Two teams have been consistent, and they play this weekend. A pseudo conference championship will take place in Orlando this week, and it’s unfortunate that one of them has to lose. The teams below them continue to wildly fluctuate.
1. 22 game win streakers (9-0)
ESPN’s College GameDay announced that they would be coming to Orlando this week when the UCF Knights host the Cincinnati Bearcats. UCF extended it’s winning streak to 22 games, and the road is going to get much more difficult to travel from now on.
2. We play defense, unlike the rest of the conference (9-1)
Cincinnati sat back and let Michael Warren II take over this weekend against USF. Warren accounted for 178 yards and four touchdowns to put away the Bulls, and helped set up a huge showdown next week. This underdog was ignored for most of the season, but the defense and a rejuvenated offense have given them a chance to make some serious noise. Beating UCF on the road won’t be easy, but this team is capable of pulling off an upset.
3. Ryquell Armstead’s “bum” ankle (6-4)
Temple’s questions about Armstead’s health were quickly erased Saturday against Houston. The Owls figured out that the Cougars couldn’t stop the run game, so they let their back go to work. His 210 yards and six touchdowns rushing keeps the Owls in the AAC East conversation, even if it’s a long shot.
4. Ben Hicks redemption tour (5-5)
Just like that, the West is SMU’s to lose. Holding tiebreakers over both Tulane and Houston (head to head wins), winning out means the Mustangs are in the conference championship. Mind. blown. After a horrendous start to the season, both SMU an Hicks continue to surprise everyone in the conference.
5. Houston’s offense (7-3)
It’s hard to win games when your defense doesn’t show up. Simply put, you cannot continue to waste D’Eriq King and his receivers like this. Houston’s lost by double digits twice this year when they’ve scored 49 points.
6. Somehow one game out of first in the West (6-4)
When Memphis lost to Tulane, it seemed like any shot at a division title was out of the question. With Houston’s loss, the Tigers now find themselves just one game out of first. It would be tough for them to make it to the conference championship, but it’s not impossible.
7. Tied for first but needs help (5-5)
I don’t think even Tulane thought they might ever be in this position. A rough start had many feeling this team would underachieve all year, but suddenly a conference championship appearance is possible. They need some specific scenarios to happen, but they at least have a shot.
8. We’re we not 7-0ers (7-3)
You knew it was going to be bad when the ref called the Bulls “UCF” at the coin toss. No one feels bad that your starting quarterback was hurt. Cincinnati was playing a freshman. Rushing for 81 yards in a game usually won’t get things done either. Neither will going 2-for-15 on third downs. Good teams don’t do that. Good teams beat not only bad teams, but the good ones too. They don’t let injuries be an excuse and tackle adversity head on. USF also joins ECU, Navy, and UConn in a group of teams that hast lost their last three consecutive games. It’s okay that this team didn’t win, but let’s not try to make them out to be someone they’re not.
9. A quarterback away (2-8)
Seth Boomer is improving, but maybe not quick enough to save Phillip Montgomery’s job. Tulsa continues to look better than their record indicates, but they’re still losing. Boomer is getting better, but he’s still not the passer that Tulsa needs him to be.
10. In need of a better schedule (2-7)
It’s tough because ECU is a better team than last year. They’re just still not a good team. Like Tulsa, it might be too late for their coach. Scottie Montgomery has a potentially good team in 2019 if he gets to stick around. That’s a huge “if” for someone who’s won just eight games in his three years as the head coach.
11. We don’t have a quarterback (2-8)
Well, Navy actually has three, but none of them can figure it out. Zach Abey got a second consecutive start, but it wasn’t enough to help the MIdshipmen beat UCF. Granted, they only lost by 11, but it never felt like the Knights were in trouble.
12. The David Pindell’s (399 yards, six touchdowns)
Pindell should get All-Conference recognition based simply on the fact that he’s the reason UConn ever has a slight chance of winning. Just imagine what happens if the Huskies figure out how to play defense.