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What We Learned in AAC: Week 12

Memphis has clinched the AAC West, the East will be decided this week and the rest of the conference took a step back this season.

Memphis v Houston Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Week 12 went as planned for some, but left us scratching our heads for others. The American Athletic Conference has some elite teams, but then it is a lot of unknowns. One of those top-tier teams has clinched a spot in the title game, while the other representative will be decided in the conference’s best rivalry game.

The matchup we’ve been waiting for all season is finally here

As we expected all season long, the War on I-4 will determine who represents the AAC East as UCF stayed undefeated by defeating Temple and USF held off Tulsa. This has all the makings to be the G5 game of the year as the Knights look to continue their Cinderella run, while the Bulls want to prove why they entered the season as the top-ranked non-power school. Whoever wins this game is in for a battle in that championship game.

Memphis is headed to the AAC Championship game

Riley Ferguson and Anthony Miller get much of the attention on Memphis’ offense, but Darrell Henderson and Patrick Taylor Jr. each had over a 100 yards and two touchdowns against SMU. While the AAC East representative will be coming off a grueling matchup, the Tigers have an easy tune up for the title game with a matchup against East Carolina. One would think they would love a rematch against UCF to decide the conference champion, but whoever it may be, expect a lot of points to be scored.

It’s been a down year for the American

Last season, five AAC teams finished with nine or more wins. Only the aforementioned teams will this season. The Owls and the Green Wave can become bowl-eligible with a win this week, but it’s been a relatively poor season for the conference. Navy gave Notre Dame a battle till the final whistle, but that’s what we’ve come to expect from the Midshipmen over the years. Houston’s loss to Tulane is a shocker and SMU is clearly not on the same level as the top three teams either. Temple got pummeled after a couple promising weeks, Cincinnati is further behind than we anticipated and while ECU looked good, they still have a ways to go.