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American Athletic Conference Power Rankings: USF Leads the Way

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Our preseason power rankings are here for the AAC and it should be no shocker that the Bulls are No. 1.

Central Florida v South Florida Photo by Jason Behnken / Getty Images

Welcome to our first edition of the American Athletic Conference Pow6r Rankings. Each week, we will update which teams we feel are the best in the AAC.

The point of this exercise to figure out which teams are playing the best at the time. Since the season does not start until Saturday, our first installment will focus on our preseason rankings.

  1. South Florida Bulls (11-2 last season)

This should be no surprise as they are the only team to be ranked in the top 25 and return Heisman hopeful Quinton Flowers. Some feel USF is the G5's best chance at making it to the College Football Playoff.

2. Memphis Tigers (8-5)

Riley Ferguson and company will give USF a run for the No. 1 spot for much of the season. We will find out just how good this team can be when they host UCLA in Week 3.

3. Houston Cougars (9-4)

The Cougars lost Greg Ward and Tom Herman, but Major Applewhite still has plenty of pieces to remain in contention for the Coogs first AAC title. They have a realistic shot of being the only AAC team with multiple wins against P5 opponents his season.

4. UCF Knights (6-7)

Scott Frost has brought in the talent. Now it's time to live up to his hype as an offensive genius. The offense is going to have to score a ton of points because the defense has some holes.

5. Temple Owls (10-4)

The defending champs have new faces at quarterback, the front seven and in the coaching staff. With so many unknowns, it's hard to gauge how the Owls will stack up this season, but Matt Rhule left enough talent for TU to remain competitive.

6. Tulsa Golden Hurricane (10-3)

Tulsa has the top offensive line in the conference and the upside to win the AAC West. The defense will determine if Philip Montgomery's bunch will be in contention in December.

7. SMU Mustangs (5-7)

The offense figures to be explosive with Courtland Sutton and Ben Hicks back, but the defense has question marks. The Mustangs will shock a few teams, but cannot go through the same collapse down the stretch.

8. Cincinnati Bearcats (4-8)

Luke Fickell was a terrific hire for Cincy, and while he does have some players to work with, the trip to the Big House in Week 2 looks daunting. How they respond the following week against Miami (Ohio) should gives us a barometer of how they will fare this season.

9. Navy Midshipmen (9-5)

Zach Abey takes over at quarterback and has some big shoes to fill. He just doesn't have the same talent as his predecessors and the schedule makers did Ken Niumatalolo no favors.

10. Tulane Green Wave (4-8)

Another team with a brutal schedule, Willie Fritz is going to struggle to get back to four wins with no proven quarterback in the mix.

11. Connecticut Huskies (3-9)

Randy Edsall returns to East Hartford, but it's going to be a long ride in his first season. The defense has some playmakers, but the offense was really bad last season, and not much has changed since.

12. East Carolina Pirates (3-9)

Even with the loss of Zay Jones to the NFL, the offense should still be able to move the ball for Scottie Montgomery. The question is whether they'll be able to stop anyone on defense.