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Three things we learned from the AAC in Week 4

ECU wins, a quarterback battle looms in Houston, and some bumps in the road for the Power 6 movement.

NCAA Football: East Carolina at Connecticut Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The road to Power 6 is still a work in progress.

Over the summer, the AAC began a “Power 6” movement to become the sixth power conference. While there have been some promising signs of progress towards that goal, there are still some questions.

UCF, Memphis, Houston, and USF have notched wins over Power 5 competitions, but the conference as a whole is 4-9 against Power 5 teams. UCF dominated they’re matchup against Maryland this weekend, winning 38-10. That same success escaped Houston against Texas Tech, but the Cougars only lost by three despite committing five turnovers in the game.

The top of the conference isn’t the issue, it’s the overall depth. The four aforementioned teams are 4-1 against Power 5 competition, while the rest of the conference is 0-8. Teams like Temple, SMU, and Cincinnati all showed promise in their Power 5 matchups, but ultimately all lost by 20+. If the conference is going to be taken seriously, the depth of the conference will need to improve.

While there is still a ways to go, the AAC has done well to distance itself from other Group of 5 teams so far. To this point in the season, they are 9-2 against Group of 5 competition. If they want to really become another power conference, dominating other Group of 5 competition will go a long way in creating separation from those other conferences.

NCAA Football: Texas Tech at Houston
Allen struggled mightily against Texas Tech, and he found himself on the bench because of it.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Houston has a quarterback battle on their hands (again).

Kyle Allen struggled mightily against Texas Tech, and eventually got benched in favor of Kyle Postma. At the time, the Cougars were down 27-10, but Postma pulled Houston within 27-24. A failed onside kick essentially ended the game, but you got the feeling that Postma would have given his team a chance to at least tie the game.

At the beginning of the season, head coach Major Applewhite was hesitant to name a starter at quarterback, and now we know why. You could see Allen’s potential in his skillset, but there are some intangibles that he lacked on Saturday. He was consistently uncomfortable in the pocket, and made some crucial mistakes during the game that could have been avoided. Postma’s poise late in the game should open up a competition between the two, and don’t be surprised if it goes on throughout the season.

Everyone’s in the win column!!!

With ECU’s 41-38 win over UConn, there are zero teams in the conference without a win. While this might be more sarcastic enthusiasm than anything, we didn’t think this would happen until November at the earliest.

Pirates quarterback Thomas Sirk and receiver Davon Grayson hooked up 11 times for 233 yards and three touchdowns, and the defense held on late to secure their first win of the season.

Maybe you could say we learned that UConn’s defense might not be as good as predicted. The Huskies have now surrendered 1,222 yards and 79 points in their last two games, and the strength of their team has now become a glaring weakness. Even with the offense becoming somewhat explosive, the defense hasn’t seemed to stop the opposition.

Either way, these two are still at the bottom of the conference, but it’s time to celebrate for the Pirates now!