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AAC Power Rankings Week 1

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ECU’s season may be over, and we might be headed for a conference championship rematch.

NCAA Football: Central Florida at Connecticut David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Just like that, college football is back! The AAC wrapped up their first week Sunday in fitting fashion: a 28-23 ECU loss to North Carolina A&T. Not really a representation of the conference, but of that team. We could be seeing a coaching change sooner than we expected, given that it was the Pirates one great chance at a win. There were a few other disappointments, but there were also plenty of positives. Take a look at the first AAC Power Rankings of the season.

1. UCF (1-0)

The defending national champions took to the field for the first time in 2018, and looked like they hadn’t missed a beat from last year. McKenzie Milton and the offense were explosive, and UConn couldn’t do anything to stop the Knights.

2. Memphis (1-0)

Brady White began his Memphis career with a record-breaking debut, giving the Tigers 358 yards through the air with five touchdowns. Memphis’ offense dominated from the beginning of the game, and didn’t take their foot off the throttle until the second half against Mercer.

3. Houston (1-0)

Not the smooth start everyone was hoping for, but the Cougars did get a win against Rice. The offense looked explosive and took more shots downfield, but the defense struggled to stop the Owls at times. That will need to get fixed as Arizona comes to town this week.

4. USF (1-0)

Blake Barnett’s debut with the Bulls was a success. He threw for 305 yards and three touchdowns to lead USF to a 34-14 win. Once again, the second quarter was good to this team, as they outscored Elon 17-0. Now if they could just do more in the second half.

5. Cincinnati (1-0)

Year 2 of Luke Fickell started off with an upset, and not a bad one. The Bearcats headed west, and stunned UCLA on the road 26-17. Even with a quarterback change and not having Gerrid Doaks at running back, Cincinnati found a way to win. Michael Warren II rushed 35 times for 142 yards and three touchdowns, which was enough to give the Bearcats the win. The defense held UCLA’s offense in check mostly all game, and that was vital in the second half when their own offense sputtered.

6. Tulane (0-1)

It’s tough when one drive ruins the game. Tulane had a chance to upset Wake Forest this week, but a horrendous overtime drive cost them. The Green Wave fought back to tie the game at 17 to force overtime, but mistakes pushed them back into a bad position. Jonathan Banks’ legs were on full display, and he showed some improvement as a passer too. This could be a dangerous team in the conference, even if they did lose this one.

7. Navy (0-1)

Navy ran into the Cole McDonald hype train this weekend, and were overwhelmed. The Rainbow Warriors dropped 59 points on the Midshipmen, including a 28-0 start. Navy eventually found some traction, but it was too late at that point.

8. Tulsa (1-0)

Good news: Tulsa is already halfway to last year’s win total. The Golden Hurricane beat Central Arkansas 38-27 this weekend, and the offense appeared to be more organized. Now if they could just get their defense to help them out. The Bears’ offense is far from the best one Tulsa will see, so this performance could be concerning.

9. SMU (0-1)

Did the Frisco Bowl end? It did? Well the Mustangs certainly didn’t play like it. North Texas was up 36-0 before SMU finally produced something offensively. Sixteen of SMU’s points came in the final 1:41 of the game, in which they also managed to give up a kick return for a touchdown. The offense was supposed to be the strength of the team, but it seemed like that group didn’t get the memo. The defense appeared to already in midseason form, and that’s not a good thing.

10. UConn (0-1)

UConn might not have won the game, but their offense is going to be a problem in the conference this year. David Pindell might be the real deal, and he took it to the defending champs with 157 yards on the ground. The defense is young and needs a ton of work, but the offense could steal a game or two this year.

11. Temple (0-1)

L’s to Villanova aren’t going to help you gain much confidence, though a conference championship run technically isn’t out of the question.

12. ECU (0-1)