, and Cincinnati can thank Mother Nature for sparing them from a beatdown. Ok, it still was a beatdown even when the game was called in the third quarter. Tre’Quan Smith and McKenzie Milton are an entertaining combination to watch, connecting five times for 165 yards and three touchdowns.
2. USF (5-0, LW: #2)
Bulls fans beware: the schedule gets much harder from now on.
3. Houston (4-1, LW: #3)
544 yards was a concern, but only 22 points came out of that. Quarterback continues to be a concern, but the running game finally had a big breakthrough. Duke Catalon rushed 22 times for 177 yards and two touchdowns.
4. Navy (5-0, LW: #5)
At Memphis and home against UCF. We will really find out if the Midshipmen deserve to be up here or not. The first five games raised some concerns despite an undefeated start, but some clarity will emerge quickly.
5. Memphis (4-1, LW: #6)
Surprise! Memphis can score a lot of points. Ok, so it wasn’t a surprise, but there were some concerns after last week. Riley Ferguson threw for 431 yards and seven touchdowns, and four of them went to Anthony Miller. UConn met the wrong team at the wrong time, and the Tigers dominated this matchup.
6. SMU (4-2, LW: #4)
We said it at the beginning of the year, defense was going to be the determining factor for the Mustangs success. The offense only put up 22 points, but managed to amass 544 yards. Their defense surrendered 463 yards and 35 points to an offense with quarterback issues. SMU still has a lot to be excited about, but the defense still needs work.
7. Tulane (3-2, LW: #7)
Scoring on seven consecutive possessions is impressive, regardless of who the opponent is. Like many of the teams in the conference, we will learn just how good they really are with USF, Memphis, Houston and SMU still on deck.
8. Cincinnati (2-4, LW: #8)
After decent outings against Michigan and Miami (Ohio), Luke Fickell's defense hasn't been able to stop anyone. Things won't get any better as USF and SMU's explosive offenses are next.
9. Temple (3-3, LW: #9)
The defending champions had their best offensive game yet to get back to .500, but all three wins have come against inferior opponents. Even with how bad they have looked at times this season, they are still in position to sneak into a bowl game for the third straight year.
10. Tulsa (1-5, LW: #10)
We were way off in the preseason when we thought this team could be a sleeper in the AAC West. Saying their defense is bad is an understatement as the only team with a worse total defense in the nation is the team below in our power rankings.
11. ECU (1-5, LW: #11)
A home game against Temple's inept offense was the Pirates best chance at a second win this season, but they couldn't stop them either. With UCF up next, we might see the Knights reach 50 points before halftime.
12. UConn (1-4, LW: #12)
The Huskies have seen their opponents' point total go up each week as they have allowed 160 points the past three weeks. Randy Edsall might be wishing he took a year off from coaching.